The Bayelsa State Governor, Hon, Seriake Dickson has urged leaders across the country, especially those in the South-South to exercise restraint in their utterances in order not to heat up the polity.
Governor Dickson sounded this note of caution when he received the South-South Monarchs Forum who paid him a courtesy call at Government House, Yenagoa.
According to the Governor, the call has become imperative in view of the peculiar challenges facing the country and the need to maintain a peaceful and stable political climate ahead of the 2015 elections.
Governor Dickson who enjoined leaders to employ persuasion, consensus building and engagement, reasoned that doing so will contribute significantly to nation-building as well as promote harmonious co-existence.
“I’ve always emphasized the need for all of us leaders to build consensus and promote better understanding in our country. In my remarks a few days back during the Isaac Boro Memorial Lecture, I made it clear that the times we are in, call for fence-mending, bridge-building and repairing of even bridges that appear to have broken down.
“That is the challenge of nation building that we all face as leaders of this country. Let me use this opportunity to sound a note of caution to some of our brothers and even leaders who appeared to be using the language of war instead of the language of politics and persuasion which is critical to us going forward.
According to Hon. Dickson, the language of threat and war could result in to violence and does not augur well for a nation like Nigeria that is dare need of peace, stability and progress.
The Governor, who commended the traditional rulers for their abiding support to their respective state Chief Executives and the federal government, enjoined them to intensify their efforts at promoting peace to enable President Goodluck Jonathan implement his transformation agenda to the maximum benefit of Nigerians.
“I will also like to enjoin all of us leaders of this country particularly leaders of our zone to be more interested in doing what you are doing; using all the platforms and contacts that we have to build bridges that will promote harmonious co-existence because as they say “to whom much is given, much is expected” so, we have much responsibility in this zone perhaps more than others”.
Responding to the demands of the royal fathers, Governor Dickson commended his predecessor for donating a piece of land for the construction of the Forum’s secretariat.
While pledging support for the project, Hon. Dickson promised to reach out to his colleagues in the zone to facilitate its commencement and timely completion.
“You talked about how my predecessor made an allocation of a plot of land. I want to thank him for that and that was the right thing to do. We will support this body in the little way we can and also talk to my colleagues (I’m sure you will also send messages to them) so that we will join hands to see that a befitting headquarters is put up here in no distant time”.
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of the South-South Monarchs Forum, HRM King Edmund Daukoru said they were in the state to discuss issues of critical importance to the zone and country such as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), security and steps to strengthen cohesion within the political class.
King Daukoru, who is also the Amayanabo of Nembe in Bayelsa State called on politicians in the region to close ranks, adding that the Forum on its part has started building appropriate linkages with the south western and eastern region ahead of the 2015 presidential elections.