From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Hundreds of Bayelsans defied the downpour on Thursday to receive the All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential campaign train led by the Presidential standard bearer, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Yenagoa.
Tinubu, who spoke to the mammoth crowd at Ox- Bow Lake Pavilion, venue of the rally, promised to turn Bayelsa into an industrial hub.
According to him, he would ensure Bayelsa State reach its potential as one of the country’s largest producers of oil because Nigeria would not be what it is today if not for the oil that was first discovered in the state.
Tinubu lamented the state of development in the state and urged the people to vote for the APC to ensure development comes to the state.
He also commended former President Goodluck Jonathan, a son of of Bayelsa State for ensuring a smooth transition of power in 2015 after the APC won the presidential election and his efforts to foster peace and democracy in West Africa.
“On behalf of the entire nation, may I say thank you Bayelsa for all that you have done for Nigeria.
“You have played a critical and leading role in the development of our national economy.
“Now, I am a man of fair play. I believe a person, a state and even a nation should be repaid for the good and positive things they have done.
“It is high time that Bayelsa is duly acknowledged for its role in national development and even more fairly paid back in kind for that positive role.
“The entire world knows that Bayelsa is rich in oil and is among Nigeria’s largest producing states. The revenue from these things has been the backbone of government income and foreign exchange earnings.
“But what the world often forgets is that Bayelsa is more than just pipelines and oil installations. It is a community of decent and good people, proud of the culture and traditions, yet hopeful of what the future holds.
“You are fishermen and boat operators of great skill and reputation. You are farmers, businessmen, market women, teachers, students and professionals in all fields.
“If you vote for me and my team, that unfair day will surely end. We will reconstruct and maintain vital federal roadways such as the Mbiama-Yenegoa-Nembe-Brass highway. We will work with willing and capable private sector partners to build a comprehensive network of swamp bridges that connect swamp settlements with upland areas and the wider world.
“My government will make the safety and security of the people of this state its highest priority. We will take the necessary measures to address security challenges in the waterways by winning the fight against kidnapping, oil theft and piracy in the Niger Delta region.
Other speakers at the event including the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Director- General of the campaign, Governor Simon Lalong and his deputy, Adams Oshiomhole declared that Tinubu is the best presidential candidate deserving of the votes of Nigerians.