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‘Diri, a man after God’s own heart’

Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa state from all indications may be a man after Gods own heart. He may not have been the choice of Bayelsans initially but he is gradually warming his way into the hearts of Bayelsans. Although considering the scenario that brought him to power, many tongues waged but what can they do. It seems to be the decision of God and no man can change it.

Of course the governor has been trying his best since then to bridge the gap between the emotionally bruised and the those that are his supporters. With that, immediately he came into office, he quickly started this idea of reconciliation mostly with the aggrieved persons and he actually succeeded in making almost all to crawl back to their shells but not with all sorts of distraction from the court cases which made his one year in office horrible but in all h was able to touch some things that have made people to relax.

In one of the outings, he had pleaded with David Lyon the winner of the 2019 governorship election in the state before the Supreme Court judgment that declared him winner and the leader of all progressives’ congress in Bayelsa state and now the minister of states for petroleum, Timipre Sylva to work with him and support his administration. He promised “I will be Governor of all, be it PDP, APC and others. We must remain united and ensure peace in our land. That is the only time we can be talking of development.

“I’m willing to consider even members of the opposition parties for appointments. With this assurance and other mission statements, the state has been peaceful and he has been having his field day because nothing disturbs the number one citizen of Bayelsa state for now and there was no reason for development not to thrive in the state for now. Of course he had threatened that he will not condone any form of crimes in the state things at least there is absolute peace in Bayelsa state now.

People can move freely now especially around Tombia round about where there used to snatching of phones and bags before the prosperity administration cleared all the flashpoints and gave the area a face lift. Talking about absolute peace which is being enjoyed by all, it is not yet uhuru for the governor but from all indication things are getting better as there are so many achievements to his favour one of which is the constant payment of salaries to the civil servants. Outside the payment of worker’s salaries, he releases of N250 million naira monthly for the payment of outstanding pension, gratuities and death benefits to retirees.

Declaring the schedule for the payment last year, governor Diri said the senior citizens deserve to enjoy what they have laboured for in their working years. The governor said that the lower cadre of the retirees from levels one to twelve should be answered first before those in the senior level in the new scheme. Aside that there are series of projects going on like that rehabilitation of the Sabagreia/Opokuma road destroyed by 2020 flood, completion and commissioning of the reconstructed Imiringi Bridge, completion and commissioning of Kaiama referral hospital, reconstruction of the collapsed Elebele Bridge, construction of the 4.5 kilometer Igbedi road. Others are the construction of the glory Drive (Igbogene by Ecumenical centre, construction of the Yenagoa- Oporoma road, construction of the Sagbama/Ekeremor road, construction of the Igbogene/AIT outer ring road, for the completion of the Isaac Boro expressway.

Monies have been released for the completion of all these road projects by the prosperity government. That was why the chairman of the directorate for project monitoring and evaluation in the state, Ebiye Tarabina charged the contractors handling the projects to expedite action to make sure that projects are completed on time.

Tarabina urged them to make sure that of all ongoing projects were completed on schedule and to make sure that they are done according to standard and specifications. Speaking at the recently during an inspection tour of ongoing projects Tarabina said that the era of contractors cutting corners to deliver substandard jobs was over.

He said “The directorate will spare no effort in ensuring that contractors keep to their contractual agreements. “The projects were largely embarked upon to align the state with the league of cities with world-class infrastructure thus making Bayelsa to be reckon with other developed states.

“The gains of the investments of the present administration in provisions of critical infrastructure would soon be positively felt on a large scale in all sectors. To also make governance easy and to make the people at the rural level to feel the impact of governance, the miracle governor release funds to the ministry of local government, chieftaincy and community affairs for rural projects across the eight local government areas. Also the Bayelsa international airport will soon be operational as the governor Diri has released funds to ensure final completion and issuance of operating certificate.

In one of his un official visits to the airport at Amassoma community in Southern Ijaw local government of the state, governor Douye Diri had said that state government had provided the required facilities for the smooth take-off of operations at the airport. He had said “I have spent over one year on this project after taking over from my predecessor in office, Henry Seriake Dickson who initiated it. “What we are doing now is dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

So far, I think every requirement is on the ground. I believe when the inspection teams from the aviation authorities come, they will be satisfied with what we have done and grant us the license for commercial use of the airport. Of course the Bayelsa international airport when it becomes operational will boast the economy of the state and that is why the governor is not relenting in making sure that it completed. Aside other positive vibes that have heralded his administration, the miracle governor handled the corona virus pandemic that ravaged the whole world last year with wisdom as he made sure that Bayelsans didn’t suffer much like some other state that were locked inside their houses. Diri made sure that he handled it with care as Bayelsans were allowed to get atleast food stuffs unlike other states.

He even called for called for passage of vehicles conveying foodstuff, medical supplies and personnel on essential services stressing the need for people to have access to food items, drugs and other essential commodities. Diri also directed the Bayelsa State Electricity Company to provide a dedicated electricity line to the NDUTH to enhance service delivery then.

The governor equally directed all council chairmen then to operate from the headquarters of their respective local government area and charged them to step up surveillance efforts at all marine and land borders. Also to continue the fight against COVID 19 then, the governor set up a fully equipped molecular laboratory in Yenagoa for improved testing. During the era of end sars protest also, the miracle governor made sure that he handled the situation with the utmost care that it deserved hence there was no outbreak of violence of any sort in Bayesa state. Also there is Diri-Boost initiative to empower young Bayelsans interested in small and medium-scale enterprises and massive investments in Agriculture with allocation of land and provision of seedlings to about 3,500 selected farmers in the state.

Douye Diri had restated the commitment of his administration to achieve food security through mechanized agricultural production noting that although Bayelsa State has comparative advantage in almost all areas of agriculture, the present administration was focusing on four key areas of rice, cassava, fishery and plantain production. That made the prosperity government to secure a central bank of Nigeria (CBN), loan facility to boost agricultural and small scale entrepreneurial activities. “Our people have been using crude, difficult and very challenging methods to produce agriculturally. And so, they have not been able to produce enough food for us to eat and sell to make good money” “The Prosperity Government does not believe in that method of production. We believe in mechanized agricultural production.

But to succeed, we believe that all of us must put our hands on deck to achieve greater prosperity through agriculture. “As you are aware, a lot of farms have been established and clearing is ongoing in several communities for the purposes of ensuring that we have food sufficiency. You are also aware that the Federal Government and the State Government are partnering and we have obtained some loans through the gracious efforts of the CBN for which capacity is being deployed. He has also touched the lives of Bayelsans by awarding scholarships up to Ph.D levels and educational support to distinguished sons and daughters of Bayelsa State. Also construction of a media complex to house the three. State owned Media houses: Radio Bayelsa, Niger Delta television, new waves newspaper.

Aside all these and other achievements, there has been absolute peace and tranquility in the land the reason why people in the state can sleep with their two eyes closed. However he is doing it, let him continue as it is said that peace is golden.

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