Alamieyeseigha and the burden of Leadership

In an article published in the Guardian Newspaper of 21st December, 2004, I quoted former President Obasanjo’s letter to Alamieyeseigha titled Commendation and Gratitude.

“On behalf of my delegation, I write to thank you most sincerely for your very warm hospitality during my visit to Bayelsa from 9th -10th May, 2004. I want to place on record, my personal satisfaction with what I saw in terms of infrastructural development during this most recent visit, which is a far cry from the scenario during my visit in March 2001. This positive development has engendered the renewed confidence of the people in themselves, and in your administration. I commend you and members of your government for your achievements, especially in the special area of healthcare delivery, ICT, provision of housing and road development.

Mr. Governor, allow me to urge you to do everything possible to ensure that all the on-going projects are completed to ensure that none becomes an abandoned project, please.

Permit me to suggest that your achievements in the areas mentioned should be complemented by serious and sustained attention to agriculture, especially in the areas of rice, oil palm and cassava production as well as in fisheries and aqua-culture which are sustainable in your riverine ecosystem. Bayelsa is naturally well-positioned to reap significant benefits in these areas; it is also the fastest way to job-creation which, in turn, would contribute significantly to permanently addressing the issue of youth restiveness.

I am taking the opportunity of what I have seen in Bayelsa to ask Shell Petroleum Development Company do more about clearing pollution within the creeks in the state.

I must, once again, commend your efforts in dealing with youth restiveness and crisis in Bayelsa State. I appreciate the efforts that you have made in concert with the various community leaders and associations in the Ijaw nation to ensure that irrespective of social demarcations and differences, they eschew violence and confrontation as a means of resolving problems. I urge you to continue to do everything you can towards the promotion of peace, harmony, stability and development in the state and throughout the Ijaw nation.

Kindly convey my heartfelt thanks to your dear wife who was a wonderful hostess not just to me but also to my wife. Give my very warm thanks to all members of your government, staff and traditional rulers who contributed to make our visit so memorable.

The points made about Federal projects in Bayelsa particularly roads, Police Headquarters, Polytechnic, Central Bank Building, NNPC Mega Petrol Station on which I have made comments that will be followed up immediately.

I thank you for your support, for the Federal Government to make the lives of all Nigerians better through your efforts in Bayelsa and as you do more for Bayelsa people and for Nigeria.

Olusegun Obasanjo, President”.

In concluding the article I wrote “Nevertheless, it is admitted that Alamieyeseigha’s story is not complete yet. Nor, can he reasonably be expected to do all and everything to bring Bayelsa in to the 21st Century. What is not in doubt, as Obasanjo attested to, is that Alamieyeseigha is well on the mark to laying a solid foundation for the subsequent growth of Bayelsa from a brackish backwater State into a hub of nationally critical socio-economic activities in a peaceful environment that ensures, among others, adequate returns for potential investors in a wide array of investment opportunities. Alamieyeseigha can only record more success if he continues to bear with equanimity, the burden of leadership that is partly indicated by the unwholesome tactics of political detractors.