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Sylva, Diri trade words over development, governance in Bayelsa

By Julius Osahon, Yenagoa
14 February 2022   |   4:23 am
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, weekend traded words on the two years administration of the Peoples Democratic Party ...

Former President Goodluck Jonathan (left); Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri; his wife, Gloria; National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, during Diri’s second anniversary thanksgiving service at Igbogene…yesterday.

.Jonathan commends gov on inclusive governance

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, weekend traded words on the two years administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

Sylva, while inaugurating the state executives of the All Progressive Congress (APC), rated low the performance of Diri and described the administration as a failure in the areas of infrastructural development, urban renewal and power distribution.

He noted that despite the huge resources available to the PDP administration in the state, the ruling party had thrown the state into darkness and executed shoddy Infrastructural projects in the state.

He said: “When I entered Yenagoa yesterday (Friday), everywhere was dark. See how Bayelsa is; is it good? PDP has failed Bayelsa State. APC will rescue Bayelsa from the clutches of darkness to light. APC is light while PDP is darkness.”

Sylva, who is also the state leader of the APC in Bayelsa, pointed out that though he had no issue with Diri as a person, he had failed in the last two years as a PDP governor in the state.

He said: “I like Douye Diri as a person even though we are not in same party, that doesn’t mean that I like all of his policies in governance.”

But Diri, through the state Information Commissioner, Ayibaina Duba, described comments by Sylva as irresponsible, misguided and lacking in finesse and also indecorous of an exalted citizen of the state occupying a high office.

He said: “Coming at a time the state and its citizens are in a celebratory mood as they mark the second anniversary of Governor Douye Diri’s Prosperity Administration, the intention was clearly to dampen morale and score cheap political points. Interestingly, Bayelsans know better and cannot be swayed by baseless sentiments and the shenanigans of political conflict mongers.

“For instance, the former governor described the newly inaugurated Igbedi community road as a mere 4.5km road project that does not deserve the invitation of another governor to inaugurate it and that it led to the governor’s wife’s hometown. Pray, is Igbedi not a community in Bayelsa State that deserves the benefits of government projects like any other community? The minister might have forgotten that the first phase of the Glory Drive Road he referenced and is taking credit for is not as long as the Igbedi road he condemned.

“In his attempt to pour ice on the historic significance of the road, Chief Sylva chose to ignore the fact that this was the only community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Council of the state that hitherto was not accessible by road for about 500 years before the Senator Diri administration wiped off their tears. We do not want to believe that the minister is a kill-joy!”

MEANWHILE, former President Goodluck Jonathan has praised Diri for his inclusive approach to governance and his reverence for God.

Speaking at the Ecumenical Centre in Yenagoa during the second anniversary thanksgiving of Diri’s administration, Jonathan noted that God had a reason for everything under the sun, saying humans were just instruments in His hands.

The former president also commended him for encouraging peaceful co-existence of citizens from across party lines and prayed God to give him the wisdom to bring more development to people of the state.

He said: “God has given you opportunity to pilot the affairs of the state and you are doing well. I thank you for encouraging peaceful co-existence. We pray that you have the wisdom to bring more development. All of us should continue to support him and through him God will bless us.”

In his remarks, Diri called on people of the state to unite and shun divisive politics, stressing that it was the only way Bayelsa could move forward.

He said: “What we have done is to come back to remind ourselves that we started something, which is growing. At a point when the flags of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were taken out of the Government House, when the former governor was almost arrested in Government House, we hoped in God who rules in the affairs of men. In the end, the God of impossibility made it possible and today marked two years of that miracle.

Speaking on behalf of the PDP governors, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, said the party’s governors were in the state to rejoice with their colleague and people of the state for what God has done for them. He commended Diri for his strides in office so far and urged him to continue to work for the development of the state.

Also speaking, the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorcha Ayu, said time had proven that the party performed creditably at the presidency, saying the change mantra that the opposition sold to Nigerians has had no positive impact.

Earlier in a sermon, General Overseer of Gateway International Church, Pastor George Izunwo, who preached on thanksgiving, said God did not perform the miracle for Diri to become governor without a purpose, stressing that the governor should stay focused and work for the prosperity of all Bayelsans.