By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa â€”The several military checkpoints in Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital and its environs are to be dismantled in the next couple of days.
The soldiers, it would be recalled, were deployed in the state in the wake of the arrest in London and subsequent impeachment of the former governor of the state, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha by the state House of Assembly.
Several sandbags erected checkpoints were put in place in the capital city thereby sending the wrong signal of a state under siege to a first time visitor.
Governor Timipre Sylva, who disclosed this to newsmen in Yenagoa, said he has discussed the issue with the military authority and they have agreed to withdraw the soldiers from the streets while all the road blocks along the major roads in the state are to dismantled.
According to him, their activities would be confined to the barracks since there is peace in the state.
The presence of soldiers on the major roads is giving wrong impression about the security situation in the state.
He said, â€œthe presence of the soldiers, most especially the road blocks is making the state to look like war zone. Most investors are being discouraged and this in turn is having adverse effect on the economic development of the state.
â€œ Bayelsa State is presently generating N300 million monthly while its monthly allocation from the Federation Account has dropped to N4.4 billion.
â€œThe only way, to improve on this is to create rooms for the influx of investors into the state.â€
â€œLocal and foreign investors have signified their interest of coming to the state, while the oil companies have made their intention of moving their administrative and operational bases to the state known.â€
This, he added necessitated the idea of having an International Cargo Airport stressing that it would further boost the economic growth of the state.
Meanwhile, security has been reinforced in and around Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital as President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua arrives today for his two day working visit to the state.
Though armoured personnel carrier battle vehicles were sighted at strategic locations in the capital city, the soldiers have removed the woods used as speed breakers at all the checkpoints for easy movement given the large influx of visitors expected in the state.
During the visit, President Yarâ€™Adua would commission some projects started by previous administrations but completed by the Sylva administration.
The projects include Bayelsa Castle , 20 mega watts gas turbine, New Gate Way Road, Peace Park and Bayelsa Television.
The President would also lay the foundation stone for the stateâ€™s International Cargo Airport Project at Zarama- Epie in Yenagoa local government area initiated by the Sylva administration.
The President will also hold a meeting with selected investors and interactive session with a cross section of Bayelsans.