A New Bayelsa: Diri Showing Real Capacity
By Kola Oredipe
Since he came into office in 2020, the incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has left no one in doubt as to his commitment to change the face of development in the State.
His great disposition to reconcile aggrieved parties through the message of hope and love stands him out as a leader who seek a united Bayelsa State.
Diri, has continued to endear himself to the people through his many people-oriented policies, programmes and projects across the eight Local Government Areas.
Today, Diri, has become a household name in just two and a half years in office making impacts in the lives of many through some welfare packages,business empowerment, skills acquisition programmes, regular payment of civil servant’s salaries, payment of outstanding gratuities and death benefits and physical projects that cut across road infrastructure, education, health and agriculture.
He is doing the unthinkable in the political system by completing projects inherited from previous administration including the Kaiama Referral Hospital, in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, reconstructed Imiringi bridge in Ogbia Local Government Area and the historic Nembe Unity bridge in Nembe Local Government Area.
Diri, inherited the construction of Sagbama-Ekeremor road and Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie road in the two senatorial districts of Bayelsa West and Bayelsa Central to open up several riverine communities.
As a man with guiding principles of fairness and inclusiveness in governance, Diri, found the strong justification to commence the construction of age-long Nembe-Brass road in the Bayelsa East Senatorial district.
At the flag-off recently, the governor said, “It is only fair to start the Nembe-Brass road despite the lean state resources after waiting for the Federal Government and operating oil multinationals in the area. If we are doing such major roads to the West and Central Senatorial Districts, it is also good we commence that for the East Senatorial area. God will provide the funds to complete it.”
Under the Prosperity Administration, a new State Capital beckons with the new roads on both flanks of Igbogene town into Yenagoa. The Glory drive from the Ecumenical centre to link Tombia-Amassoma road and the back of Government House in Ovom, is progressing.
Also, the construction of Igbogene-AIT/Elebele Outer Ring road has reached an appreciable extent with attention now on the third phase. The stretch between Igbogene and Okarki as well as the stretch between Imiringi road and AIT/Elebele roundabout have equally been done.
This is a government that means well for its citizens, hence, the awards and completion of over twenty internal roads within Yenagoa including the popular Edepie School road.
The change in the development landscape of Bayelsa State is no fluke. Under one year, the Diri-led administration built a most magnificent Media complex named, Ernest Ikoli Media complex to host the 3 state-owned media outfits- the Newspaper corporation, the Television (Niger Delta Television) and Radio Bayelsa.
The government is not only investing in physical infrastructure, it is also touching the citizens directly through different skills acquisition programmes and a monthly empowerment of 210 youths and women in small scale business with N200,000.00 each to grow their businesses.
Only recently, 366 Bayelsans graduated with starter packs from the SDGs skill acquisition programme in partnership with the state government.
In Agriculture, the government is making huge investments to build capacities of farmers, provide hybrid seedlings, fertilizers and other farm tools for improved yields.
The State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources had identified rice, cassava, yam, plantain and banana as key crops with huge potential in the state.
200 selected young farmers have just been trained and graduated in integrated farming at the CSS Global Integrated Farms in Nasarawa State.
The state is making a loud statement in rice farming and production with three massive rice farms located in Ogbia, Amassoma and Yenagoa in a move for a rice revolution in the state.
In health, education, other sectors, the Prosperity Administration is changing the face of development. The State Health Insurance scheme is one of the most robust in Nigeria and it is opened to all citizens covering a wide range of health care needs including surgeries.
Diri, has just changed the face of Local Government administration where they not only embark on meaningful projects after salaries payment, they now have savings in a show of public accountability. Again, for the first time in a long while, at the expiration of their tenure, elected council officials including Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen and Councilors have been paid their severance allowance.
Under the current administration, so much investments have gone into sports development to provide a platform for youths engagement. Gradually, Bayelsa is becoming home of sports in Nigeria.
“Our investment in sports is paying up. Our two football teams won both male and female trophies of the AITEO/FA cup. For the first time, we came 3rd at the National Sports Festival. The medals we won at the festival confirms that Bayelsa is home of wrestling and swimming. Recently, our two secondary schools, Bishop Dimeari Grammar School and St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School won both the boys and girls categories at the National Milo Secondary Schools Basketball championship in Lagos.”
“We will continue to celebrate our wrestlers for their recent exploits at the Commonwealth games in Birmingham. Special mention for Blessing Oborududu, the Olympics Silver medallist. Even in athletics, Bayelsa has the rave of the moment, Timma Godbless, who recently broke the national junior record in 100 metres race in Cali, Colombia”, Daniel Igali, Youth and Sports Commissioner recently stated.
In the midst of many celebrations, the state-owned male football club, Bayelsa United FC which has been in the lower division for seven years regained their promotion to the elite Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on the final day of the Group B Southern Conference with an emphatic 2 nil win over Cynosure FC of Abakiliki, Ebonyi State. A cheering news indeed to all sports lovers who have yearned to watch elite premier league games in Yenagoa.
Also, recently, the state-owned female team representing Nigeria in the Women’s CAF Champions league, Bayelsa Queens qualified for the group stage of the 2nd edition of Champions league for women.
Security has remained top notch in the agenda of the governor. The government has continued to support and collaborate with different security agencies operating in the state. The establishment of the Bayelsa State Community Security Safety Corps headed by Brig. General Eric Angaye (Rtd.) has strengthened the security system in the State and boost confidence of investors that their investments would be safe in Bayelsa State.
In just two years in office, the Prosperity Administration has done so much to earn the confidence of the people. The civil servants are having the best of times with this government because of the regular payment of their salaries.
Instead of the pathetic stories on the queues during struggle for pensions and gratuities, it is a great news to cheer that the government preserving lives and clearing outstanding pension gratuities and death benefits to families of deceased workers.
Truly, in Bayelsa State, it is a new season; a season of uplift and greater possibilities under the Prosperity Administration of Governor Douye Diri.
Oredipe Kola is Director/Co-ordinator, New Media to the Bayelsa State Governor.