*Former President Inaugurates Road, Commends Gov, Predecessor For Continuity
Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has praised Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, for his sterling performance saying that the state was making significant strides in all areas of development.
He particularly commended the governor for consolidating the legacies of his predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson, which he said has contributed to the peace, security and political stability under Diri’s leadership.
Chief Obasanjo stated this on Thursday during the 12th Bayelsa State Thanksgiving Day at the Ecumenical Centre in Igbogene-Yenagoa.
The 86-year-old former president said: “What I saw is more than what I expected. What you have here in Bayelsa that you have to cherish is peace. Comparatively, you have greater peace than other parts of the country.
“You have security. Peace without security is no peace. Security without peace is no security. Here you have security, you have peace and you have stability.
“If what is happening here is replicated in all other states in Nigeria, then we will say we have a good country.”
In his remarks, Governor Douye Diri expressed appreciation to Obasanjo for honouring and identifying with the people and government of the state.
Senator Diri attributed his achievements largely to the support and cooperation of Bayelsans and to divine grace.
According to him, “Bayelsans want peace and development. The former governor laid the foundation upon which we are building and everybody who comes to the state acknowledges the peace and security. So, we cannot go back to the era of violence, impunity and brigandage. The essence of government is to bring peace, development and progress.
“Today, we have added value to the development of Bayelsa. We are embarking on meaningful projects and programmes and we thank God for His grace to do these things.”
He also appreciated leaders of the state, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, noting that he would have attended the event if he had not travelled out of the country.
Also, the Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District and immediate past governor of the state, Senator Seriake Dickson, appreciated Diri for sustaining the legacies of his administration, particularly the road projects, the annual thanksgiving, morning devotion in Government House and the monthly praise night.
Dickson said he was a fulfilled man because he successfully handed over power without rancour and the state is peaceful and on the path of development.
The guest preacher, Pastor Lazarus Muoka of The Lord’s Chosen, Charismatic Revival Movement, delivered a sermon with the theme: “Blessed Are You.”
Pastor Muoka described Bayelsa as a blessed land where God had bestowed mineral resources that were the economic live-wire of the country.
He lauded the government and the people for setting aside a special thanksgiving day to appreciate God for His blessings upon the state.
In another development, Chief Obasanjo inaugurated the second phase of the ongoing Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie senatorial road from Igeibiri to Angiama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
The former president applauded the developmental efforts of Dr. Jonathan, who started the project as well as Senator Dickson for continuing it.
According to him, that is the importance of continuity and if you have a horse that is winning in a race, there is no need to change it in reference to Governor Diri’s second term bid.
Obasanjo described the construction of the senatorial road as a symbol of one of the positives of state creation to address development challenges.
He also flagged off construction of the Angiama-Oporoma-Ukubie section with spur to Otuan community.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Moses Teibowei, recalled that the 36-kilometer Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie road was awarded by the Jonathan administration in 2006 following the completion of the Ekoli bridge at Swali-Yenagoa.
He explained that the project was re-awarded in December 2012 by Senator Dickson and was inherited by the present administration.
Teibowei further stated that the Igeibiri-Angiama section of the road measures 10.75km with completion of a 40-metre bridge as well as 150-metre bridge at Aguobiri with a 533-metre road single carriageway to Angiama community.
He also said the Igeibiri-Angiama section was awarded in 2021 and completed in 2023 with the sum of N23.656 billion, which had been fully paid.
Dignitaries present at the thanksgiving included wife of the governor, Dr. Gloria Diri, Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and his wife, Beatrice Ewhrudjakpo, Head of Service in Rivers State, Dr George Nwaeke, who represented Governor Siminalayi Fubara, Senator Dickson’s wife, Dr. Rachael Dickson, former Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), national and state lawmakers and their spouses.
Others were the Bayelsa State Chief Judge, Justice Matilda Abrakasa, President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Daniel Ayah, Secretary to State Government, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, Commissioners, service commanders, royal fathers, clergymen, president, Ijaw National Congress, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, state PDP chairman, Solomon Agwana and other party stalwarts.
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