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TEXT OF HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR DOUYE DIRI, GOVERNOR OF BAYELSA STATE’S NIGERIA AT 63/BAYELSA AT 27 BROADCAST ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2023

Time to Plant, Time to Harvest

Fellow Bayelsans and dear residents of our dear state,

  1. Today, like other occasions since my inauguration, on this auspicious twin occasion of Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day and the 27th anniversary of the creation of our dear state of Bayelsa, it gives me considerable joy to address you as governor.

  2. As the nation grapples with the consequences of the removal of fuel subsidy, it is my fervent hope that our present difficulties will eventually be over if the right measures are implemented.

  3. In celebrating 63 years of our hard-fought independence and 27th anniversary of the creation of Bayelsa State, we must recognise the similarities and aspirations that led to our founding fathers agitating for the creation of this homogenous Ijaw state of Bayelsa, which we are happy to describe as “The Glory of all Lands.”

  4. In this my fourth year of delivering this address, we cannot overlook the immense progress we have made as a nation and as a state. Whereas, we cannot ignore the many challenges we still face, much has yet been achieved. The Lord has preserved us. For this and many of His benefits we are truly thankful.

  5. In Bayelsa State, we have a unique story to tell. Our state, nestled in the Niger Delta region, is not only blessed with natural resources but also a resilient and enterprising people poised to show the world what it means to rise above adversity. Despite the challenges, we have remained united and focused on the task of building a better, prosperous future for our people.

  6. We have been over-dependent on oil and gas for revenue and they are running out. By the grace of God, we occupy a rich and diverse ecosystem of abundance and we must be more deliberate to exploit it responsibly. In this regard, we are aggressively pushing the construction of the three senatorial roads to Ukubie, Agge and Brass, simultaneously. Our riches remain in the ocean and these roads will take us there.

  7. This is not political. As a pioneer executive member of Ijaw National Congress, I know the poverty that prevails in our region and I coveted the opportunity to right the injury.

  8. We are ambitiously undertaking these humongous and capital-intensive projects without neglecting investments in other critical sectors, including human capital development.

  9. As your governor, I have been unwavering in my commitment to the development and progress of our beloved Bayelsa State. We have focused on key sectors such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and empowerment to uplift our people and continue to provide them with the opportunities they desire to make a dignified living. Our goal is to provide a conducive environment that attracts investments, creates jobs, and ultimately improves the standard of living for all Bayelsans, in keeping faith with our prosperity mantra.

  10. That is why we have prioritised peace, security and unity. Without peace and security, there can be no development; and without development there can be no peace and security. Security, peace and development will guarantee our future.

  11. I am persuaded that this Government of Prosperity has ticked the right boxes as far as indices for good governance are concerned. And as the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:2, “there is a time for everything under the sun. A time to plant and a time to reap”. Our first tenure has been a planting season. With your kind endorsement, our second season will be a bountiful harvest, to the benefit of us all.

  12. This point is particularly relevant because in the next few weeks, specifically on November 11, we will be holding an off-cycle election to endorse a governor for the next four years. I hope I have earned your trust to continue in office so we can harvest the fruits of the seeds of prosperity we have collectively sowed.

  13. Politics is a game and must be played according to the rules. Democratic culture across the world is about ideas and ballots, not vain-glorious promises and bullets. Ours in Bayelsa and, indeed, the rest of Nigeria should not be different.

  14. But we must remain vigilant, and recall the parable from the gospel of Mathew – “While men slept… his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat.” We must ensure that we vote, that our votes are counted and that our votes count.

  15. It is important to reiterate that until we institute a culture of respect for our democratic system of electing our leaders, to paraphrase the words of Emperor Haile Selassie I, “the desire for sustainable development and prosperity will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained”.

  16. As we celebrate this Independence Day, let us not forget the sacrifices made by our founding fathers and the heroes who fought for our freedom. Their bravery and determination have paved the way for us to enjoy the privileges we have today. We must honour their memory by working towards a Nigeria that thrives on unity, justice, and progress.

  17. Today, I call on all Bayelsans and Nigerians to join hands in building a society where every citizen has equal opportunities, access to quality education, healthcare, and a thriving economy. Let us champion peace, unity, and tolerance, embracing our diversity as a source of strength.

  18. In conclusion, let us not lose sight of the fact that our collective future lies in our hands. Together, we can build a prosperous Bayelsa State and Nigeria that generations to come will be proud of. May God bless Bayelsa State, may God bless Nigeria, and may God bless us all.

  19. Thank you, and happy celebrations!

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