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Biakpara unfolds his support, chances to win INC Presidential election

Honourable (Wing Commander) Peter Yerindi Biakpara (Rtd), Fss, Psc, a major contender of the forthcoming April 30, 2021 Ijaw National Congress (INC) Presidential election is a man of impeccable high character and outstanding leadership qualities.

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Honourable (Wing Commander) Peter Yerindi Biakpara (Rtd), Fss, Psc

 In fact, he is a renowned pacesetter, trailblazer and an embodiment of the qualities of a good leader- communication, integrity, accountability, humility, resilience, vision, influence, positivity, delegation and confidence.

He is a man of wisdom and consummate wealth of experience gathered in the various selfless services he had rendered to humanity as a retired senior military officer in the Nigeria Army, one time Honourable Member House of Representatives, former Special Adviser to the Governor of Delta State on Niger Delta Affairs, former Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, former Vice President Ijaw National Congress (INC), former Member, Governing Councils of Higher Institutions of Learning, and currently Member of Governing Council, Delta State University, Abraka.

The sage is also a distinguished Alumnus Award 2014, University of Ibadan Asaba Chapter and a High Chief, the Gbafamowei of Tuomo Kingdom.

In this interview with Global Overseer Newspaper, the elder statesman bares his mind on his support and chances to sweep the poll, his development agenda and his determination to carry his fellow contestants along in his administration among other sundry issues.  Excerpts: -

Q: What actually compels you to join this INC presidential race?

Ans: Well, I am not joining anything. I am part and parcel of the struggle. Going into the race is part of the struggle. I have been there and therefore I know all the problems of Ijaw nation. And I feel if I have the driving seat I will be able to help the Ijaw nation as a leader of the INC. That is why I’m there. I have been two or three years ago now when they started, it didn’t end well. But even before then I saw the way it was going I decided to stand aside and look. This time, the governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri is very sincere. And he is going to do a credible election. He has appointed very credible people into the Eleco. And I am happy that they will conduct credible election.

Q: Why do you want the electorates to vote for you?

Ans: Yes, because I am able. Particularly Ijaw is full of very credible people, including those other three that are contesting with me. For the time now, I consider myself the best out of those contesting. That does not mean I am the best Ijaw man. No. But I think I will do better because of the rare wealth of experience that I have gathered in the past 75 years in the military, I gathered in the present politics of today; I have also gathered experience in the government of the state government. I have also gathered experience in the management of the Ijaw National Congress itself. I don’t think you would expect more from anybody to get experience in all these three, four areas. And if the person is really worth a person, he should have gathered enough things try to believe that he can lead the people.

Q: How would you assess your support and chances of winning this election considering the fact that you have other contestants with you?

Ans: My support is authentic serene support. It is not a sycophantic support which is like a wind that blow and wither away. My support is like heat that comes from Oakwood and it will sustain the Ijaw nation.

Q: So your chances of winning is?

Ans: Certainly 100 percent unstained. Fighter, what does the Ijaw nation need? Unstained, experienced fighter and credible so many years in Ijaw nation. So, I am not just a starter. I am not a starter. I have never work in an oil company where I cannot even talk. Anywhere I am, I have been able to talk. Isn’t when Ijaw leadership is trusted upon me that I cannot talk? If I can talk when I was in the military, which is why they asked me to please leave for us. They asked me to write resignation letter. I resigned because I was talking too much. And what was I talking about? The plight of my people when I was in the military. And I have been doing that since I have been in the politics of this country. Is it when I am at the head of the people I have seen as being disfranchised and scattered that I will not talk appropriately? Oh yes, I will talk. I will not just talk. I will do too. I will do, provided that is an important thing, I will do. I will know the job I have been doing.

Professor, yes they talk and do nothing. Na talk we go take go market? Alright.

Q: As a patriotic son of Ijaw nation, what do you identify as the basic problems facing Ijaw people?

Ans: Ijaws are not different from any other group of people. We were unfortunate not to have gone to school earlier enough. Therefore, before we know what life in Nigeria was all about they have taken everything. All we are doing today is trying to get out of that lacuna we found ourselves. Is not a talk you want? We need a doer to be able to solve our problems. Our problem is that they have taken everything before we are wakening up.  Now that we have awakened, is not crying that we want to cry. We have to struggle to get out of the bed. Struggle to go there to the market and struggle with them to get what is ours.

Q: What would be your development agenda as we are expecting that certainly by the power of God you will win this election, what will you do when you are there?

Ans: I won’t do anything by myself. I am going to galvanize Ijaw nation for everybody to do something for Ijaw nation to grow. If I stand here to say I will do this, I will do that I am lying. But Ijaw nation will do so many things. For example, why don’t we have an industry of our own? Is it me that will do industry? No. Ijaw people must bring industry too. Why don’t we have houses in our villages? Is it me who will begin to build houses for everybody? No. Everybody must feel the pain that….. There are so many wealthy Ijaw people. But they are building their houses in township. I will change the mentality of the Ijaw people. That is the main thing I want to do. Changing mentality, we must first of all realise that we have problem. And therefore show them the direction; that is what I am going to do. So, that is the direction to develop Ijaw territory.

Q: Who is Honourable (Wing Commander) Biakpara Peter Yerindi?

Ans: Well, I have said it before, fighter. Fighter for the oppressed. And in all my life that is what I have been doing, fighting for the oppressed. If there is a problem here, one person is being oppressed you will see me on that side. That is why I am with the Ijaw people.

Q: And what is your intention to carry your opponents along if you are finally sworn in as the president of Ijaw National Congress?

Ans: That is the best question you have even asked. You see, the way I see it is that all those contesting with me have something in their head that can contribute. And therefore, I will tap on that zeal. Not necessarily that others are not having ideas, but these are the people who are bold enough to say I want to give Ijaw nation my ideas. So, I praise all of them. Whether they are this or that or that they are already to serve. And therefore, I will bring them on board to join me to bring their ideas which we will give to Ijaw nation.

Q: What is your message to the electorates and the people of Ijaw nation as regards your candidature?

Ans: They should open their eyes clearly to know the different between talk and work to see the different between experience and wishful thinking; to see the different between those who genuinely looking at INC as a place to get something for him or herself, but to see the person who is coming to INC to give something to Ijaw nation. I represent that class of the Ijaw people who have good intention to work selflessly for the betterment of Ijaw nation. In fact, I want to say in quote that “I have got everything.” But what is left is to give what I have got to Ijaw nation. “How many of them who are contesting have got everything? I am the only one.” So, I have nothing else to do but to give. But most of them are likely to come and get from the Ijaw nation that is already oppressed, they will oppress them further to get. I think that is what they have been doing. I don’t want to go into details. They have been getting from Ijaw nation. But me, I am coming to give to Ijaw nation.

Q: What do you have to say in addition to all that you have said to wind up our discussion?

Ans: Ijaw nation should be very hopeful but the only way their hope can be translate to reality is when they vote me inside as the driver, the president of Ijaw nation. Then all their hopes and wishes will be realized.

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