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Cablegate: Development As Road to Governorship

VZCZCXRO2587
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #1076/01 2191230
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071230Z AUG 06
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7751
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 7690
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH AFB UK
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 001076

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W
STATE FOR INR/AA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV NI
SUBJECT: DEVELOPMENT AS ROAD TO GOVERNORSHIP


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SUMMARY
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1. (U) On July 18 Governor Goodluck Jonathan of Bayelsa State
published the Bayelsa Partnership Initiative (BPI),
describing it as a vehicle for community-driven sustainable
development. In anticipation of the rather lengthy process
of stakeholder input and approval by the Bayelsa House of
Assembly to obtain final approval of the BPI, Jonathan
outlined some 'quick wins' he would like to implement
promptly to demonstrate commitment and the state
government,s good faith efforts. In addition to the BPI,
Governor Goodluck Jonathan expects to complete a new 500-unit
housing complex before the 2007 elections. END SUMMARY.

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Goals and Timeline
------------------

2. (U) Governor Goodluck Jonathan of Bayelsa State presented
the Bayelsa Partnership Initiative (BPI) to domestic
stakeholders and some potential international partners on
July 18 in Abuja. The Governor identified the need for a
bottom-up approach in democratizing development, fostering
peace and security, and encouraging international investment
through partnership. He plans to work with key stakeholders
including state government, Bayelsa community groups, and
partners. Governor Jonathan seeks to consult stakeholders
and create the BPI,s infrastructure by October 2006.
Simultaneously he will launch a series of quick-wins, to
be followed by medium and long-term planning in October 2006.

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Quick-Wins
----------

3. (U) In an attempt to forestall any large-scale militant
activity in the state, the BPI envisions short term
initiatives to demonstrate the Bayelsa State Government,s
commitment to good-faith development efforts. First, BPI
seeks to negotiate legacy issues between clans and relevant
oil companies and government institutions through a Global
Memorandum of Understanding. Secondly, BPI will use
short-term projects in health, water sanitation, employment,
and electricity to demonstrate good-faith efforts. Governor
Jonathan told his audience he hopes to launch quick-win
programs by October 2006.

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Housing
-------

4. (SBU) A Bayelsa State official from the Ministry of Lands
and Housing told PolOffs about Jonathan,s plans to construct
a housing complex before the 2007 elections. The project
will begin with 500 units for civil servants and police
officers; completion of this phase is expected by February
2007, followed by additional housing developments for
low-income Bayelsans. (COMMENT: A bit of enlightened
electioneering by Jonathan. END COMMENT.)

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COMMENT
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5. (SBU) Jonathan,s BPI is a product of both benign public
interest and selfish political motives. Regarding
Jonathan,s political motives, he wants the PDP 2007
gubernatorial nomination but is facing stiff competition from
Timi Alaibe, the NDDC Executive Director for Finance. Taking
over the government office less than a year ago, Jonathan
needs to distinguish himself, establish a political base and
then distance himself from Alaibe. Despite the obvious
political flavor of the BPI, there are some encouraging
things in it. However, before we move to pat Jonathan on the
back for this initiative or even contemplate support thereof,
we need to better gauge how much of this actually is
enlightened policy and how much is electoral politics. END
COMMENT.

LAGOS 00001076 002 OF 002


BROWNE

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