A call for the dredging of Gele-Gele Sea Port
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Gele-Gele Sea Port; The Poverty of Nigeria’s Democracy
An open Letter to President Olusegun Obasanjo for the dredging of the age-long
Gele-Gele Sea Port.
17 March, 2005.
Agitations for a more favorable condition of living and co-existence have remained domineering issues in human history. Historically, traditional philosophers and contemporary political scientists have conscientiously searched for the ideal form of government that will guarantee the improvement of the common good while negating the exploitation of the downtrodden or the labor force. This is largely the premise for the universal choice of democracy as a form of government and self-determination of nations. Democracy has its origin from two Greek words- ‘Demos’ and ‘Kratein’. The former (Demos) means the majority of a group in a given geographical area, and the latter (Kratein) refers to the form of government or style of administration. Put simply, democracy is a government determined and propelled by the Will of the majority of the citizens or indigenes of a given State or community.
The Berlin conference of 1884-1885, which culminated in the balkanization of African (native societies) nations into colonies generated into almagation of the Northern and Southern protectorates to form the present day Nigeria. One of the indefatigable nations that was undemocratically amalgamated is the Benin empire. Prior to this unholy marriage, Benin Nation (empire as it was then called) had engaged modernized societies in very fruitful and regrettable enterprise both economically, politically and militarily. The earliest of such inter-racist interaction is the unexpected visit of the Portuguese to the hitherto vibrant empire in the Niger area in Eighteenth century. The Portuguese came via the Atlantic Ocean and they finally landed in Gele Gele Sea Port in Benin Nation.
The Gele Gele Sea Port Sea Port was from then onward used predominantly for their legitimate trade with Benin Nation. It is also record that slaves (illegitimate trade) were also conveyed from the region via the Gele Gele Sea Port to Europe. Factually the Portuguese and British Government used the Gele Gele Sea Port exte3nsively for more than half a century before the Benin Expedition.
This Historic Sea Port is today neither a seaport in practical term or a cultural monument as it is in the case of advance democracies. The Federal Government of Nigeria since 1960 have done little or nothing about the dredging of the Sea Port and commissioning it for ship landing and associated services. The sustained patience and non – restiveness of the Binis have been taken for granted for so long or how else do we explain the little or no concern of the Federal government even in a democracy to this all important project. The Sea Port when attended to will boost the employment opportunities for our employable-unemployed graduates and youths. It will enhance the National economic empowerment and development strategy (N.E.ED.S.) which is a major policy – thrust of your Administration.
Your Excellency Sir, we of the Benin Youth Congress (world wide) view with concern the deteriorating state of the National asset as a misplaced priority on the part of Governments (Edo state and Federal Government) and politicians who are fond of campaigning with the abandon Sea Port for the purpose of winning solidarity and election and abandoning same when they get to political office.
We do hereby state unequivocally that the call for Government intervention towards the dredging of Gele Gele Sea Port is a cardinal struggle, which cannot be negotiated away in our resolve to pursue the struggles or concerns of the Benin Nation. Towards this end, the Congress shall not hesitate to employ any reasonable action to drive home our cry for the dredging of the Historic Gele Gele Sea Port. All energies and ideas at the disposal of the Congress members at home and abroad shall be resolutely mobilized for the realization of this set goal.
We humbly and most honorable appeal to you Sir, to consider the economic and political advantage of the dredging of the Gele Gele Sea Port to the overall development of Edo State and Nigeria.
The Congress, which has been and shall remain an astute defender of democracy in Nigeria, is disappointed with the low civilized political attitude of the political class as exemplified in the 2007 General Elections. We however take solace in the democratic principle of recalling erring and unproductive elected representatives. It is on this ground that we resolved to expediently commence the process of recalling Senator Daisy Ehanire Danjuma from the National Assembly. She is the only senator representing the Binis in the senate and unfortunately she has distanced herself from the germane issues affecting the entire Benin Nation. We wish to honorably appeal to her to resign because we shall live no stone unturned to see to her recall. Other members of the National Assembly from Edo South senatorial district are also been examined specially in terms of their representation, articulation and overall contribution to Nigeria’s development.
For and on behalf of Benin Youth Congress (world wide).
Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo - National Coordinator
Oghogho Ehanire - Deputy Coordinator – Admin
Eghosasere Lato - Deputy Coordinator – Action & Mobilization
Osahon Uwuilekhue - Director of Publicity and intelligence
Eguasa Umweni - Secretary General
Osagumwero Iyawe - Chief Correspondent Officer
Amadin Obasuyi - National Organizing Secretary
Uyi Edegbe - Deputy Coordinator- Tradition and Customs
Iyobosa Otasowie - Director – Political research
1. Chief Lucky Igbinedion - Executive Governor of Edo State
2. Chief Adolphous Wabara - Senate President
3. Alh. Bello Masari - Speaker House of Representatives
4. Dr. Mmond Ali - National Chairman - Peoples Democratic Party
5. Chair persons, Edo State P.D.P.1 and 11
6. All Serving Senators
7. All Members of House of Representatives
8. Speakers and members of Edo State House of Assembly.