In a Democracy, the interest of the people is preeminent. It superintends over every other interest and that is the character and traits I have noted prominently displayed so far by the miracle Governor of Bayelsa State, my quintessential boss, Senator Douye Diri for the first one year in office.
The expected in an ideal democratic setting – government of the people, by the people and for the people – is thus for the interest of the people to resonate with the leader, since the ultimate goal is the promotion of the common good. It has been my great satisfaction to witness the calm and steady manner Sen. Douye Diri has converted Bayelsa State into a humongous construction space, beginning the building of legacy physical infrastructure that will stand the test of time. Some of the ongoing projects include, but is not limited to the expansion and beautification of Edepie/Etegwe Roundabout (to ease the flow of traffic and also tackle security challenge around the place), rehabilitation of the Sabagreia/Opokuma Road destroyed by flood, completion and commissioning of the reconstructed Imiringe bridge, completion, equipping and commissioning of Kaiama Referral Hospital. This Referral Hospital is to be replicated in the remaining seven local government headquarters. The governor has also awarded the contract and flag-off of construction of the collapsed Elebele bridge, 4.5km Igbedi road and Phase 2 of the Glory Drive.
In just one year in office, despite the distractions of twin pandemics of Covid -19 and a plethora of fatally jaundiced court cases, the miracle governor has re-mobilized contractors back to site for the construction of the Yenagoa-Oporoma road, construction of the Sagbama-Ekeremor road, Igbogene-AIT outer ring road and completion of the Isaac Boro Expressway, commencement of repairs/rehabilitation of damaged internal roads in Yenagoa metropolis.
These projects are exclusive of funds released to the state Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs for rural projects across the eight local government areas. The governor has also released funds to ensure final completion and issuance of operating licence to the Bayelsa State Cargo International Airport, while preliminary works had been concluded on plans to build eight new technical and vocational secondary Schools in the eight local government areas of the state.
Massive investments in Agriculture with allocation of land and provision of seedings to about 3,500 selected farmers in the eight local government areas of the state and commitment of peace, unity and reconciliation in the state, hence, the current political stability spearheaded by Sen. Douye Diri.
I am also proud of the fact that he is accomplishing all these tasks, without neglecting the wellbeing of the people and continues to prioritise human capital development. He has invested in people -oriented policies and programmes to ensure that sustainable prosperity and happiness come to the people. Some of the milestone impact of this prosperity government in one year include regular and prompt payment of salaries to civil servants, release of N200 million monthly for the payment of long-outstanding pensions, gratuities and death benefits of retirees, setting up a fully equipped molecular laboratory in Yenagoa for improved Covid testing, introduction of Diri-Boost initiative to empower young Bayelsans interested in small and medium scale enterprises.
Indeed, the Bible declares that “when the righteous rule, the people rejoice”. The people of Bayelsa are in a season of happiness, by the sovereign will of the Almighty.
––Chief Benson Agadaga, Chief of Staff, Bayelsa State Government House