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Thursday 17 January 2019
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HENRY DICKSON AND THE PRISONERS OF KALAKUTA

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HENRY DICKSON AND THE PRISONERS OF KALAKUTA

By Binaebi M. Oyeghe

Opinions expressed by Sayelba Times Contributors are their own.

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Now as the next governorship election draws close the failure or refusal of Governor Dickson to extend a hand of economic fellowship to the multitude of unemployed Bayelsa youths by providing jobs for them or at least soft loans for business purposes to drive SME (which in turn will boast the state’s economy) will definitely be his albatross. 

 

One important area in which the administration of Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has achieved an abysmally very poor or no performance is job creation and the stimulation of employment generation. More than three years down the life of the administration governor Dickson is yet to provide even a share of the employment opportunities he promised Bayelsa youths during his campaign. Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson had promised during his campaign to create massive employment opportunities as a strategic measure to curb youth restiveness and social vices in the state, since he clearly understands the social, economic and psychological link between unemployment and the drastic rise in social vices. Despite the rhetoric of persuasion and propaganda of calculated misinformation majority of Bayelsa people will score the governor zero percent on job creation.

You will recall that a year into the Restoration Administration some unemployed graduates lead by my humble self tasked the government to create jobs as well as stimulate job creation. To awaken the government to its urgent responsibility we had to utilize the popular social weapon of mass protest: albeit non-violently because we had to demonstrate the culture of civility both in character and in learning. Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson’s feverish response was to unleash the police to arrest, brutalize, and clamped 22 brave ones into detention in the dehumanizing Kalakuta Cell with the hard criminals. Upon release we were intimidated for several months with the court to break us down psychologically. That was in 2013 and we survived. Discretion, they say, is the better part of valour. Now we are back in the spirit of Aluta!

While the administration harps upon the excuse that “government can’t employ everybody,” it seem to have forgotten that “everyone has the right to work” as contained in Article 23 of the UN Charter on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sadly, the government hasn’t even injected any amount of seriousness to implement policies and programmes to facilitate private sector growth to stimulate job creation, yet the governor shuts the doors against the helpless public to employment in MDAs and even the few academic institutions in the state and open the back door to recruit relatives, friends, friends of friends and allies. This, indeed, is a great disservice and injustice to the common people.

Now as the next governorship election draws close the failure or refusal of Governor Dickson to extend a hand of economic fellowship to the multitude of unemployed Bayelsa youths by providing jobs for them or at least soft loans for business purposes to drive SME (which in turn will boast the state’s economy) will definitely be his albatross.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: “Not only…future economic soundness but the very soundness of … democratic institutions depends on the determination of …government to give employment to idle men.” (And I add, women too!).

With this scenario Dickson has unwittingly given every unemployed youth in Bayelsa State the moral justification to mobilize against his second coming. Well, the voyage of time is hurrying near and the governor can still take a drastic and desperate step to do the needful if he is to win some measure of sympathy and support from unemployed segment of the Bayelsa voting population.

Egberi fa!



SAYELBA TIMES is an independent news group that focuses on original investigative reporting about critical issues facing all Niger Delta States including other parts of the world. Our contents are positive, creative, truthful and relevant.


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