Senator Clever Ikisikpo, a former Senator of the Bayelsa East Senatorial District and a Kinsman to the Former President,Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed as “misplaced” the claims by the Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa that his political rise in the state was made posible by the Former President, insisting that Sylva made him what he is today.
Senator Ikisikpo also dismissed as laughable the claims by political actors in the three states of Delta,Bayelsa and Rivers that the party belongs to the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality and Niger Delta region.
Senator Clever Ikisikpo,who made this known during the presentation of award bestowed on him by indigent students who benefited from his scholarship programmes at his country home in Kolo town in Ogbia Local Government Council of the State, cleared the air on the alleged claim that after he benefitted from the closeness to Former President Jonathan and the PDP with elective positions he dumped them for the APC.
He said the shabby treatment given to him by the PDP led to his defection, “As a Senator representing Bayelsa East, I was the second in command in Bayelsa. After the President then, the next person was myself, but I was humiliated to the background. Have you seen a senator, whereby Ogbia people are meeting and he goes there, they say, I was not invited. Have you ever seen it before. I came to Bayelsa and there was a PDP meeting in Baybridge. I drove there, but I was told I was not invited.”
” Who is the Ogbia man that was bigger than me in PDP at that meeting. I was asked to leave that meeting and I left. Will you stay in a place whereby you are not needed? When I saw all of that, I felt I was no longer needed in the PDP, so I defected. When I defected to the All Progressives Congress, I was castigated. So many people wrote so many things on the Facebook. I laughed, I said they did not know what was happening.”
On the alleged Former President Jonathan’s Ipolitical push, Senator Ikisikpo dismissed any political liason between them other than being from the same Ogbia as the former President, “In 1998 when I ran for the chairmanship primary for the PDP, it was Ambassador Otiotio who sponsored me. I won that election. Goodluck Jonathan did not know me from Adam. If you present Senator Clever Marcus Ikisipo before Jonathan, he did not know my name.”
” It was Otiotio that sponsored me. I won the primaries, they changed the result. I cried to myself and entered my home. The same Otiotio asked me to go and pick form for House of Assembly.”
” It was Otiotio that sponsored me to the House of Assembly. Jonathan did not know me from Adam until I entered the House of Assembly. But when I entered the House of Assembly, I know the tradition of Ogbia man.”
”The tradition of the Ogbia man is that whoever that is occupying the highest position will automatically become the leader. So, since Goodluck Jonathan was the deputy governor of the state then, the highest person, so he is our leader. But Inengesi said no. Jonathan was a neophyte; he did not know politics and must not be our leader.”
“He was a Speaker then in Rivers State. I asked him when you were speaker for three weeks and Ada George removed your security details, Ogbia people organised the youth to come and secure you, how will you say that Jonathan must not be our leader. Inengesi was able to take all the politicians to himself, I was alone with Jonathan, I was Jonathan’s commander.”
” I risked my life. I would have been killed because of Goodluck Jonathan.To be candid, without me, Alamieyeseigha would not have used Goodluck Jonathan for a second term, because at a point, Alamieyeseigha realised that Goodluck had no route, Goodluck cannot give him votes in Ogbia and he was to drop Goodluck Jonathan. Later, one person came and joined me to prevail on Alamieyeseigha and that made Alamieyeseigha to use him for his second term.”
“I am not saying that Goodluck did not help me. He helped me. In my House of Reps, his wife and himself really helped me. But Goodluck did not know about my being a Senator. He did know. He did not know how I became a Senator even though he was the President.”
“Some of my boys came to my office when I was in the House of Reps. They asked me to go and run for the Senate, I said how, you do not go to politics without structure. If you want to run for any election, you must have a structure. I told them I did not have the structure because we were fighting Timipre Sylva. Would Sylva allow me? They said I should not worry. They asked for some money and reluctantly, I gave them.”
“They left and came back to give me the report. They needed money again, I gave some money. They left again. Then there was a programme in Abuja, a politican from Otuoke, asked me to run for the Senate, I told him you know how politics is, if you do not have a structure, you can’t win elections. The governor has all the structures, how can I win. He said I should not worry. He introduced me to a Chief of Staff to Sylva and took me to him (Sylva). It was Sylva now who sponsored me.”
” Till I took form, Jonathan did not know. Timipre Sylva did everything for me. So, my Senate, the credit is for Timipre Sylva, my House of Assembly, the credit is Ambassador Otiotio. So, when many were posting on Facebook saying Goodluck did this and that for me, I was not perturbed. Goodluck benefitted from me more than I benefitted from him. If I had joined the forces against him, Goodluck would not have become deputy governor for the second term and where would he become a President? ”
“When we started the scholarship programe, I warned the examiners that what I wanted was transparency. The programme was not to segregate or differentiate those who supported me or not, but that as far as you pass the scholarship exams, the scholarship should be awarded.”
“So, I want the best from and they diligently worked towards that, that is why today I am thanking them. They made the programme possible..i want to commend the students union. Today, I am no more in office; if I were in office and you come to give me this award, people would have said you are doing it because of money. This is the best time for you to appreciate and the world will know that you are doing the right thing..”
On the PDP is an Ijaw Party claim, Senator Ikisikpo noted that though the laughable claim seems to have worked for the PDP during the 2016 Governorship election in Bayelsa, the claim is laughable as no Ijaw man was present when the party was formed in 1998.
Senator Clever Ikisikpo, who was a two term House of Representative member and one term Senator from Bayelsa state on the platform of the PDP and now a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) noted that inspite of the emergence of an Ijaw indigene under the platform of the PDP, the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality are ashamed to be associated with the party and faired better under the leadership of the APC.
Ikisikpo said though the PDP in Bayelsa was formed in an hotel, the claim that the PDP is an Ijaw Party is laughable and deceitful.
According to Senator Ikisikpo, “We formed PDP in a hotel and I was one of the first persons to run elections under the party. I contested for Ogbia local government chairmanship. Those of you who are somehow old enough, I won the election but by God’s providence, I did not become the chairman. At the end of the day, I did not become. So, I was among the first set of people to form PDP.”
“So, when somebody says PDP is an Ijaw party, I laugh. What makes PDP to become an Ijaw party? When they formed PDP at the national level, was there an Ijaw man to joined them to form PDP? There was no Ijaw man that joined them to form the PDP. We only urged them to come and form it in Bayelsa State. But by God’s providence, through Obasanjo, an Ijaw man became President, that does not mean it is an Ijaw party.”
On the agitation by some few indigenes of the Niger Delta against President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Clever Ikisikpo noted that those criticsm against President Buhari is misplaced and should be directed at Former President Goodluck Jonathan for failing to bring needed development to the Niger Delta region.
According to him,”I want to tell you some bitter truth. There is an adage that says, ‘before you remove the speck in someone’s eyes, first remove the log in your own eyes.God gave us an elephant but we allowed the elephant to get rotten. Some may not get the adage perhaps. God gave us an elephant but we allowed the elephant to rotten.”
” If we had judiciously used that elephant properly, I think by now, Bayelsa East would have become a ‘small Dubai’.But we misused the opportunity. Through that opportunity, we could not get oil blocks, through that opportunity, we could not get even modular refineries in Bayelsa East. Bayelsa East is the first place to produce crude oil in Nigeria, but go to where they call Oloibiri where oil was first discovered in commercial quantity, the place is a thick forest, where you can kill the biggest animal on earth. Is it supposed to be so?”
‘When I entered the House of Representatives in 2003, my first motion was how to make Oloibiri a place that would be conducive to every Ogbia person, every Nembe person and every Brass person. I moved a motion that the Federal Government should build an oil museum there.Three committees came to assess. A beautiful resolution was given, but nothing happened.”
“When I entered the House of Reps, the first position given to me was deputy chairman, House Committee on Appropriation. The former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan, was our chairman. I told him in our first budget meetings that what I wanted was the Yenegwe-Okaki-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road. When we met with the Budget Office, they asked if the road was a federal government road. I said yes. And they said, go and bring documents. We got the documents at Federal Ministry of Works and presented them.”
“That was a project that was started during Melford Okilo’s administration, but was abandoned and it went into oblivion. Today, the project has been forsaken. Like I said, we were given an elephant, if the elephant that we were given, had used the opportunity very well, that road would have moved up to Brass today.”
“My dear brothers and sisters, if I say we should appreciate Buhari, they will say why we will appreciate Buhari. You may not know why I am saying so. Today, what our own cannot give to us, Buhari has given to us.Today, an Ogbia man, Dr. Eruani Azibapu, has been given a licence to build a private refinery. We had an opportunity given to the people of Ogbia, Nembe and Brass to own oil blocks in the past, did we get any? No.”
”But Buhari has given one of us, a woman, I do not want to mention her name, an oil block. That is why I am saying we should appreciate Buhari. He is doing well for the Niger Delta people. Because if the refinery is built today, it will take not less than 10,000 workers. Will Brass, Ogbia and Nembe, not get up to 3,000 workers there? Then, would you not be empowered?”
“So, are we not supposed to appreciate Buhari? The oil block we could not get is to be given to one us. If oil block is given to an Ogbia, Nembe or Brass person, then are we not going to get one of the Alakijas, are we not going to get one of the Danjumas. Oil block is one the things that make those people billionaires. Today, Danjuma can give somebody N2bn without batting an eyelid..”
”Finally, I want to also say we need to appreciate Buhari for fighting corruption and bringing positive change in the country. My friend, one of the serving senators from Bayelsa State, asked me, so, if Buhari had not taken over government, so we would not know the quantum of amount coming into Bayelsa State.”
”A minister from Bayelsa then would use $80m, approximately (N28bn) to buy a yacht for her personal enjoyment alone. That amount, N28bn can dualise a road from Ogbia to Brass. Those were the kinds of aides that we had that were supervising the money coming into Bayelsa. Instead of them to use the money to benefit you and me, they used the money to buy a yacht. What is a yacht? “
”So, we have to appreciate Buhari. Today, he is really helping this country to change things for us. And I believe that as time goes on, all of us will feel the impact. If I may ask you, for the past 10 years, have you seen light in Ogbia? No. But is it supposed to be so? No. So, who do you blame? You blame yourself because all the resources were with you but they were not well utilised.”
“Last night, I got stuck at Emeyal. We reversed. We wanted to go to the community, they refused me to enter. Is it supposed to be so. There was a day somebody sent something to my Whatsapp and the person was talking any how. That is why I said before you remove the speck in somebody’s eyes, you remove the log in your own eyes. And if you fail to remove the log in your eyes, who do you blame? You blame yourself because all the resources were with you.”
“At times, I have to thank God for somebody like former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Sometime the Niger Delta people were crying, we want resource control. Through Obasanjo, our son became President. He asked him to do a resource control for them. Did it happen? “