Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has assured people of the state of better days ahead.
Speaking during a statewide New Year broadcast on Sunday, Governor Diri acknowledged the challenges of the outgone year but expressed the optimism that with the help of Almighty God as well as the careful planning being implemented by his administration, the state will fare better in 2023.
He recalled the devasting effects of last year’s floods on the state but assured that the government has taken practical steps toward recovery and reconstruction.
The governor stressed that development should not be driven by political expediency or blind propaganda but by critically prioritising the needs of the people and creating the conditions for a desirable future.
Diri called on people of the state to put their differences aside and resolve to work together to achieve the dreams of the Bayelsa founding fathers, especially as the 2023 general election approaches.
He remarked that in the past year, his administration continued with addressing the state’s developmental deficits in infrastructure including roads, health, education, human capacity development, security, among others.
In the area of roads, the governor stated that his administration was bent on linking all communities in the state through a robust network, stressing that in line with this desire, work has progressed simultaneously on the three senatorial roads as well as other road projects dotted across the state.
He gave the commitment of his administration to continue with reconstruction of infrastructure damaged by the floods, particularly the Amassoma road leading to the Niger Delta University.
Diri contended that the state also made appreciable progress in the health, sports, education, agriculture, security, public service and other sectors.
Ahead of the elections, the Bayelsa helmsman called on politicians to be tolerant and to eschew violence, stressing that election should be a contest of ideas and choices and not an opportunity to settle political scores.
His words: “I recall that for several weeks across October and November in 2022, our state was inundated by flooding of unprecedented proportions. The devastation that occurred turned our state into an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp. Critical infrastructure, including roads, bridges, schools and hospitals were severely destroyed and degraded. No fewer than 400 communities were submerged with over one million persons displaced. Several deaths were also recorded.
“But by God’s grace, despite all of these, we prevailed. So, with our faith firmly anchored on our Heavenly Father, we look forward to a better 2023.
“As clearly stated in the state’s Budget of Sustainable Growth and Reconstruction for this year, our expectation is not bereft of careful planning. The necessary consideration has been given to the imperatives of recovery and reconstruction. We have carefully outlined an expenditure profile that instigates development and that is in keeping with our administration’s fidelity with our people in the prudent use of our collective resources.
“In 2022, my administration continued to address the deficits that impact our people in order to accelerate the pace of our development. We are addressing the deficit in infrastructure, including roads, health, education, human capacity development, and security.
“As we approach the general election in a few weeks, let me restate my position that a government of the people, for the people and by the people represents our best option for electing leaders. I again implore politicians in Bayelsa and elsewhere in Nigeria to be tolerant and eschew violent conducts. The election should be a contest of ideas and choices and not an opportunity to settle political scores or an excuse for calumny. And that is why we must insist on some irreducible minimum required for those who seek leadership roles.”