My attention has been drawn to some statements on Social media by Dr. John Idumange, an ardent supporter and a strong member of our party, openly criticizing the Senator Douye Diri-led prosperity government.
I want to advise that no one who is supportive of me, a member of our party (or who claims to be), should be publicly critical of our government. This is unacceptable. I am aware that some party stalwarts and members that I led in these unprecedented battles and victories have one complaint of non-inclusion or the other which is normal. The Governor and the party are available to address these issues and as such does not call for a public attack on our government because an attack on the governor and his government is an attack on our party and I do not approve of such.
My role and my duty as former Governor and the first Governor to have done eight years, who midwifed the process of reelection, is to advise, support and pray for the success of this administration. My take is that every person in the current administration at all levels, beginning with the Governor is part of our team and that is why my prayers are with all of them. That is also why I will not support anybody among my supporters to do anything to attack this Government. Whoever is doing it is doing a great disservice to me, the state, and the party.
Having played the roles I have played in the state over the years, I know the penchant of some of our people for divisive, rumour mongering, character assassination, blackmail and unnecessary political propaganda and positioning. I also know that a number of those who promote this division are not usually available during critical battles. Their mission is to pull down dependable and loyal party members and undermine critical stakeholders just for their selfish personal political agenda. I believe the Governor knows this too.
This is why I will call on the Governor, members of his team and the party leadership to take steps to unify and create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and togetherness of the political family and the party with the Governor as the new leader. The Governor is head of both the party and the Government and he always has my support and I urge all stakeholders to stop the divisive politics and give him their support.
Having led the state in opposition since 2015, (the first to do so), and successfully prosecuted the succession battle that resulted in the Prosperity Government (still in opposition) I call on the PDP leaders and members to appreciate what God has done for us. No one has a greater stake in the Governor’s success than me. I am aware of the concerns raised about the distance I have kept since leaving office. This is deliberate and in consonance with my values and principles.
While I was Governor, I took a conscious decision known to so many that whoever was going to succeed me was going to have the free hand to run his government with my full support. I am not one of those who believe that a Governor should be remote-controlled.
A Governor should be free to take actions and decisions to pursue programmes, projects and policies he believes in. A Governor must be in charge and I have always encouraged Governor Diri to take charge and to also take responsibility at all times.
In the process, where he deems it, he can consult stakeholders for their inputs and advice and this is what the Governor does with me and others. This is why we did not enter into any agreement nor give the Governor any condition for our full and total support other than to do his best for the state and the Ijaw nation and in doing so, he has our continuous support.
Having successfully led the efforts to enthrone him and his government, my job is done as a midwife. As one elder statesman aptly put it, I have conducted myself as a midwife and not as a nurse since leaving office with that personal conviction. My prayer is that he should do better than I did in the interest of the state and the Ijaw nation.
Our people should disregard any propaganda peddled by anyone no matter how highly placed to be false, unfounded and mischievous attempt to malign me and cause needless and non-existing division in the state. I urge all our supporters to be patient as the government is yet young and I am sure that the Governor being a foundation member of my Government, knows all our people and where they fit in and as time goes these issues will be resolved. For the purpose of emphasis, I do not for any reason approve of or support any such unacceptable attack on our government.