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Ijaw group lauds Azaiki’s venture into politics, calls for more participation from diaspora

Ijaw group lauds Azaiki’s venture into politics, calls for more participation from diaspora

- Professor Steve Sinikiem Azaiki foray into politics has been hailed by the Ijaw Diaspora Group

- The group also challenged other erudite scholars of Izon extraction to show more interest in politics

- The group was reacting to Azaiki's recent declaration to contest for a House of Representatives seat in Bayelsa state

The Ijaw Diaspora Group has applauded the recent foray of renowned professor and educationist, Steve Sinikiem Azaiki into politics.

Reacting to his recent declaration to contest for the House of Representatives seat in Yenagoa Kolokuma Opokuma constituency of Bayelsa state, the group challenged other erudite scholars of Izon extraction to show more interest in politics, stressing that it is the only way to entrench good governance in the country and the Niger Delta region.

In a short statement sent to journalists after their annual meeting held in New Jersey, United States, the group praised the level of political participation in Nigeria as an indication of the deepening of democracy in the world’s most populous black nation.

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They described Professor Azaiki as someone whose distinguished activities nationally and international will make every Ijaw man or woman very proud.

Reading from the statement after the meeting, the group’s assistant publicity secretary, Atonye Akpoebi said: “We have received reports of positive turn of political events in Nigeria including some people living in the diaspora declaring to participate in the forthcoming political season in Nigeria.

“This is a clear indication that the efforts to deepen democracy in Nigeria is yielding encouraging fruits. We are particularly impressed by the interest shown by scholars and intellectuals like Professor Steve Azaiki, who is said to be going for the House of Representatives.

“We need people like him in the National Assembly to change the narrative and ensure quality representation for the people of the Niger Delta region. We hope that the political parties and the electoral body will ensure a level playing field for everyone contestant.

“We encourage our members to continue to show additional interest in politics back home as this is the easiest way to make verifiable contribution to good governance. If we must change the narrative to change the ways of doing things back home, we must seek opportunities to be part of politics otherwise history will not be kind to us for being complacent.”

Before his foray into politics, Azaiki, an agriculturist, educationist and professor of conflict management had taken various roles both as a civil society leader and public intellectual.

He served in his home state Bayelsa in numerous capacities including as commissioner for agriculture and later Secretary to State Government.

He also founded the National Think Thank, a group of prominent Nigerians drawn from different fields working together to fashion a development agenda for the country.

He has authored more than five books on oil, politics and sustainable development in Nigeria.

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Meanwhile, former president Goodluck Jonathan has expressed his readiness to return to the classroom as a lecturer if offered such opportunity, especially at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt.

Jonathan, 60, disclosed this on Saturday, September 1, while speaking at the 35th and 36th combined convocation ceremony of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt where he was conferred with “Icon of Democracy” award.

He expressed gratitude to the institution for the honour done to him, stressing that he always attach so much importance to any recognition coming from his region.

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Source: Legit.ng

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