Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has restated the commitment of his administration to a better and greater state in terms of development.
Speaking when he hosted founding fathers of Bayelsa State in Government House, Yenagoa, on Thursday, Governor Diri said that as one of them, he was conscious of the developmental needs of the state and assured that he would not derail.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor appreciated the founding fathers for their roles in creation of the state and their support during the governorship election, saying posterity would be kind to them.
Governor Diri said his administration was open to suggestions to move the state forward and urged them not to hesitate to put forward ideas that would impact on it positively.
He disclosed that his administration was putting together a new development plan that would guide current and future administrations on the path of sustainable development.
The state helmsman remarked that the Ijaw nation and Bayelsa State were blessed, noting that such blessings can only be enjoyed if people of the state and the ethnic nationality worked together and shunned all forms of bitterness, hatred and embrace unity.
Governor Diri restated his position that the Ijaw territory was not part of any group agitating for secession as it was a distinct ethnic nationality.
He pledged the readiness of his administration to support the development of the Ijaw nation in any way possible and added his voice to the call for constitution of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
His words: “Going through all you have said, for us as a government, we are here to serve, to implement a workable agenda that can lead to development.
“It is incumbent on this government to develop the state. So we are looking at another development plan for our dear state. Ijaw nation is blessed and Bayelsa is blessed. It is only by working together we can develop.
“After my election and after speaking with my God, I said the first policy I would adopt would be no victor no vanquished. We did not struggle for the creation of Bayelsa so we cannot kill ourselves.
“I like you to join me in this journey for brotherhood, peace and development of our dear state. As founding fathers, you have the vision of what Bayelsa should look like. I invite you to be part of the process of governance in this state.
“Thank you for all your kind words. All we have done is the responsibility of government. We would at all times be transparent and let you know what your government is doing so that you would not feel alienated.”
Earlier, Sir Benedict Gwembe, Chairman, Bayelsa Founding Fathers Forum, congratulated the governor on his emergence, which he described as divine.
Sir Gwembe praised Governor Diri for his developmental strides since assuming office, especially in the area of infrastructure development.
He urged him not to relent but to do more for people of the state and the Ijaw nation at large.
He also lauded Diri for his role in the emergence of the new Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and the Ijaw National Congress (INC) executive councils, saying both bodies now make the voice of the Ijaw nation heard on critical matters of national concern.
Gwembe appealed to the governor to assist the founding fathers with provision of a secretariat and an improved welfare for members that worked for creation of the state.