Edmund Daukoru: An Emerging Godfather in Bayelsa State Politics
Mr. Sabella Ogbobode Abidde
For several years both Chief Lamidu Adedibu and Mr. Chris Uba bullied and intimidated their opponents. Those who refused to submit to their will and wishes found themselves in the doghouse or at the bottom of the barrel. The mental and physical pain both men visited on Oyo and Anambra politics and psyche will not soon be forgotten. Luckily, the insidious and poisonous tentacles of both men have been contained, and the rule of law and common sense is prevailing.
Whereas Oyo and Anambra state and the rest of the country is now checkmating political godfatherism, a political monster is rising and coming to life in the creeks and waterways of Bayelsa State: an egregious and ominous cloud is hovering over the state -- an act likely to awaken primordial pain and suspicion. The perpetrator of this insidious political trend is Dr. Edmund Doukoru, the current Minister for Energy.
There is already a crisis in the Niger Delta -- the crisis between the federal government, the oil companies and aggrieved communities and militant groups. We cannot afford to add more complications. We cannot afford, and must not encourage a situation whereby an individual goes about the state -- using his stupendous wealth and the power of his office -- to cause commotion and awaken negative sentiments that have been quiescent for a long time. For that reason, unless Daukoru’s venomous tentacles and activities and pronouncements are checkmated, a wider and more potent crisis may envelope the state.
As an Ijaw man, Doukoru has the right to fully involve himself in all matters concerning the state. But he, like every one else, must do so within the confines of the law. His recent actions and pronouncements, and his involvement in the state’s politics, has not only been perilous, it has been detrimental to the wellbeing of the people. Using the power of his formidable office and his vast wealth and influence within the PDP and the executive council, he intimidates, terrorizes and browbeat opponents and all those who refuse to acquiesce to his wishes.
There are banana in Bayelsa State, but Bayelsa must not be turned into a banana republic by Daukoru, or by anyone else. This is a man with messianic complex who lords over people, negating and canceling their will and aspirations.
What does Daukoru want? Well, whatever he wants, one must be careful because, like all petty gods, political godfathers are never content; like all petty gods, political godfathers have insatiable appetite for power, money and rascality. They play by their own rules. Daukoru is not different from Adedibu and Uba. In this instance, he wants to install his nephew and former assistant as the PDP Gubernatorial Candidate, and eventually, as the state governor -- all in contravention of the expressed will of the people.
After Governor Jonathan Goodluck was selected the PDP Vice Presidential Candidate, the people turned to and wanted Chief Francis Doukpola as the PDP Candidate, and eventually, as the state governor. The majority of the Chiefs in the state have expressed their preference; majority of the youth groups have expressed their preference; and so have the majority of socio-cultural and professional groups. He is highly regarded within and all over the state’s eight local government areas. And in fact, in deference to the vision, aptitude, skills, reputation and character of Doukpola, all the major players and opinion makers within the state and party have lined up in support of his candidacy.
But unfortunately, Doukoru will not and does not want to hear or know of this. All he wants is to install a man, who is neither qualified nor universally loved and respected, as the candidate and the next governor of the state. His preference is Mr. Timipre Silva who happens to be his nephew and onetime assistant. Not much is known about Silva. Even so there are allegations and whispers about scandalous and nefarious activities by and within his circle of friends and engagements.
Why is Doukoru fighting “toot and nail” to have his nephew as the next governor of the state? He wants a puppet in the Bayelsa Government House (Creek Haven). Some have alluded to his insatiable greed, blind ambition and a place in history. Ever since his schemes and machinations were discovered, there has been concerted opposition against his ambition. He is today in battle against the rightful heir to the Nembe throne. But having his man entrenched in Creek Haven House will assures him of his life long dream. The Nembe people don’t want him as their traditional ruler. The good people of Bayelsa state don’t want his nephew as the next governor of the state. But for Edmund Daukoru, “it is a do or die affair.” But it need not be.
It need not be so. It has been eloquently said elsewhere that “Elections are about ones hope for the future…about honest service to the people and to posterity…about the man who can best manage the state’s human and natural resources. This man and his team will then work hard to move the state forward, elevating the standard of living of the vast majority of the people vis-à-vis human, infrastructural and spiritual development…right now the man best suited and best qualified to take the people to Canaan, to the Promised Land is Chief Francis Amaebikidou Doukpola.”
The PDP Executive Council, The INEC, EFCC, the general electorate and the Bayelsa State electorate should know that Doukoru’s actions and pronouncements are not only shameful and detestable; they are capable of causing long-lasting commotion and instability within the state.
For a long time both Lamidu Adedibu and Chris Uba became the law in their respective states. They became monstrous and bombastic and disregarded basic decency. Although they were eventually contained and declawed, the pain and agony they wrought on their people lingers on. Bayelsa State can not afford similar situation. The people of the state must not be put through such meat grinder. Hence Edmund Daukoru must be stopped.