;A RARE TOWN HALL MEETING IN YENAGOA .

                  …….Chief Sylva, Gov. Diri led stakeholder for Development Talks.

By Isaac Money – Yenagoa 

Chief Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources re-echoes laudable development projects the President Mohammadu Buhari led administration has planned for Bayelsa state as governor Douye Diri again calls for the relocation of multinational oil Companies’  offices to the state.

The duo also advocated for political leaders to eschew political differences to ensure development of the  state.

In a Special Town Hall  meeting in Yenagoa, which was the fIrst of its kind between a Federal Minister of the state’s extraction and an incumbent governor of the state in the last eight years,Chief Sylva    reechoed the need for  Bayelsans , especially the elites to discard  political differences and work together for the development of the state.

Flanked by governor Douye Diri, Simbi Wabote executive Secretary of the NCDMB, and other top government officials, Sylva who underscored the need for all to work to make Bayelsa a peaceful and investment-friendly destination reeled out some lofty developmental projects  including  some ongoing federal projects to create job opportunities for youths in the state. Also in the. offing  are the Brass fertiliser plant, the Oil and Gas Industrial Park project at Ogbia, the Oloibiri Museum and the petrochemical plant in Polaku were targeted intervention projects, he added.

He also assured that action would be taken on the Nembe-Brass road, promised that all ongoing projects would be completed.

Like Sylva, governor Douye Diri, in his remarks also called for harmony among politicians for the development of the state, and  for the umpteenth time , called on the Multinational oil,companies to relocate their headquarters to the state  also commended  President Mohammadu Buhari for completing the 17-storey  secretariat of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa.

He tasked the federal government to prevail on the international oil companies to relocate their head offices to Bayelsa and other states in the region as it could further engender peace in the region.

 “The relocation of such offices will further cement peace and attract investments to the region as there is no total peace anywhere in the country as shown by the EndSARS disturbances.”

Disturbed by redundancy of the state’s Airport which has not been in use since its commissioning , governor Diri called for the aproval of the license for the airport as well as the construction of the Nembe-Brass road, which he described as strategic to the operations of the Brass Fertilizer plant project.

He harped on the need for collaboration between the state and federal governments to collectively pursue development efforts rather than politicising issues of development.

“Let us move away from politics of deceit, bitterness, hatred and lawlessness. We should be mindful of what we are handing over to our next generation. 

“Let us put aside our political differences and come together to work for the collective interests of our people.”

The governor equally commended the federal government for initiating such a meeting and emphasised the need to interface more with the people in order to avoid speculations and protests.

He urged President Buhari to appoint a substantive minister for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources or elevate the serving Minister of State, adding that the people would continue to agitate for a better deal from the centre but through legitimate means.

“Let us have this paradigm shift from bitterness to development. Going forward this should be a model and not wait for a directive from Abuja before we meet to dispel rumours.”

In his remarks, the  Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote, said the board was playing a significant role in creating investment opportunities that provide employment for the people.

The event which was Christened. “Special Town Hall meeting” spurred key stakeholders to demand better federal government’s presence to fast track overall development of Bayelsa state.

The stakeholders   also called on federal government to revisit the abandoned federal secretariat and housing projects among other federal infrastructure lacking in the state.

Others who presented similar demands at the event included Clever Inodu, chairman of the Central Zone, Ijaw Youth Council, and the council’s spokesman,  Ebilade Ekerefe, who stressed the need for constructive  engagement of the youths was vital to sustaining the peace and security in the Niger Delta.

The youths also reechoed the relocation of multinational oil company head offices to the region, stressing ‘”were are still awaiting for the fulfilment of the federal government’s directive to the oil multinationals to relocate their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta.

King Joshua Igbugburu, Pioneer chairman of the state’s Traditional Rulers Council, elder statesman, Chief Thompson Okorotie, representative of the Civil Liberties Organisation, Chief Nengi James, expressed concern over the number of abandoned federal projects in the state

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