A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, has asked Governor Douye Diri to stop making excuses for non-performance.
Kpodoh was reacting to reported claim by Diri that his administration was at the planning stage of projects execution, saying it was an admittance of the governor’s unpreparedness for governance seven months after his inauguration.
Berating the governor for the claim, Kpodoh said such a development was an indication that Diri lacked a blueprint on how to run the state.
He lamented the lack of regular power supply and the absence of pipe borne water in the state, noting that the state’s water board had been taken over by weeds, rodents and reptiles.
Kpodoh, a former Chief Security Adviser to the Bayelsa State Government, said though the posture of Diri’s administration in the regular payment of salary and pensions was commendable, his inaction in tackling darkness in Yenagoa and no visible signs of ongoing projects was regrettable, unthinkable and unfortunate.
He maintained that the basic amenities needed by the people are electricity, water and road.
He, therefore, called on Diri to shun attempts to engage in excuses and to engage in practical policies of government that would alleviate the living conditions of the people.
He stated: “When there is light, there is life. Look at Bayelsa State, darkness envelopes everywhere at night. During the Timipre Sylva administration, we had the streets lit up. Even though Sylva administration was not perfect, he ensured that the turbines were working and that there was no darkness on the streets of Yenagoa.
“The water board was working and they embarked on water reticulation. The people could go to some spots around the state capital and fetch water. Suddenly, when Diri’s predecessor came, everything collapsed. The water board has been taken over by rodents and snakes.
“Now, the people are engaged in self-help by digging boreholes all over the city. These actions may turn to cause problems in the future. The government was reported to have invested in the power transmission and distribution with state money but the state capital does not have regular power supply. Even the street lights are off.
“Instead of the present administration of Douye Diri to provide the needed basic amenities, they are borrowing to buy cars and embark on personal pleasure. They cannot borrow money to ensure regular power supply, water and other basic amenities, but to buy cars. Bayelsa is becoming empty due to failed system. Businessmen and entrepreneurs are leaving the city. There is the need by the present administration to develop Bayelsa. If they fly over Bayelsa, don’t they see the under development and darkness?
“We have heard times without number that they have cases in courts. But the case in court is not against the Bayelsa people. The cases do not mean the government should not work while collecting allocations monthly.
“This administration should remember that Bayelsans are their bosses while they are the servants. They must serve the people not to boss them into life of intimidation and poverty. They use state fund to promote their pleasure while the people of the state are suffering.
“Diri should start working. The claims that the delay is due to the proper planning mode being activated by his administration are a clear admittance that he is not ready for governance. Over seven months allocations have been collected and you claim to be planning. What was the campaign promise? They promised to build on existing foundation built by the former Governor Seriake Dickson administration. Where is the foundation?
“Unfortunately for Diri, Dickson did not build anything worthy to complete. The claim that they will build Agge port in four years is also a tall dream. Diri should face realities. He should leave white elephant that cannot be achieved and face provision of basic amenities such as water, roads and lighting up the streets of Bayelsa capital.”
He challenged the governor to come out clean on the state of Bayelsa’s account as handed over to him by his predecessor, Seriake Dickson.
He argued that if the funding of the needed projects was the issue, it was high time Diri told the people of Bayelsa the truth about the monies handed over to him by Dickson.
He added: “Government is about continuity. Dickson in his claims on compulsory saving policy must have handed over N96bn to Diri after eight years in line with N1bn monthly compulsory savings.
“Diri should come clean and tell Bayelsans how much debt the state is owing and how much he met in government coffers when he took over.”