‘Bayelsa deserves continuity ’
AS the race for the governorship election in Bayelsa State scheduled for December 5 gathers momentum, a group under the umbrella of Concerned Nigerians for Dickson Initiative Campaign, has called on the people of the state to support the second term ambition of incumbent governor, Seriake Dickson and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The group said there is need for continuity of what Dickson has achieved in the state within the last four years in order to sustain the state on the path of irreversible development
Addressing the media in Lagos, the group, made up of the governor’s former schoolmates and others said the state have witnessed the effect of good government and dividends of democracy in less than four years of Dickson.
The President of the group, Raphael Okonkwo, a lawyer, said the rate at which the governor is working does not surprise him, as he and the governor have been friends for many years as course mates in 1988 during their years in the Law School.
According to him, “Dickson is a vibrant police officer and a great student who never play with his time. He will work in the night and come to school during the day. As a friend and Nigerian, I want to contribute toward the development of the state because Dickson must be allowed to continue the great work he is doing.
“If the opposition party fails to recognize or want to shy away from the truth about what the governor has embark on since he assumed office, they cannot deny the fact that the state has been peaceful. Security was a big issue and a great concern for everyone but today; Bayelsa has the record of being one of the safest and most peaceful states in Nigeria. This is rather not by accident, but the result an initiative of Dickson administration.
“This initiative named ‘Operation Dooakpo’, a security outfit to maintain peace and respond to emergency was voted to be the best African security by a South African agency in 2013”. It’s important to note that without peace there cannot be any development. Our objectives therefore are to make Bayelsans to become aware of the paramount need for sustainable economic growth and development in Bayelsa State.”
He said the administration of Dickson has saved the state from wasteful expenditure, reducing cost of governance from an inherited budget of N1.685 billion monthly from his predecessor to N685m monthly and eventually to N200m following economic depression adding that “these were achieved by eliminating ghost workers and implementing staff audit in the civil service.
“So far the administration has changed the profile of Bayelsa State from one-road state to a state with ring roads, as in the link from Port Harcourt via Igbogene into Yenagoa, without passing through the inconveniences of traffic gridlock. Also, the first flyover bridge in the state currently exists as Restoration Flyover in Yenagoa among others.
“As a matter of fact, every Nigerian is a living beneficiary of income and infrastructural development from resources generated from Bayelsa State. With this, it behooves on every beneficiary to dutifully contribute to the sustainable economic measures being employed to improve the lot of the benevolent Bayelsa State.”
While calling on all Bayelsans to vote for the governor, he added that those defecting to the All Progressive Congress (APC) are opportunist who are after selfish interest stressing, “I have been on ground in Bayelsa state, in fact I was around when Timi Alaibe and other PDP members decamped to APC and I must tell you that those who decamped are just opportunist.”
Speaking on why he is calling on the people to vote for the governor, Okonkwo said the state is witnessing an unprecedented development and the effects of that is reverberating all over Nigeria as the peace in the state has helped in stabilizing the country’s economy.
Speaking further, Okonkwo said, “In precisely three months from today, Bayelsa people are expected to troop out to decide their future by voting and electing a governor who is to formulate and implement measures to impact on the lot of the state.”
He added that convinced of the need to ensure that the plans for sustainable economic growth and development continues, “we have come together as a public spirited citizens, friends of Bayelsa State, Bayelsan natives and non-indigenous stakeholders in the state’s project, to enlighten others and to strengthen their aspiration for wisdom, vision, prudence, self sacrifice, understanding, harmony and other necessary virtues.”
Okonkwo also commended the governor for his judicious use of the state’s resources “by formulating and implementing laudable projects based on correct evaluation of the level of development of the state and needs of the people.”