Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has called for concerted action against the upsurge of criminality and social vices such as cultism, cult related violence and drug abuse in the Niger Delta region.
Governor Dickson, who made the call while swearing in five newly appointed commissioners in Government House, Yenagoa, described the development as ‘disturbing and crippling’.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, listed the new commissioners to include Comrade Udengs Eradiri for Ministry of Youth Development, Chief Victor Sam-Ateki, Special Duties for Eastern Senatorial District, Mr. Arthur Andrew in charge of the newly created Ministry of State for Special Services, Mr. Pius Jonah, Special Projects and Mr. Peter Afagha as Commissioner for Power.
In his charge, Governor Dickson urged the commissioners to imbibe the spirit of teamwork and contribute selflessly towards actualising his administration’s target of finishing strong.
Expressing concern over the future of the youths, he stressed the need for leaders in the Niger Delta to come together to fight cultism, drug abuse and other vices that are capable of truncating the destinies of the youths.
He particularly called on the Commissioner for Youth Development, Comrade Udengs Eradiri to develop a template for sensitization and reorientation of youths in the state for positive ventures.
“Cultism is not only in the universities now. It is shocking that 11 to 12 years old are now deadly cultists. We have to recover as many as these young people as we can. I enjoin all political leaders, religious leaders to join in this. Woe betides the leaders who are deceiving these youths that cultism is the way to success for them. A good number of the youths have been deceived into thinking that they have to kill to succeed. I therefore call on Niger Delta leaders to rise to the challenge of cultism, drug abuse for us to safeguard the future of our youths who have abundant potential. ”
According to the Governor, his administration in the past seven years has not only pushed the frontiers of development in physical infrastructure but also created avenues for building committed, visionary and selfless leadership.
Governor Dickson seized the opportunity to disclose that the newly established Bayelsa International Cargo/Passenger Airport would receive its first flight in January.
“We have run a very good race by every account. This is the last lap. We have delivered on every sector. Even with the funding constraints, managing a recession, you cannot but say that we have tried. We have pushed the state ahead for about 25 years in all the critical sectors. We will drive to Ekeremor this December, and the first flight will land at the Bayelsa Airport in January, 2019.
“We are at the final stages of regulatory approvals. We want to get through with FAAN, NCAA and others next week Have we solved all the problems of Bayelsa? No. We have not solved all the problems, but we have made a huge difference. Our collective prayer as a government is to finish well and strong. As we move on, there is need for a critical reorganization and this is the first of a series to come. I know your potentials, the contributions that you have made so far.”