Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called on the federal government and its authorities to give more opportunities to Bayelsans at the federal level, saying the state has been shortchanged for long.
Governor Diri, who stated this in his office when he received the Federal Commissioner representing Bayelsa in the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Mr. Tonye Okio, also promised to support the agency to ensure that the state gets its fair share of positions and infrastructure.
His Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement, quoted the Bayelsa helmsman as saying that as a former member of the House of Representatives, he was aware of the unfair distribution of federal positions and amenities among Nigerians.
He said the commission had a lot to do to ensure fairness and justice.
While advocating for more openings for Bayelsans at the centre, Diri encouraged people of the state to be open to opportunities to fill the state’s quota at the federal level.
He thanked Mr. Okio for the visit, which he described as a sign of political maturity and urged him to ensure that when opportunities are available, they are distributed equitably to Bayelsans irrespective of party lines.
His words: “We thank you for this visit. It shows that you also live above partisan politics and that is the only way we can grow as a state. Once elections are over, litigations are over, we all join hands to talk about the development of our state.
“I assure you that our prosperity administration will support you and work with you to ensure that our state gets its rightful place in terms of appointments, employment, fairness and equity in distribution of socio-economic infrastructure.”
In his remarks, Mr. Tonye Okio said the purpose of the visit was to introduce himself and other members of his team to the governor and to solicit his support to enable them succeed in their assignment.
The Federal Commissioner explained that the FCC had two mandates but that only one has so far been activated, which is ensuring equitable distribution of positions.
He stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has however directed the commission to activate the second mandate, which is ensuring equitable distribution of social amenities.
He assured the governor of his readiness to ensure that Bayelsa gets its fair share in the scheme of things.
“It is not possible for me to do this job alone. I must do it with you. We must work together. The state must work with me otherwise I will fail. I cannot succeed without the state,” Okio said.