From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Stakeholders across the political divide on Monday sued for unity among political actors in the state while demanding for more federal presence in Bayelsa State.
The stakeholders spoke at a Special Town Hall meeting with traditional rulers, community leaders and youths at the Harold Dappa Biriye Conference Hall, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The meeting had in attendance Governor Douye Diri, the convener, former governor of the state and Minister of State Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, National Assembly members from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC), top government functionaries and civil society organisations.
Diri and Sylva in their remarks harped on unity and collaboration among political leaders in the state to accelerate development for the people.
In his response, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, underscored the need for all to work to make Bayelsa a peaceful and investment-friendly destination.
He highlighted some ongoing federal projects to create job opportunities for youths in the state.
He said the Brass fertilizer plant, the Oil and Gas Industrial Park project at Ogbia, the Oloibiri Museum and the petrochemical plant in Polaku are targeted intervention projects.
The minister, who also assured that action would be taken on the Nembe-Brass road, promised that all ongoing projects would be completed.
In his remarks, Governor Diri, commending President Muhammadu Buhari for completing the 17-storey secretariat of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, tasked the federal government to prevail on the international oil companies to relocate their head offices to Bayelsa and other states in the region.
According to him, ‘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.’
The governor called for the approval of the license for the Bayelsa 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 the 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,’ he said.
The governor commended the federal government for initiating the meeting and emphasised the need to interface more with the people in order to avoid speculations and protests.