Yenagoa—Former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Chief Tonye Graham-Douglas, yesterday, said the Ijaw lost the Presidency to the North due to intrigues, conspiracies, betrayals and manipulations.
He spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during the fifth memorial lecture in memory of late educationist and former Commissioner for Transport in Bayelsa State, Chief Nicholas Frank-Opigo.
Graham-Douglas went down the memory lane on how the South-South geopolitical zone was birthed and the roles he and Frank-Opigo played in its actualisation, noting that the development gave the zone the opportunity to produce the president of the country.
He said “This political mustard seed sown eventually grew to be one of the greatest political metamorphosis and eventually gave the minorities of minority of the South-South geo-political zone the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The sojourn, as we observed was a giant stride with glorious acclamation, true emancipation and deliverance of the hitherto insignificant Ijaw nation. No sooner than was imagined, the situation suffered an infestation of political cankerworm, the consequence of which the centre, ethnically and parochially suffered. some caving in.
“The up and coming impeccable ‘Ijawness’ became in-cohesive with suspicion and mistrust, all culminating to the control by the evil spirit of politics defined as a concentric circle of intrigue, conspiracies, betrayals, manipulations and all kinds of societal rivalries.
“The ultimate resultant tsunami became inevitable. The greatest loser thereof became our great Ijaw nation and the South-South geopolitical region.”
He charged his Ijaw brothers and sisters not to despair.
“Instead, the Ijaw nation should go back to the drawing board to critically re-examine themselves. We have to re-examine where we are coming from, where we are and where we intend to be in the evolving politics of the Ijaw nation and South-South geopolitical zone.”
Also speaking, former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, extolled the virtues of Frank-Opigo, saying he was a true purveyor of knowledge and invested his resources accordingly.