With Governor Douye Diri, Bayelsa State is work in progress, By Bisi Ezekiel

Posted by News Express | 5 November 2021 | 547 times

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•Governor Diri




Since Senator Douye Diri assumed office on February 14, 2020, it is obvious that his personal resolve as an astute administrator of men and resources is to make Bayelsa State much more better than he met it.

He took off from where his predecessor left and he is determined to improve upon achievements of past administrations in the state.

Governor Diri has not left any aspect of governance untouched as the presence of his government is been felt in every wards across the eight local government areas.

Sectors such as Education, Health, Sports, Commerce and Tourism have been witnessing rapid development in the last 18 months of the Diri administration.

The people of Bayelsa acknowledge Diri’s resolve in preserving and promoting the Ijaw heritage for socio-economic development of the state.

Little wonder, the State Commissioner for Tourism, Dr. Oti Orugbani, said within one year, there is no doubt Diri is prepared to attract investors and tourist into key sectors to fulfil the aspirations and yearnings of every Bayelsan.

The Tourism Commissioner said “the state is gratified with the resolute development strides in ensuring that the state harnesses all tourism potential in the eight local govt areas and to show them to the world”.

So also did he said that the good people of Bayelsa State recognises Diri’s enthusiasm to ensure that the Bayelsa State Council for Art and Culture maintained the zenith and premium position in the 31st National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) held in Jos, Plateau State, November 2020.

Determined to recover lost grounds in terms of development due to the prolonged legal battle that trailed his election, he kicked the ground running and never looked back to the extent that just a year in office as governor, Senator Douye Diri was able to proudly lay claim to some socio – economic projects put in place and to which Bayelsans attested.

Appreciating the importance of constant power supply and electricity to social and commercial development, the governor invested heavily in this regard.

To further improve upon the economy of the state, he Governor Diri ensured the state government operates soft operational policies on taxation.

He as well renew policies on agricultural development. The state government signed an MoU with a private firm for training of young Bayelsans in farming and agribusiness

Governor Diri’s administration is credited for the Installation of LED solar streetlights in the state capital and improved electricity supply and security of installations.

In the area of qualitative education to school age children in public primary and secondary schools across the state, the government embarked on full implementation of primary school teachers/workers’ long standing promotion and payment of long-standing pension and gratuities of retirees (including teachers) dating back to 2008.

Believing that the wealth of the state could be maximally harnessed by a healthy population, the Governor ensue counterpart funding of primary healthcare system, completed and commissioned the Kaiama Referral Hospital.

While commissioning the hospital, Governor Diri said: “I understand that this project started in 1980 by late Melford Okilo and my predecessor took it to 60 percent and we achieved this stage of completion in one month.

“I have received briefings on similar projects in other Local Government Areas. I hereby direct the Commissioner for Health to ensure completion of the ongoing referral hospitals in Sagbama, Ekeremor, Ogbia and Oporoma within this fiscal year.”

“When we talk of prosperity, this health project is part of it. You have to be healthy before you can look for money.”

The governor provide regularly COVID-19 palliatives across the eight local government areas and granted tax waivers to businesses and individuals to cushion the effects of COVID-19.

In the area of youth empowerment, the Governor appointed over 100 young Bayelsans as SSAs and SAs in his government.

Also did Governor Diri earned the respect and commendation of Bayelsans for prompt payment of civil servants and pensioners monthly.

In a very short distance of time, Bayelsa State is increasingly becoming a construction hub.

The Diri administration is credited for the construction of roads and expansion of the Edepie/Etegwe roundabout in Yenagoa, repair work at the Zarama/Sampou axis of the East-West road (a federal road), construction of Yenagoa-Oporoma road (Ongoing) and construction of AIT/Elebele – Igbogene ring road (ongoing).

Listed under massive construction stride of the Diri administration include; the  construction of 4.5km Igbedi community road (ongoing), construction of second phase Igbogene – Glory Drive Road (Ongoing, construction of Sagbama-Ekeremor road (ongoing) and construction of multipurpose media complex for state-owned Bayelsa Radio, Niger Delta Television and New Waves Newspaper (ongoing).

Others are the 4.5km Igbedi community road project (ongoing), Second Phase Igbogene –

Glory Drive road project (ongoing) and Yenagoa-Oporoma Road project (ongoing).

Governor Diri has applauded for the completion and commencement of commercial flight operations at Bayelsa International Airport.

While the Imiringi community bridge had been completed and commissioned, there are s lot of ongoing bridge projects such as that of the Elebele bridge.

Governor Douye Diri became governor after the Supreme Court in a judgement that ended a long legal battle has affirmed his he election as governor of Bayelsa State on February 13, 2020.

A seven-member panel of the apex court led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, delivered a unanimous judgment that Mr Diri and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, were duly elected.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Ngwuta said it followed the withdrawal of the six appeals filed at the court by the appellants.

The appeals were filed by the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), Labour Movement (LM) and Accord Party (AP).

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had returned David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of last year’s Bayelsa governorship election but the Supreme Court voided the victory on February 13, just a day before his swearing in.

The apex court’s decision followed a petition accusing Mr Lyon’s running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, of presenting forged certificates to INEC

Subsequent petitions against Mr Diri’s election had been dismissed by the election petition tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

Diri was sworn in on February 14, 2020 as duly elected governor of Bayelsa State.

Born on (born 4 June 1959), Diri hails from Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Douye Diri was a former Commissioner for Youths and Sports during Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure as Bayelsa governor.

Prior to his emergence as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa, Diri was the senator representing Bayelsa Central senatorial district of Bayelsa state at the Nigerian 9th Senate.

A well-educated governor, Diri attended the College of Education in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, where he obtained his Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) in 1985.

He later attended the University of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, and obtained his Bachelor of Education degree in Political Science in 1990.

Before joining politics, Diri taught at several government schools in the Old Rivers State.

He is the First National Organizing Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), the foremost organization of the Ijaw Nation.

He was also appointed Executive Secretary, Centre for Youth Development in Bayelsa State from 2000 to 2002 during the tenure of the First Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

He was later appointed as Commissioner for Youth and Sports 2005/2006 during the Goodluck Jonathan administration in Bayelsa State.

Diri served as the governing council board member of the University of Maiduguri from 2000 to 2012.

He equally served as the chairman of the PDP Disciplinary Council, Bayelsa State in 2012.

He was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House from August 2012 and a year later was appointed as Principal Executive Secretary, a position he held until he resigned in 2014 to contest for the Federal House of Representatives to represent Kolokuma, Opokuma, and Yenagoa Federal Constituency.

*Bisi Ezekiel contributed this piece from Abuja.

Source: News Express

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