“Bayelsa guber is not about party, but sincerity”
Hon. Preye Influence Oseke, is a member of the House of Representatives, representing Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State, in this chat with our correspondent, Ere-ebi AGEDAH, the APC lawmaker reveals that the party is prepared for the gubernatorial elections because it craves to nourish the people with the essence of true governance which is security and their overall welfare. Excerpts:
How prepared is your party for the November guber elections?
As a party we are prepared for the elections, if anyone thinks we are not prepared for the elections, then the person may not really understand how politics works.
The difference in activities taking place is this, the ruling party at the state level has been in government over the years in Bayelsa, they have had structures on ground and they are still the government that is ruling in the state.
So if you take a look at it and make comparison of what APC is doing and what PDP is doing, naturally you would have the feeling that APC is not doing much because we are an opposition party in the state, this is expected because we need to put our acts together. We do not just start jumping into the field because the game is just around the corner.
You need some bits of preparation and that is exactly what has been going on we are putting our acts together, structures are being internally established. We might not be in the media everyday but of course proper engagement that will drive the electoral process is ongoing, because we are aware that elections entails proper planning and strategy and not propaganda.
Some critics might say we are slow, but we are not moved by their comments because we know what we are doing and in a couple of days we will be up and running.
As regards election violence and rigging, what strategy does your party have to curb this menace?
Because elections has to do with people and everyone has diverse opinion when it comes to elections on the field certain circumstance could play out and it does not in any way mean that because an unpleasant event happened in a particular location, that is what has happened in all areas.
We have a government in the state that thrives on propaganda and for us as a party we are not prepared for any violence, ballot snatching or the likes.
For us we are ready for a proper election, we have the popularity because our candidate is loved by all Bayelsans, the direction that the PDP has taken us so far is obvious that they have done their best.
The people want a new Bayelsa, our people want power, they want security, they want employment for our teeming youths who are graduating from the universities, if there are no jobs how can we plan for tomorrow.
We need policies that will touch the ordinary man, if you eat a food at home and it disturbs your stomach, you will naturally eat something different next time. We as a people are tired of rhetoric, we want something new we just want someone that will develop the state.
It is not about APC or PDP, it is about the fact that some of our leaders have held power for too long and have not been able to impact positive development to the ordinary Bayelsan.
Let us not forget that the essence of governance is security and the welfare of the people, for us in the APC it is not a matter of political party, because we are also Bayelsans we are stakeholders in the Bayelsa project and if one among us has been given the privilege of leading us and is not leading us well as stakeholders in the Bayelsa project we have the responsibility to give the people a better alternative and David Lyon represents this better alternative.
I admonish Bayelsans to embrace David Lyon, he is the new person that will lead us to a different developmental level in the state and everyone in the 8 local governments should embrace him.
Your constituency is the biggest LGA in the state but lacks access road, what plans do you have in this direction?
As at today, we do not have any federal road that is running in to the hinterlands in Bayelsa State. It is expected that some of those federal roads that connects most of the local government headquarters to the federal roads is supposed to be constructed by the state government.
We are also aware that the present outgoing administrations has always made a lot of promises during its elections and at different public forum of how they will take a road to Oporoma the headquarters of my constituency, unfortunately this has not happened and nothing has been done.
However, as the APC is set for the elections in Bayelsa state coming up few weeks from now, as expected we know that we will have victory and when we have victory the incoming APC administration has a very robust development plan because I personally have been working with the APC candidate for well over 5years and I know his capacity, he is someone who is economical with words but a go getter who assuredly on assumption of office will connect most of our communities in the hinterlands by road, so we are looking forward to it.
Also, we will be looking at any opportunities under the some of the Niger delta intervention and parastatals.
Although we are aware of budgetary constrains it is always very difficult to push for a major project going into some of our communities we know that the national budget is a platform where you have contending geopolitical interest, so it is not a walk in the park that a road can be incorporated into the national budget, so the best bet is for the state government to embark on the construction of some of this roads and we believe that when the APC comes on board this are some of the priorities that will be handled.
You are the Deputy Chairman, Petroleum Upstream Committee, should your constituents remain expectant?
My constituency is one oil rich constituency that has a whole lot of multinationals operating on its land.
As expected of me, my job is to ensure that benefits that are acquirable to my people within the committee, issues of training of personnel’s in some specialised petroleum fields, our people have the opportunity of benefiting.
We also look forward to some of our people getting employed in the multinationals and if there is anything that we think the IOCs and government polices is of benefit to our people, as parliament what we try to do is to come up with laws either by way of amendments or new bills to see that some policy direction that benefits the community is pushed forward.
When Mr. President presented the budget he talked about the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB bill, that has been lying in parliament for succeeding administrations, so for us it is one of the priorities we have as the 9th Assembly.
Also, as a member and deputy chairman of the petroleum upstream it is our responsibility to ensure that we work very hard with all the stakeholders to ensure that the PIB bill is passed this time.
Obviously some of the components of the bill are of great benefit to our community and it is the responsibility of some of us from the host community to ensure that this all important bill is passed at this time
Can you throw some light on the budget?
It is a very elaborate and I think it is very good for us as a country.
For us as 9th parliament one of the fundamental objectives we have set for ourselves as parliament is to ensure that we have a December to January budget circle we are working very hard to ensure that this is brought to bed.
We must know that no matter the good your intentions are, immediately you have political hurdles like a budget that is passed at the middle of the year, it will naturally affect your plan, so we ask at what point the executive arm will begin implementation of such budget.
Fundamentally, the executive has taken the bold step to do the needful of presenting the budget timely and on our part we will scrutinize all the submission that have been made from the various MDAs and pass it quickly.
Looking at the face value of the budget, it is a well-intended plan for our country and I think if the executive arm starts implementing it early enough Nigeria will continuously make progress.
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