Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government said it has uncovered a ‘sinister plot’ by chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from the state to prevent President Muhammadu Buhari from inaugurating the Bayelsa International Cargo/ Passenger Airport.
The state government, through Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, is said to be waiting for the Presidency to give a date convenient for President Buhari to visit Bayelsa and commission the Airport.
Special Adviser to the Governor of Bayelsa State, on Media and Public Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, said in a statement titled ‘APC Members Plotting to Discourage Buhari from commissioning Bayelsa International Airport,’ that the remnants of APC are clinging to a pernicious plot to demonise the Airport for “unimaginable, pathetic political considerations”.
The governor’s aide said that members of the APC who have become suddenly obsessed with malicious allegations and non- existent controversy over the crucial airport project are working to prevent its inauguration with the sinister intent to make it an abandoned airport for campaign purposes.
According to Soriwei, “nothing could be more pathetic and evil than this subversion of the general interest of Bayelsa and indeed the Ijaw nation by a group of malevolent individuals motivated by greed and selfishness.”
Soriwei said that it was rather curious that the APC members would demonize a star project of immense value to the state, the Ijaw nation, the South South and indeed the country.
He described the APC members who are attacking the historical airport projects as ‘enemies of the general good’ and should be discountenanced by all men of good conscience.
Soriwei also insisted that the airport was the critical answer to years of prayers and lamentations of the Bayelsans many of whom had died along the East West Road after flying within and outside the country to the Airports in Port Harcourt and Benin.
The governor’s aide argued that those who described the airport as unviable were small minds devoid of vision who the capacity to interact with tomorrow could not have seen the huge economic benefit of the project.
Soriwei stressed that it was beyond contestation that the Airport project was designed to further open up the developmental space and provide enhanced environment for economic activities and prosperity in Bayelsa.
He urged President Buhari and his handlers to be wary of the unpatriotic and destructive intent of a few disgruntled characters masquerading as critics of government.
His statement reads, “It has come to the attention of the Bayelsa State Government that the opposition APC who are enraged by their recent political misfortune are planning to prevent President Muhammadu Buhari from inaugurating the Bayelsa Airport for campaign purposes.
“The essence of venturing into politics cannot be the selfish promotion of the inordinate and parochial interest of a selfish few to destroy the general good by a few disgruntled political characters masquerading as critics of government.
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“It is sad that the APC In Bayelsa have thrown caution to the wind by portraying themselves as enemies of the Bayelsa people and indeed the Ijaw nation.
“An awareness of the pressing need for an airport in Bayelsa made the previous APC Administration under Chief Timipre Sylva to attempt an airport project at Okordia/Zarama axis of the state which, unfortunately, was abandoned after the ‘construction of a multibillion footpath to the project site.
“It is, therefore, absurd that the same man who conceived the idea of an airport project would lead a band of baleful politicians to demonize the completed airport project in Bayelsa.
“The question to ask is ‘Would the airport have been seen by Sylva’s supporters to be viable if it was executed by him?
“Is the airport now unviable economically because it was built by Governor Dickson?” he asked.