By Mbah Green Okem, Yenagoa
Former secretary to the Bayelsa State Government and a frontline aspirant in the Restoration caucus of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Barrister Kemela Okara has said those spreading rumor that he is a stingy man are very dishonest people who don’t have the best interest of Bayelsa State at heart.
Okara said so during his visit to the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre to meet with members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists to unveil his agenda for Bayelsa State.
The former commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment said he is a pastor who teaches people about generosity, adding that he had single- handedly sponsored many children in his community up to university level, provided a generator for the church in his community and distributed relief materials to 2012 flood victims in his community.
He said, “I am a pastor. I teach people about generosity. Bible says God loves a cheerful giver. Every day I am giving;N5,000, N10,000, N20,000, N50,000like that every day. We spend what you cannot imagine in terms of giving. So that allegation is from people who expect that you should use government money, what belongs to everybody and just benefit a few people.We will not do that.
“What Bayelsa State earns is for every Bayelsan from the woman in the village who does not have access to Government House to the little boy who needs to go to school; to everybody. It is all our common heritage.
“Will a stingy person use his own personal resources and set up a scholarship scheme? The scholarship scheme is not the Bayelsa State Scholarship Board. This is Kemela Okara giving scholarship to children who cannot afford to go to school but who have the necessary grade, the necessary qualifications to be in the university. I am providing that scholarship when I was not even in government.
“I remember in 2012, there was flooding in Bayelsa State; that was the worst flood we had that even broke the Amassoma road into two. I went to my community, I was not even in government, spent my own money giving flood relief to villagers in my community. A stingy man will not do that.
“A stingy man will not go to the church in his community and buy a generator for them so that they can worship easily. It’s just that we don’t talk because the bible says, ‘Don’t let your left hand know what the right hand is doing. People who talk like that, they don’t mean well for this state”.
The governorship aspirant stated that his priority focus if he is elected will be on the industrialization of the Bayelsa State economy, as that is the only way jobs can be created on a large scale.
“The number one challenge facing us in Bayelsa State today is the high level of unemployment among our young men and women. The only way we can create jobs on a large scale is not from politics, it is not from the civil service, not even from journalism because you can only have so many journalists. It is when we attract industries to Bayelsa State on a large scale”, he said.