ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said that in spite of the challenges of 2021, his administration remains focused on ensuring a prosperous and better state for the people.
Diri stated this in a New Year Day’s broadcast on all Yenagoa-based radio and televisions.
He also said there were many reasons to be grateful to God despite the difficult times in the country, saying that a transition such as the closing of one year and the birth of another represented an important milestone to be thankful to God for love and kindness.
Diri asserted that in spite of the funding challenges of 2021, his administration recorded significant achievements in healthcare, education, agriculture, youth and women empowerment, security, infrastructure development and reconciliation of aggrieved communities, among others.
He praised Bayelsa sportsmen and women, whom he said, justified his government’s investment in sports by winning laurels for the state, particularly, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens that won the men and women versions of the AITEO Cup as well as the nine-year-old Deborah Quickpen that won the Under-10 Africa Chess championship.
In the area of security, Diri recalled that in the outgone year, the state’s special security outfit, Operation Doo Akpo, was rejigged, re-inaugurated and kitted with upgraded assets.
While stating that a number of projects would be inaugurated during the second anniversary of the administration in February, Diri assured the people that he would continue to take necessary actions to address the challenges of youths’ unemployment, poverty, inequality and poor health.
He noted that regardless of the undeniable progress made so far, there were still areas to be consolidated and called on the people of the state to join hands with the government to take Bayelsa to the promised land.
Diri said: “In retrospect, in 2021, whereas we had to deal with several challenges, particularly in the area of funding, we can nevertheless applaud ourselves for the strides we made in the course of the year by the grace of God.
“By prudently managing our lean resources, we have been able to progress in sundry areas including, but not limited to, healthcare, education, agriculture, youth and women empowerment, security, extensive infrastructure development and reconciliation of aggrieved communities, just to mention a few.
“The vision for a prosperous Bayelsa is evolving and ongoing. I am the first to acknowledge that despite the undeniable progress, there are areas to improve and gains to consolidate upon. This is the time for genuine friends of the state to align with the prosperity vision so that together we can transform challenges to opportunity and prosperity.”
He renewed his call for more responsible exploitation and exploration of oil in the Niger Delta and Bayelsa in particular, bearing in mind the recent oil spill in Nembe and other parts of the state, which he said had jeopardised the lives and livelihoods of the people.
Earlier, during a cross-over interdoniminational service held in his community, Sampou, in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, the governor called on politicians in the state to be tolerant and shun divisive politics ahead of next year’s general election.
He said the call became necessary given the destructive brand of politicking of some politicians in the state.
He recalled how he emerged as governor without involving in violent politics or trying to bring anybody down.
He also called on youths of the state to resist being used as tools of violence by politicians during elections while urging them to take advantage of the policies and programmes of the administration to better themselves.
He reaffirmed his administration’s determination to continue to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive and called on private investors to take advantage of the business potential in the state and the prevailing conducive security atmosphere.