The coming of Bayelsa International Airport from the belly of the Niger Delta, proudly delivered by the will of the Almighty in the hands of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson with an eagle eye on the future beyond 2019 has indeed put us on the map of global players in the aviation industry and ancillary services.
It’s indeed amazing to know that ours is the best airport in Nigeria and people can now travel from Amassoma to New York and Heathrow by direct flight when the project is fully commissioned.
Needless to say that this new Baby is an important aspect of our future as nation, having nascent challenges and prospects for the government and inhabitants in the new Jerusalem of Ijaw nation.
Having only one year more to his tenure as Governor, there is no doubt that some of the challenges to be overcome to actualize the full potentials of this gigantic project may have to be tackled by the next Bayelsa man that will take over from Ofuruma Pepe. Such challenges, among others include dualization of the Tombia-Amassoma road as well as connecting roads for host communities of the Airport. Plus provision of electricity supply that will not depend on the national grid, connecting the Airport to Amassoma, Igbedi, Ikibiri and Ikolo suburbs aimed at encouraging the establishment of small and medium scale businesses that would promote commercial activities and reduce unemployment in the private sector of our economy.
As we celebrated the first landing of two aeroplanes in this hitherto swampy virgin Island, we also felt the urgent need for an International Airport Hotel within close proximity to cater for the business and tourists community that are expected to stream into Yenagoa from all parts of the world. And I think there is something that Gov. Dickson can do here before leaving Creek Haven.
Speaking shortly after stepping down from the first commercial plane that landed at Bayelsa International Airport, Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area on February 14, 2019, His Excellency, Governor Seriake Dickson said that his administration conceived this airport from the first day he came into office.
In his inaugural address, His Excellency made it very clear that his government was not going to play politics with law and order and stability. He also said “we’re not going to play politics with your development, our development”.
“We’re going to do everything to mobilise and unify our people and to protect the Ijaw national interests”.
“When I said there was going to be no politics with development, this is the kind of thing I had in mind, and you’re seeing it today. You’re seeing an airport that is 3.5 kilometres runway, not an airstrip. There’s no plane that cannot land here”
“That’s why whatever this government does, we do it not just for me moment, we’re doing it for the future. We’ll keep expanding this initial design because I said let it be that we have come and we have done the best. Let other Governors come and focus on other things”.
” And that’s why you’re seeing us building roads and bridges connecting communities and local governments in far flung places in this difficult terrain”.
“Many people criticize and they talk without knowing details, we can forgive them and I urge you all to forgive them because they don’t have the passion, they don’t have the vision, and they have no experience in building. They have never built a school before so they don’t understand when we have built twenty-something boarding schools from a state that had no boarding schools”.
“They don’t understand when we build hospitals. 60, 70-bed, wonderful structures in all our local government headquarters where we had none. They don’t understand, they don’t get it”
“They don’t get it when we build roads and bridges in this terrible terrain of ours where we have to sandfill 2, 3 meters high to build a road, even when those roads lead to their own local government and communities and pass by their father’s houses, they don’t get it”.
As we celebrate the first landing of two aeroplanes in this hitherto swampy virgin Island, we also feel the urgent need for an International Airport Hotel within close proximity to cater for the business and tourists community that are expected to stream into Yenagoa from all parts of the world. And I think there is something that Gov. Dickson can do here before leaving Creek Haven
In light of His Excelleny’s crave and commitment to infrastructural development strides; and as a patriotic Izon citizen, If I had opportunity to meet him, I would have graciously advised my Governor to review his stance on the abandoned Tower Hotel started by Goodluck Ebere Jonathan along the Isaac Boro Express Way in Yenagoa to provide internationally standard hospitality and entertainment services in the state capital.
My Governor adjudged number 1 in performance. Bayelsa International Airport is also number 1. And I believe strongly that he has the political will and financial muscle to restore this important but abandoned project bereft of political considerations, within the remaining eleven months of his administration and commission it to the glory of God and his people. And this of course, is the Glory of All Land.
Finally, I would have advised Governor Henry Seriake Dickson to ensure that he hands over Creek Haven to a man who has “passion for service” to sustain, safeguard our collective legacies and expand these developments in other areas from February 14, 2020
(Campaign First Son)
February 17, 2019