by Stanley Azuakola
It is this kind of news that one hears, sighs, and concludes that there’s something fundamentally wrong with Nigeria.
Bayelsa’s increasingly controversial governor, Seriake Dickson, announced this morning in a statewide broadcast that he will honour both ex-governor Diepriye Alamieyeseigha and ex-military dictator, Sani Abacha.
Alamieyeseigha, the ex-governor under whom President Jonathan served as deputy is also an ex-convict who has been indicted of corrupt activities in both England and the United States. Under this dispensation of President Jonathan, Alamieyeseigha is being gradually resurrected, especially in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party where he chairs the Elders Council and played an advisory role in the Goodluck 2011 campaign.
Seriake Dickson said in the broadcast that the ex-governor will be honoured for his “commitment to the Ijaw struggle”. The honour for Alamieyeseigha includes the naming of an auditorium in the Ijaw National Congress, INC, secretariat, built by the state, after Alamieyeseigha, who was the first civilian governor of the state.
Bayelsa was created 16 years ago today, when Gen. Sani Abachi in a national broadcast announced its creation from the old Rivers State. For that singular act, the Dickson administration has decided to immortalise the late dictator. Abacha, during whose tenure, Nigeria experienced unprecedented brutality, who has been indicted of looting Nigeria’s treasury and from whom billions of dollar have been recovered.
Abacha would have a 150-duplex housing complex named after him. Also, the state government, in partnership with the INC, also named the main auditorium of the INC secretariat after the dictator. Furthermore, a memorial tree would also be planted in honour of Abacha.
Gov. Dickson is gradually making a name for himself as a controversy loving governor. Shortly after assuming office, he appointed the president’s wife, Dame Patience Jonathan as permanent secretary in the state, a decision which was met by raised eyebrows by most citizens.
Some people have questioned the governor’s Independence announcement, saying it is a ploy to divert attention away from his health situation, which reports say is deteriorating.
He only just returned on Sunday from a foreign trip, ostensibly to “woo foreign investors,” but reports say he travelled for health reasons.
The governor has, however, denied being ill.