By Isaac Money.
For eight years Bayelsans felt they were ruled in an autocratic atmosphere and also observed that more monies came into the state inform of monthly allocations .
But to their chagrin, less developmental infrastructures were seen on ground.
Bayelsans, the emasculated masses, were eager for a change and believed in the power of the ballot box.
And the time came, as they trooped to the polls to cast their votes to effect the needed change through the ballot box.
At the end of the elections, God, the Supreme deity listened to their supplications, and the man of the masses in person of David Lyon became the Governor-elect.
The shout of ” God has heard our prayers” rained the air , as the hitherto graveyard-like state capital became very lively following preparations for the swearing- in ceremony for the “government of the people”.
The festive mood in the state, especially the state capital was however short lived just two days to the D-Day when the Supreme Court, the highest Court in the land, gave judgement on a pending case between the PDP and the APC Deputy Governor elect.
The rest is now history as the Supreme Court ruling disqualified the Deputy Governor -elect of the APC, and pronounced all the votes as invalid . Hence the disqualification constitutionally affected the governor- elect, as the osmosis affected all other victory of the APC team including the votes.
The Supreme Court judgement which came like a bad dream to the hitherto masses supported and favoured candidate of the APC threw the whole political atmosphere into a rancorous situation .
This spurred the large supporters of APC which was the party to bit, went haywire.
They could not believe what had happened as the shock wave made several persons to faint, some were rushed to the hospital. As High Blood Pressure among the multitude of supporters became the order of the day.
After hoping against hope, and sensing a hopeless atmosphere, the multitude of supporters went berserk as their anger went wild like the harmattan fire. Several places were touched to express anger against the Apex Court’s judgement which they believed never considered how they had worked tirelessly for the high expectations, for a new government that was almost in their palms but suddenly taken away.
Amongst the places touched to express their disappointment was the multimillion Naira Professor Steve Azaiki Public Library in Yenagoa . The place has been a vortex of intellectualism as World acclaimed educationists from several countries of the World visited.Some described as the best in Africa.
Just on Thursday, while on tour of places touched by the angry supporters of APC in the wake of the crisis , both the new Governor on board, Mr. Douye Diri and Prof. Azaiki re-echoed and decried how it’s not the best for a citadel of knowledge or an educational outfit this type to be vandalised no matter the provocation. The duo described the acts as crude and likened it to people of the Stone Age.
Prof. Azaiki, an Educationist and Politician, shortly after inspecting the extent of destruction in company of the Governor , expressed his feelings on the destruction of the pet project he used World connections to built over the years .
Attributing the actions of the aggrieved APC protesters to the inciting statements from Adams Oshiomole, the embattled national Chairman who is currently on suspension, Azaiki says he should be arrested for inciting the aggrieved APC Bayelsa youths .
“Adams Oshiomole should be arrested and prosecuted for inciting APC supporters to go on rampage in Bayelsa state. For inciting violence, demonstrations and destructions.”
Further recalling what happened at the premises of the Multimillion Naira library on the day of protest, Azaiki noted : “when the protesters came , they met some professors from the Federal University of Otueke (FUO) using the place and they beat them up. It is very sad.”
“This place has been a place where you come and seek knowledge..Professors from various universities come here for knowledge .
He further expressed disbelief that in modern day Nigeria a group of youths would think of destroying or vandalising an educational outfit like a library. He says the plethora of condemnations from across the World should teach people of the state that it’s primitive to touch an educational outfit in the face provocation.
“But all in alI, I believe that the outcry, the condemnation, across the World of what has happened should teach us a lesson , we shouldn’t make Bayelsans look stupid.
“Not all of us are stupid and foolish . What happened here , is unbelievable, we are ashamed of ourselves .
Very hopeful that the new governor in person of Diri,would live up to the expectations of the people in situations like this, he urged the governor to sanction those involved.
His words: “I m happy our Governor is hear to sympathise with us, I believe that rhe governor will do all what it takes to be recorded for history .
“Those who have done this should never ever be given opportunity to hold offices in this country. I believe that the governor will do justice to that . I believe that at the end of the day we will be happy that our governor have taken the necessary steps .
Prof. Azaiki, who is currently representing Yeangoa/ Kolokuma Federal Constitutuemcy in the House of Representatives, had earlier described the library as : “This is what is called Non civic segelese, it is for the public not for me, saying “It is not my personal property ,is a public library .
To further express the place of the destroyed library in the Country , the Professor said in answer to a question “The Director General of the Nigerian Library Board came here and when he went back home, he wrote us a letter saying this the best library he has seen in this country in terms of content and organised presentation .
“.So what you have as best in your country somebody will come and destroy it “, the Prof. lamented , stressing “What we have lost is invaluable . “There are books that you can never never get.
“We brought books in from across the World .unfortunately some of them took the books and burnt them.it is a shameful thing. We may not even get some of the books taken away, some of them burnt .
“The museum paths .There are pieces of items that cannot even put values on those items, I cannot put in any value” he said in answer to another question .
He added that famous paintings, paintings that were donated by museums across the World .People have come from South Africa, Germany, America , England, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Chinna, and they said they have never seen this in Africa.
A collection of African arts, a collection of key European Arts have been taken away I cannot put a value. If you want me to put a value , it will be difficult. I don’t want to say something that will send a wrong message to the World, the Prof added almost in tears.
Governor Douye Diri, shortly after on the sport assessment of the level of damage done to the library , commented thus: “They visited the property, the Professor Steve Azaiki Public Library .
“And when you see the level of destruction there , you begin to wonder, even at war, even people at war there are certain places marked as sacred, such as Libraries, schools are not touched .
“But you begin to wonder if these people are from the Stone Age .The Library was touched to that level.
“I am short of wiping and crying for my state Bayelsa with what I have seen.
Other areas touched by the APC protesters which the governor visited included rRadio Bayelsa, former Governor Seriake Dickson’s private house along AIT road, Hon. OO Osusu’s Compound, former SA Security’s Compound, the judiciary and other areas .
Sounding more of warning to those who may take the new xadmnsirrstion for a ride in terms making incessant troubles in the state, governor Diri said : Again let me sound this warning , we are not a weak government .Nobody can take laws into their hands . “And nobody can visit this on public properties in Bayelsa , on private individuals, and this decree of lawlessness will not be condoned in Bayelsa state .
“And I think the best thing for people like that is to stay away from Bayelsa state .
“We are peace loving people .
“We are people who have been known for hospitality,
“The Ijaws have been very hospitable people”