By Deyemi Saka
Every four years, at the completion of a term in office, aspiring public office holders and occupiers of public office seek to enter a social contract with Nigerians in government at all levels making promises to improve the lives of the electorates.
It is not any different with Bayelsa State, a small state in the South South mainly populated by Ijaw people; although its oil reserves make it one of the most resource-rich states in the nation, Bayelsa has faced challenges in security and environmental degradation in large part due to years of systemic corruption and illegal oil bunkering. It is safe to say the State has not had it good with good governance before now.
For Douye Diri, the journey to Government House was not through the usual route as APC through its candidate David Lyon had won at the polls with a large margin but Diri was declared victor after Lyon was disqualified just a day before the inauguration.
Once he assumed office, and in a bid to earn the confidence, trust, and cooperation of his people, he set out by going about his administration which was christened “Prosperity Administration”, and which placed premium importance human capacity development, and a greater and united Bayelsa through massive investment in infrastructural development.
Douye Diri’s administration is one which has transformed the state like no other since its creation. He is committed to opening up riverine communities with roads and bridges. There is no such thing like Diri’s project, but Bayelsa’s projects as he went about completing abandoned projects or previous administrations and embarking on new ones to compliment it. The Ayama-Yenogoa-Agiama road, Agiama, a community which never felt presence of governance in almost thirty(30) years are now grateful to the governor.
There is a mandate of 3 senatorial districts road projects and this is in furtherance of connecting rural-urban integration. The Nembe Unity bridge and Imiringi Bridge were completed, Nembe-Brass Road, while Otuan-Eniwari-Odenwari road has been made a top priority of his administration.
Every sector of governance has felt the impact of the deep resolve of Douye Diri, hospitals are either being completed, or upgraded, the welfare of civil servants and retirees in the state is one of the cardinals of the policy thrust of the administration, and youth empowerment is given huge consideration as that has brought down youth restiveness, unemployment and underemployment.
In November 2021, Duoye Diri had to cut short his vacation to attend to Nembe Oil spillage. Apart from providing succour to the community affected by the oil spillage, he was also at the forefront of campaigning for adequate compensation from the IOCs responsible for the spillage.
There are a lot of good stories to tell about Bayelsa State in the last 3 years because of Douye Diri’s administration, the consensus among Bayelsans is that he has done so well and he must have his contract renewed.
Governor Diri has done so well that he has made a good case for the renewal of the social contract he signed with the good people of Bayelsa.