The Bayelsa Elders Council has given thumbs up to Governor Douye Diri for the developmental strides of his administration.
The elders expressed satisfaction particularly with infrastructure projects embarked upon by the Prosperity Administration in the state.
His Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, said they gave the commendation during their meeting on Thursday in Yenagoa, which was attended by Governor Diri.
According to Alabrah, chairman of the BEC, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), in his remarks, described one of the roads among others constructed by the administration as the best in the state.
He said, “The dualized Glory Drive is one of the best roads in town today, which was not affected by last year’s flood.
“The other day l was coming from Nembe and l saw that the Igbogene-AIT ring road is almost complete. One important road that touches me is the Nembe-Brass road that you are undertaking.”
Jonah, an engineer and immediate past deputy governor of the state, also lauded Diri’s efforts in the education sector.
He however urged the government to explore ways of developing the power sector as it has been liberalized to improve power supply and also reminded the governor on the issues of stipends and land allocation for their members.
Responding, Governor Diri expressed appreciation to the elders for the support and encouragement to his administration, its policies and programmes, and assured that their support would not be taken for granted.
The state’s helmsman restated his commitment to infrastructural transformation of the state, particularly on the capital-intensive three senatorial road projects.
He disclosed that the completed Glory Drive project would be inaugurated before November this year and the contract for the second phase to link Onopa would be awarded.
On the issue of security and the ban on commercial tricycles at night, he thanked the elders for supporting the government’s decision, saying the policy has helped a great deal to reduce criminal activities in the state.
Diri disclosed that there has been tremendous pressure on him to lift the restriction on tricycles but said the ban will remain as the newly launched taxi cabs and buses would operate during the day and at night.
“I like to applaud our elders for working with the government towards ensuring the security and development of Bayelsa. Security cannot be 100% perfect across the whole world. With your support, our security has improved to an appreciable level. That is why we established the Bayelsa State Community Safety Corps and we will soon introduce its riverine component.”
On comments made by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress and former governor of the state that the government was constructing a metal bridge across the River Nun at Angiama to link Oporoma, Governor Diri said it was unfortunate and smacked of ignorance.
He explained that the structure was a temporary bridge, which aids the company to facilitate the construction of a solid bridge across the river.
His words: “I like our elders to know that we are constructing a solid and not a metal bridge across River Nun. The temporary metal bridge hosts every heavy duty equipment of the construction company with which they are now launching the bridge being built.
“It is unfortunate when people speak out of ignorance, especially a governorship candidate who had been governor of this state; deceiving people that we are constructing a metal bridge to link Oporoma.”
On the issue of flooding and erosion, the governor advocated the dredging of rivers as well as a comprehensive state-wide study on how best federal and state governments should address the twin problems simultaneously.
He also suggested that the Federal Government build dams to check flood waters, stating that it was not enough to always issue flood alerts to states.
Diri said his administration had almost completed rehabilitation works on failed portions of some roads impacted by last year’s flood along the Sagbama-Toru-Orua axis of the Sagbama-Ekeremor toad as well as the Amassoma and Opokuma roads.
The governor further stated that he raised the issue of flooding and its impact at the National Economic Council meetings where it was agreed that each geo-political zone should come up with a road project to be handled by the federal government.
He said the South-South governors chose the East West road for the federal government to take immediate action.