BAYELSA IS RISING AGAIN
My good people of Bayelsa State, It is with pride and great joy that I address you on a day like this to felicitate with you all on the occasion of our 16th anniversary as a State, following its creation on the 1st of October, 1996.
I would like to commence this broadcast by commending you on our shared vision and commitment to a new Bayelsa and also thank you for your support, solidarity and prayers our administration has enjoyed since assumption of office in the last six months.
It is also proper to remember on a day like this the founding fathers of our state and all our leaders past and present for their years of sacrifice, commitment and valuable service and contributions to the peace and progress of the Ijaw nation.
Today marks exactly 16 years since we began this journey of statehood. As a product of the Ijaw struggle, I understand the impact of the decision made by the late Gen Sani Abacha in creating Bayelsa against all odds.
General Abacha was one leader who loved Nigeria and the Ijaw nation and had the courage to do what was right by giving the Ijaws a homogenous State that today we all can proudly and truly call our own which I refer to as the Jerusalem of all Ijaw people
Irrespective of whatever opinion people may hold (which is their legitimate right), General Abacha by virtue of the creation of the homogenous state of the Ijaw nation, has earned a place in the heart of the Ijaw people for which we are eternally grateful.
In appreciation of the significant steps General Abacha took for our development, I have on your behalf invited the family to be part of this celebration, no matter how low key it is.
The Bayelsa State Government would therefore use this occasion to further immortalize the memory of the late General Abacha and show to his family, friends and all Nigerians at large that we do not forget our friends.
It is also a way to demonstrate a peculiar trait, common among the Ijaw people that we always value loyalty and reward friendship. To this end, government will lay the foundation stone for a 150-duplex housing estate named after General Abacha. Similarly, Government in partnership with the Ijaw National Congress
has named the main auditorium of the INC building after him. In addition, Government will invite the family to plant a memorial tree in his honour at the Heroes Garden, which I have just established.
By this singular gesture, let the family be assured that our thoughts and prayers have been and will always be with them and that they can always call Bayelsa their home too.
In the same vein, we recognize and are indebted to worthy Nigerian leaders like President Olusegun Obasanjo and the late President Umaru Yar'Adua and others whose actions have impacted positively on us.
Government will honour them in due course.
Special mention must be made of our leader, Chief DSP Alamaeyesigha, the first civilian governor of the state whose commitment to the Ijaw struggle and development of
Bayelsa State will also be honoured by naming a hall in the INC building after him. Incidentally, the INC building was started by Chief DSP Alamaeyiesigha but was abandoned by the immediate past administration , which we have now completed and fully furnished.
Bayelsa State, no doubt, is still relatively young and the journey of statehood arguably tough and mixed, but there is great hope that the future is very bright. This is the good news!
It is this conviction that has propelled our vision as a government and with your support we shall march ahead to properly connect with our future greatness as we desire it. We have made spirited efforts to redefine governance as a tool for development, raising hopes of even greater possibilities.
As you all can attest to this to fact.
In the last six months, you have witnessed a paradigm shift in governance, accelerated infrastructural development and revolutionary investments in human capacity building. You have also witnessed the return of peace and tranquility in our
state which is essential to any development. We pledge to continue with our current rate of development and projections in our plans and programmes and to demonstrate the reality that the foundation of our future greatness must be laid today, not later. We are indeed making progress and Bayelsa is beginning to rise again.
Good people of our great state, this occasion marking the 16th anniversary of our dear state, ordinarily should have called for celebrations and jubilations, but we took the decision as a government to have a low key event. It is only proper that we align ourselves with the mood of the nation.
At this juncture, I would like to sympathize with all the communities ravaged by flood in the state. As you will recall, our government took early steps to address the issue of blocked drainages in Yenagoa metropolis. That has significantly prevented a disaster in our state capital despite the down pour and flood.
However, the same cannot be said of communities outside of the state capital, where rising water level has displaced people from their homes, farmlands and businesses. I want to seize this opportunity to empathize with them. In the course of the week, I will personally undertake an on-the-spot assessment of all the affected communities ravaged by flood. Already, as you are aware,
government has directed that relief materials be made available to the affected persons and communities. More support will come your way, once the committee that government will soon inaugurate swings into action and make its findings available to government.
My good people, I also want to urge all of us to be steadfast in our prayers for our President, his wife, family and the Federal Government of Nigeria. Let us continue to uphold them in our prayers. Having said that, let me at this point take a moment to commend and salute Mr. President for his commitment, sacrifice
and selfless service to this great nation. In the face of daunting challenges, Mr. President has continued to lead as a distinguished patriot and nationalist, ensuring that prosperity and security return to our nation, and that Nigeria, like Bayelsa is rising again!
As I conclude this broadcast, let me once again, seize this occasion to assure all Bayelsans of our government's commitment and resolve to birth a new Bayelsa of our dream. A new Bayelsa where everyone will have a true sense of pride and be made to feel the impact of government. We are building a new Bayelsa firmly
rooted and anchored on the cardinal principles of transparency, accountability and service delivery as evident in our conduct of government's business these past six months.
As we undertake the onerous task of providing purposeful leadership for our dear state in accordance with the mandate you gave to us, I want to assure you again that this government under my watch will not compromise on our leadership principles and ethics. We shall not play politics with our development and
Bayelsa will not be the same again after my tenure.
Let me restate that we will use the resources of this state to fund critical projects such as the construction of good roads, education, health facilities, promote tourism, generate wealth and develop agriculture, rather than use it to fund the corruption and greed of a few.
I will like to use the opportunity of this address to thank and urge all religious, political, traditional and opinion leaders, to rise above personal interest and galvanize our people to support the various programmes of government.
My dear people , now that you have a government that has a clear vision, understanding of your opportunities, potentials, challenges and solutions to the various sectors of governance, all that is required of you, is your continued support and prayers.
Let me also urge all Bayelsans not to be misled by the antics of desperate politicians and power seekers bent on distracting our development. We will not be distracted and Bayelsa will be the better for it.
I therefore urge you all to shun politics of character assassination, blackmail and rumour mongering. Let us join hands to liberate ourselves from all forms of negativity capable of halting our progress and development and to continue the good work of supporting the security agencies in our bid to make Bayelsa safe,
secure and prosperous. Bayelsa is rising again and I thank you all.
God bless you.
Happy 16th Anniversary
Long Live BAYELSA State!
Long Live the Ijaw nation!!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!