- With hearts full of gratitude, we acknowledge the sovereignty of the Almighty God, whose benevolence and steadfast love has preserved us for another 365 days. He alone is worthy to receive glory, honour and power.
- I also happily convey the warmest salutations of the government and people of the state to all Bayelsans at home and in the Diaspora as we usher in the New Year 2022; which is our year of “Great Expectations for Sustainable Growth.”
- A transition such as the closing of one year and the birth of another represents an important milestone to thank the Source and Sustainer of our lives, for His tender mercies and provision for all of us. Indeed, as our state memory verse for 2021 succinctly attests in Isaiah 14:27: “For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
- Again, it offers a mirror to take stock of the past and plan ahead for the fresh beginning.
- 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.
- In 2021, we experienced God’s open-handed supply in manifold ways. Our sportsmen and women won numerous laurels. Bayelsa came third, an all-time high placement at the National Sports Festival (Edo 2020). Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens won the men and women 2021 AITEO/FA CUP, an unexampled feat in the history of the nation’s football. They justified the huge investment in the sector. Apart from the Renovation of the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, we provided Coaster buses to Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens. We also awarded a scholarship to university level, in Nigeria or abroad, to our nine-year-old prodigy Deborah Quickpen, who made us proud after winning the Under-10 Africa Chess Championship.
In the area of security, our special outfit, Operation Doo Akpo, was rejigged and re-commissioned and has been kitted with upgraded assets. Likewise, a number of projects will be due for commissioning during the second anniversary of this government in February.
- I acknowledge that although as a state we have made considerable advancement in set goals, I am not oblivious of the reality that many families and individuals struggled through 2021. I feel your pain and know your frustrations. It is my sincere prayer that 2022 will bring better tidings than the past year for you and all of us. As a government, we will continue to take the necessary actions to address the challenges of unemployment, poverty, hunger, inequality and poor health.
- 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.
- I cannot end this address without commenting on the egregious oil spill at Nembe. We should all join hands to call for more responsible exploitation and exploration in Niger Delta and Bayelsa in in particular. The lives and livelihood of our people must be prioritised.
- I close with the promise contained in our state memory verse for 2022 in Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
- Therefore, enter into the new year, with the assurance that He who has brought us this far, will not abandon us and confident that the eyes that watch over us will neither slumber nor sleep.
- I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.
May God Bless Bayelsa State
May God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria