ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has urged the people to appreciate God for the creation of the state as it has witnessed remarkable development in 25 years of its existence.
Diri stated this on Friday in a statewide broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 61st and Bayelsa State 25th anniversary aired on all the major stations in Yenagoa.
The governor noted that although the state had not developed to the level it desired to be, it had witnessed appreciable growth in terms of human and infrastructure development compared to when it was part of the old Rivers State.
He called on all sons and daughters of the state to close ranks and support his administration to move the state forward, stressing that there was no other state they could call theirs. He urged them to avoid acts that would pull the state backward.
Giving an overview of achievements of the state within 25 years of creation, the governor said Bayelsa now has established higher institutions that are producing quality graduates, constructed and dualised several roads linking local government areas.
He said the state had connected to the national grid and also has a functional airport, which commercial flight operations commenced on, since August 19, 2021.
He appreciated a former Head of State, the late General Sani Abacha, and the founding fathers of the state for making the dream of having a homogenous Ijaw state a reality.
Describing the development of the state as steady, the governor thanked his predecessors for their developmental efforts, which his administration is building on, saying that it is a demonstration of the fact that “team work makes the dream work.”
In a related development, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and one-time Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, have felicitated with the people of the state at 25th anniversary.
Sylva and Alaibe said though the state had not achieved all it desired in the area of infrastructural development and growth, the people of the state should be hopeful and steadfast as the era of liberation and harvest is close.
Specifically, Sylva noted that though he had a rare privilege of governing the state during the perilous times of the Niger Delta crisis, he bequeathed the Amnesty programme which brought peace in the region.
He said his achievements of lasting legacies including unmatched infrastructures that are still standing tall in the state to this day.
On his part, Alaibe assured Bayelsa people that there is still hope for the state despite the fact that from the outset, the state lacked leadership that exhibited magic quality of personality, character, conviction, and the vision that would turn people’s expectations into concrete achievements.
Alaibe said: “Our founding fathers and succeeding generations looked forward to a leadership with the capacity and the will to rally men and women under a common purpose; a leadership, which in the words of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, possesses the character that inspires confidence among the governed.
“We had envisaged a state that would conceive and execute a sustained blueprint of economic and infrastructural development, with the aim of turning our towns and villages into booming business centres; and a sustainable plan to resolve our fast deteriorating environmental conditions. We intended to be the Glory of All Lands.
“Unfortunately, and in spite of the development efforts of past leaders, we are not there yet. In leadership, we are still experimenting. We are yet to put our best foot forward. On physical development, we are yet to develop a Master Plan. Sadly, states that were created at the same time with ours, have left us far behind.
“What Bayelsa State has in abundance, but is yet to put to profitable use is visionary leadership; a transformational leadership that is trustworthy; a leadership with the capacity to persuasively generate support and turn our abundant human and material resources into development capital, among others.”