Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has emphasised the importance of unity as Nigeria and Bayelsa marked their 60th and 24th anniversaries respectively on Thursday.
Governor Diri in a statewide broadcast aired on Yenagoa-based radio stations on Thursday called on Nigerians and Bayelsans “to emphasise the things that unite us as we have much in common than those things that divide us.”
A press release by his spokesman, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as specifically calling on Bayelsans to focus more on promoting unity, peace and sustainable development rather than dissipate energy on issues that cause disunity.
He also urged the people to join hands with his administration in building Bayelsa in line with the vision of its founding fathers.
He stressed the need to honour the memory of those that fought for the country’s political freedom in order to liberate the people from the shackles of poverty, ignorance, injustice and underdevelopment.
Describing the October 1 annual celebration as solemn and significant, Senator Diri congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians for achieving the remarkable milestone.
The governor also saluted the courage, sacrifice and tenacity of all frontline medical personnel in the fight against the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlighting some of his development efforts, he noted that the state’s progress might have been slow but it is no longer where it was at creation 24 years ago.
“Whereas the noble dreams and lofty heights hoped for may not have been fully attained, we are nevertheless not where we started from. Progress may have been slow, but slow progress is still progress,” he stated.
Senator Diri identified agriculture as his administration’s major sector targeted at engendering sustainable development and growth.
“We have already identified some strategic areas to substantially invest in, which include rice, fish, cassava and plantain production.
“Furthermore, we are seriously supporting SMEs to diversify the economy of the state by empowering over 1000 Bayelsans through the ongoing Diri Boost scheme.”
Speaking on the ongoing Etegwe-Edepie roundabout expansion, the senatorial districts roads, Bayelsa Palm-Igbogene Ring Road and the Gateway Road projects, he expressed the commitment of his government towards ensuring their completion.
“Work is far advanced with fencing of the Bayelsa International Cargo Airport to ensure full operations.”
“We are pleased to have also undertaken various measures to give the city a facelift in our urban renewal policy. Of note is the sanitisation and fencing of major markets at Swali, Kpansia and Etegwe.”
The governor averred that his administration had demonstrated commitment in the prompt payment of salaries, pensions and gratuity despite the dwindling funds from the federal allocations.
He also noted that teachers had been trained on COVID-19 safety protocols to enable students and pupils return safely to school just as he had also signed into law various bills to improve the governance processes.
In the education sector, Diri said government would build three new technical schools and upgrade existing structures in schools while general hospitals are being renovated in the eight local government areas.
On security, he said the situation had improved significantly through the proactive stance of his government, which had also taken steps to engender an improvement in power supply within the Yenagoa metropolis.