Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the just-concluded Presidential election, Peter Obi, the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure and LP’s standard bearer in the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State, Udengs Eradiri, yesterday, lamented the level of poverty and underdevelopment in the state.
The three LP leaders, who spoke during the official inauguration of the campaign office of the gubernatorial candidate, unveiling of Eradiri and a town hall meeting in Yenagoa, the state capital, expressed dissatisfaction that despite the enormous resources and federal allocation that had accrued to the state since creation, it remained in a sorry state.
They contended that the problem of Bayelsa was purely that of leadership, adding that the state needed purposeful, result-oriented, ingenious, people-oriented, honest, updated, bold and courageous leadership to turn things around for the better.
The LP top chiefs, who stormed the state through the Port Harcourt International Airport were received by many party stalwarts and faithful at Mbiama, the boundary of Bayelsa and Rivers states..
Their arrival was also heralded by pomp and celebration as musicians, hordes of youths, women and men escorted them to the party’s secretariat and later the Aridolf Wellness Resort and Spa venue in Okaka, where the town hall meeting held.
Lamenting the widespread poverty in the oil-rich Bayelsa State, Obi said it was sad, unfortunate and unthinkable that a state where oil was first struck in commercial quantity about 67 years ago still remained underdeveloped and poor.
“That you can come to this state and still see poverty is unfortunate and sad. This is a state, where we discover our first oil over 67 years ago and it is worrisome that after such a long time, you cannot drive on a good road to Bayelsa.
“Bayelsa is not supposed to be among the list of poor states for what God endowed them with. It is caused by leadership and that’s what we are trying to change. Our candidate has told you other parties will give you money but we are not in politics of sharing money, we don’t have any money to share.
“Those who are giving you money are giving you, your own money to share, we didn’t steal anything so we can’t give anything. When they give you money, take it but vote your conscience. Labour Party is the party to vote for in order to emancipate you from poverty and underdevelopment.
“We want to reduce the poverty in Bayelsa and the only way we can do that is by using the resources of this state to move the country from consumption to production; it is from production that you will get jobs. I listened to him (Udengs Eradiri) talk about micro credit, supporting small businesses. That is actually the future of the world and the future of Nigeria and the future of young people,” he said.
Eradiri, an engineer by calling, said he would liberate Bayelsa from the shackles of poverty and underdevelopment if elected on November 11, 2023.
He said that Bayelsa was greatly endowed with several natural tourism sites that could be harnessed to enhance economic prosperity of the state yet successive administrations in the state had done little or nothing to change the narrative.
Abure, in his remarks, Abure, said he was appalled at the level of poverty that afflict the state, saying it required a pragmatic leadership to ameliorate the situation hence he called on Bayelsa people to vote for LP candidate and not to waste their votes for other parties.
His words: “This is the time we must come out in our large numbers to vote for the candidate of the Labour Party in the Bayelsa governorship election. We must ensure that the we do not only vote LP but we must defend our votes.
“Bayelsa needs redemption. When we drove past Bayelsa State, I wept that there are no roads, no good schools, among others. The causes are not farfetched: it is leadership failure. It is time for the Labour Party to mount the saddle and redeem the state from poverty and underdevelopment.”