Surveyor Igo.A.Goin, is a fellow of the Nigeria Institution of Surveyors and a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from Bayelsa State. In this interview with selected media executives, Surveyor Goin spoke about his decision to run for the vacant Central Senatorial District bye-election, the urban renewal plan of Governor Douye Diri and how the National Assembly can solve rising cases of boundary conflicts among states.

Excerpts:

How would you describe the recent pressure on you to run for the Central Senatorial district seat of the National Assembly?

I am from southern ijaw local government Bayelsa state. From precisely constituency one Amatolo in southern ijaw local government. Well, the seat is actually vacant and everybody is sourcing for a credible candidate that can go to the senate, to represent them. I think that is why they are calling me to come and contest because they know me, they know my pedigree very well and i also like to rise up to the occasion. I thank them very well if they don’t deem me fit, they will not come and be calling me to contest so o thank them very well for the call.

I will make a good senator, because i have the pedigree to go to senate. The senate, is not for actually children it’s meant for matured minds that can think outside the box i think that i also fall into that category of people that think outside the box. To bring the dividends of democracy to their people so i think am very qualified for it.

You know that area, the southern ijaw, because we don’t actually have access to that area and since from day one, there have been so many roads planned for that area. The development of that area, is been very backward because of various people that have represented us are not actually looking at why we have such kind of high militaries of the area. The roads we need to open up to the area we need to go down to the oceans, so that we can reduce militancy that’s the only way, the federal government can also benefit from the oil well productions and all the rest.

Because there are already planned roads, with studies that have been getting serious shortage of budgetary allocations. So the main thing there to open up that place, is to start to rejuvenate the budgetary allocations to various roads that have been stopped for so many years that is one of the principal things. Then again, we have so much oil spillage so much degradation of the environment by both our people, sabotage and the oil companies together so we need to talk to them to ensure that they rejuvenate the area and improve the bio diversity of the area. Those are some of the key things that i want to do.

With synergy with the amnesty office, we will be able to actually curb them not to do that. If you check recently now, there is so much the skills have reduced now because of the Amnesty office . So if we synergize with the Amnesty office, as a senator representing there will be good trainings and all the rest, they will come out of the creeks and educate them. Proper enlightenment, to ensure that they know the dangers of bursting pipelines and all the rest i will try my best possible to synergize with other governmental agencies to enlighten my people.

What makes you think PDP will win the Senatorial Bye-election considering the victory recorded by the APC during the last general elections?

We all actually know what happened in the general elections, the last general elections was marred with so much violence and ballot box snatching and all the rest but me as a person, as am contesting under the PDP have my friends across all the parties and as people are calling me, even people in APC are calling me to come and contest most of them were all working together, but because they were angry they now left and did what they did so if they have a candidate like me, represented by PDP even the APC will be happy that i am going to represent the senatorial zone effectively and taking all of them along, as a senator.

Are you a grass root politician?

Growing up as a child, i am a grass root man. In fact, even my primary school i attended it in my village in Southern Ijaw Local Government. Amatolo Community precisely, and i also went to the premier secondary school in the local government Southern Ijaw Secondary School, Oporoma. It is there and when i left southern ijaw and got my school certificate o left, and went to Rivers state science and technology it was not easy, because i am somebody that was trained by my mother as the only son and my mum will need to go to the farm, and i need to go with her on holidays, carrying plantains and doing garri follow her to go and sell and come back then I’ll get money for school that was how i did my schooling.

I schooled in Rivers State University of Science and Technology and graduated, with the Bachelor of technology in Surveying and that is the premier of technology in Nigeria that’s how i grew up.

Are you aware of the existence of a gentlemen agreement in PDP in which a favored aspirant may be handed the party ticket?

A gentleman agreement? Am hearing it for the first time. Everybody, drops names and say what will benefit them so i am not aware of that and this senatorial elections, that is coming this seat that is vacant, came from Kolokuma opokuma the present governor was the person in senate he has won this governorship election, now Yenagoa has been there for twelve years before it went to Kolokuma-Opokuma. So as it is now, it is obvious that it’s coming to southern Ijaw if it comes to southern Ijaw, constituency 4 where the past party chairman comes from, has the secretary to state government this party PDP also gave ticket to the present SSG to run for house of Reps for constituency 4 and constituency 4 to choose an APC candidate who is also representing the constituency 4.

Constituency 3, has the local government chairman presently. Constituency 2, also has the leader of the Bayelsa state house of Assembly. I am from constituency 1, constituency 1 has nobody we don’t have anybody in the main stream of politics so what our people are even saying, is bring it to constituency 1 and give it to Surveyor Igo Assembly Goin to represent us because we can’t leave constituency 1 vacant because we also form almost 50 per cent of the local government as it is so i stand a better chance, to win the election even the general elections, i stand a better chance than all of them because some of them have not brought results for the past four elections because of the neutralization of their areas so i stand a better chance, the gentleman agreement is just a street talk nobody is aware of that.

Have your consulted the leaders of the Party including Gov.Diri, Former Governor Dickson and the Former President Jonathan?

Don’t also forget, that it is a senatorial affairs. It’s not a state affairs of all the names you have mentioned, it’s only the present governor that is from our senatorial district who will be adequately consulted. His Excellency Ebele Jonathan, is from the East and the East already has a seating senator. Even Former Governor, Hon. Sierake Dickson, is to contest the senate from the west Senatorial district. So, i don’t think he would want to offend so many people even from outside his senatorial zone. So, my Governor from my senatorial zone, will be properly consulted however, because Dickson is the immediate past governor of the state he’s been consulted and we spoke very well, because he knows my pedigree so even if it’s necessary, I will consult the Former President but for now i have not gone to see him.

How would your being a Surveyor assist you if elected into the Senate?

Before you become a fellow, in the profession you have to show what you have done for the profession and this office have trained so many surveyors after the office of the surveyor General, who is the highest private office that have trained surveyors. They are all witnesses to it and before you become a fellow, you will show your jobs will show that you are actually qualified you have participated technically you have assisted the profession to an extent and there’s also an age limit of you becoming a fellow. Now when i became a fellow, i was also appointed as a director in the national boundary commission.

And the National boundary commission, what we do there is to delineate boundaries between states and also when i was in the boundary commission, was when we initiated the offshore job for Nigeria to be able to get a field like 200 nautical miles away so we can get oil fields. So my profession, am at the peak of the profession i have no other place to go to, i have achieved everything i need to achieve in my profession, and my profession is still driving me.

What would be your suggestion on ways to resolve rising cases of boundary disputes amongst states in the country?

The first thing we need to do, is remove the office of the boundary commission for the vice president because the vice president, is a busy person so he does not actually have time to be calling committee meetings.

Now if the boundary commission is well funded by the National assembly. I am going there because of it is one of the things i want to actually argue on. The boundary commission should be properly funded because all the inter-state boundaries, are there for demarcation but because of lack of funds, they have not been able to do it. The boundary commission have the capacity to solve every dispute with inter-state dispute in this country if given and also our international boundaries with our neighboring countries.

If it is properly funded, i will insist on properly funding of the boundary commission, so that the boundary commission can do their jobs to delineate the boundaries properly for states, to have peace so that is the principal work of boundary commission.

What do you think will give an edge over other aspirants in the Central Senatorial district?

You see, i am a very straight forward person that is why i stand an edge above a lot of the contestants they have gone to various parties at different times and come back and if we all have left, they won’t be able to come and meet the party. Me, i am here, because i believe that the people that am working with, understands me. So i don’t need to go to somewhere else.

That’s why i have been very persistent in this party, and this party have also done better in the development of both the state and the federal level. So there is no need to go and join people, which are not thinking outside the box. A lot of the people here, thinks outside the box.

How would you rate the Gov. Douye Diri urban renewal plan for the State?

You see, am a champion of urban renewal. I have always said it, even the past government i have tried to talk to the governor, i have even written various papers on urban renewal. What we need in Yenagoa today, is urban renewal. Look at this road, we came from that is not an urban road we need to expand. People, will be angry that they are demolishing now even people are insulting the governor this is a city, it’s not a village so urban renewal is very necessary, because we started the state on a wrong footing so anybody that wants the state, must start from urban renewal before he even thinks of new development.

We need to redesign this state capital and do a proper urban renewal and don’t bother whether your sister, or brother’s place is affected. So urban renewal, is a necessity that must be done and i appreciate what the governor is doing, by taking a wonderful step so everybody, needs to support him i will support him totally.
Like when i was the Managing Director of the Bayelsa State Geographical Information System(BGIS), what i did was that in an urban city, we should be able to get proper postal services so what i did first as the phase one, was to ensure that i encode every building in this town, and all the buildings are encoded and it is also splitted in commercial, private, some are mixed used when we do that, the next stage is to send data to goggle and if we are able to pay goggle properly, every place, every building is described on the access to get there so i have done that that was my project i did it it’s there if you go to your house just check you will see the code on your house. So all those, are part of urban renewals so urban renewal, is a necessity and must be done. Well like what i said, the state started on a very wrong footing and it will be corrected.