As the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC sets to conduct off season elections in three states of the federation come November 2023, a lot of campaign activities are ongoing by political parties that have fielded candidates to garner support towards achieving victory. Elections will be conducted in Bayelsa,Imo and Kogi states come November. While in Bayelsa and Imo,the incumbents: Senator Diri Douye and Hope Uzodinma are seeking for second term,in Kogi it’s a different situation because the incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello is not part of the show having served his constitutionally allowed second term and rounding up in few months time.
While taking over on February 14, 2020, Governor Diri had vowed to turn Bayelsa state into a massive construction site by transforming it into the dreams of its founding fathers. Upon assumption of office, the miracle governor as he is popularly known in the state ,did not waste time in hitting the ground running to achieve this target. As a former commissioner in the state and also an experienced national legislator who served his people in both chambers of the national assembly,Sen Diri was so conscious of the huge demands of his office that he quickly assemble his team and set for work. Since then, he has left no stone unturned in fulfilling that promise by embarking on several projects ranging from roads and bridges to hospitals,schools,sports and healthcare facilities, public buildings as well as policies and programmes that are having positive impact on people of the state.
Today whenever and wherever governors are been mentioned, one name that will resonate very visibly is the miracle leader of Bayelsa ,the gentle, simple, respectful,Godfearing, easy going, compassionate, hardworking, vibrant, socially-inclined, likeable, amiable and politically admirable Gov Diri would be among the top. Always calm, peaceful, orderly and collected, he does not play with governance neither does he toy with any issue that has to do with his people. He has set a record in almost every area of endeavour that has attracted his people to his governance approach and philosophy.
On road construction, the governor has done excellently well by bringing smiles to the faces of the three senatorial districts namely,22.2km Yenagoa-Oporoma Road (Southern Ijaw LGA),
42km Sagbama-Ekeremor Road (Sagbama and Ekeremor LGAs) and
21km Nembe-Brass Road (Brass and Nembe LGAs).
10.2km Glory Drive Phase II (Yenagoa LGA)
21km Elebele-Igbogene Outer Ring Road (Yenagoa LGA)
6.5km Igbedi Road and extension (Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA)
New Yenagoa City Link Road (Yenagoa LGA)
Toru-Orua-Toru-Ebeni Road (Sagbama LGA)
Sampou/Kalama Bypass (Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA)
Imiringi Road Rehabilitation (Ogbia LGA)
completion of Isaac Boro Road (Yenagoa LGA)
Upgrade/Extension/Beautification of the Edepie-Etegwe Roundabout (Yenagoa LGA). He has equally done same across all the wards of the local government areas of the state. The state capital Yenagoe is wearing a new look as he has reconstructed the heavily flooded areas that were unpassable and unmotorable and fixed some internal roads within the metropolis of the state city centre.
On buildings,the governor did so well to have completed the Ernest Ikoli Media Complex (Yenagoa LGA),remodelling and completion of the Bayelsa Transport Terminal (Yenagoa LGA),Judges’ Quarters (Yenagoa LGA),Completion of NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp (Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA),Finance House (Yenagoa LGA),Labour (NLC/TUC) House (Yenagoa LGA),Civil Servants’ Canteen (Yenagoa LGA) and the ongoing construction of 150 School Buildings across all constituencies in the state and the construction of Technical Schools in all 8 LGAs, among other similar projects.
In the area of education, the governor has given due attention to every critical issue as never before because he believes that education is the gateway to other achievements. Is it the provision of free education,loans, ICT, payment of tuition fees and bursary,accreditation of programmes, partnership with Microsoft, classrooms and modern furniture? The achievement is legendary.
The governor has not taken lightly the welfare of the state and LGA workers neither has he toyed with human capital development, He has engaged the youth and women population in robust entrepreneaurial development programmes and mentorship trainings by adequately funding every activity that strengthens their capacity. He has also provided a monthly succour of 200,000 to over 3000 small and medium scale enterprises for them to survive the harsh economic climate. There are four beneficiaries from every ward every month.
The agricultural sector is not left out as the government has provided
support to Bayelsa farmers to plant cassava, rice and plantain,
establish rice farms at Otuasega, Amassoma and School-to-Land, Yenagoa,allocation of land and provision of seedlings to 3,500 farmers in the eight local government areas in collaboration with CBN,installation of rice mills at Niger Delta University, Amassoma, and Federal University, Otuoke and continuation and completion of the cassava (starch) processing factory at Ebedebiri (Sagbama LGA),
He also rehabilitated the 500-pond fish farm at Yenigwe which is ongoing.
In the area of health, there are frequent delivery of medicines to communities through drones under a partnership with Zipline,upgrade and furnishing of dilapidated health facilities and provision of additional health centres.
Security wise,the administration has engaged and employed over 200 Bayelsans through the Bayelsa State Community Safety Corps and strengthened the continuation of the Bayelsa Volunteers and Bayelsa Vigilante with over 2000 youths engaged. In the area of sports, there has been consistent reward for Bayelsa athletes that made the state and Nigeria proud at National and International competitions.Under Governor Diri, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens won the 2021 NFF/AITEO Cup in the male and female categories, a feat no state in Nigeria had previously achieved.
As Bayelsans go to the polls come November, the incumbent governor is predicted to win with a landslide in view of the many achievements he has recorded for his people. He has demonstrated the power of possibilities that with sheer political will and determination, nothing is difficult to achieve. He has run an open governance system that creates opportunities and access for the people to participate and ask questions. In essence, he has brought the combination of his legislative and executive experiences to bear on governance and the result is seen in the efficiency and effectiveness of the way he administer the state.