… Urges his successor to sustain the project
The Life President of Nigerian Professional Golfers Association, General Ibrahim Haruna (Rtd) and prominent legal luminary, Mr Joe Gadzama (SAN), King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, at the weekend commended the Bayelsa State Governor, the Honourable Seriake Dickson for establishing Bayelsa Golf course.
The top golfers who spoke at the inaugural tournament and commissioning of the Bayelsa State Golf Course in Yenagoa, commended the Governor for his foresight and commitment in establishing the sporting and recreational facility.
Speaking as Chairman of the Occasion, General Haruna described the 18-hole golf course as world class with capacity to generate employment opportunities and revenue for the state and called on succeeding governments to take the investment seriously.
He said, ” His Excellency, we praise you for this initiative and for your vision. We pray that those who will succeed you will see the long term vision and wisdom in initiating this golf course and the properties that will be developed around here.
“This is a money spinner and if I may say so, in the future it will make much more returns than it will get from the stock exchange. We should keep the vision on and develop it because it is something that will be beneficial to everybody from the lowest man in the social strata to the elite.”
On his part, Mr Joe Gadzama commended the Governor for translating the noble dream to reality and assured that he would do everything within his reach to ensure that the objectives that inspired the crucial project are achieved.
According to him, ” This is a dream come true because going through memory lane I remember how my good friend told me he wanted to build a befitting golf course in Bayelsa when he was elected governor
“And one thing we must remember is what has come to play on this golf course, which is merit. When he made me a member of the sports committee, I advised that the chairman, King Diete-Spiff should come with me to see what has happened in Ilara Mokin in Ondo State.
“We went and saw it and then recommended the contractors who built it His Excellency the Governor. Today, I’m a happy man and I’m here to celebrate with you. I give kudos to the Governor. This is one of the major legacies you are leaving behind and it is going to grow to become better than what we have in Ilara Mokin.
In their separate remarks, the Chief Advisor on Investments to the Governor, Mrs Funkazi Koroye-Crooks and a representative of the contracting firm, Mr Jeff Bruster, noted that the Golf Course would go a long way in attracting investors and tourists to the state.
According to Mr Bruster, the golf course has its irrigation fully computerized with 22 kilometers of drainage pipe, 17 kilometers of wiring between the sprinklers among other components.
Responding, Governor Dickson expressed appreciation to the professional golfers who came from within and outside the country to participate in the inaugural tournament and commissioning ceremony in his honour.
Governor Dickson who noted that he drew inspiration for the project from the IBB Golf Course and Country Club in Abuja, specially thanked Senator David Mark and the Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Majesty, King Alfred Diete-Spiff for their support and encouragement.
The Governor explained that the decision to convert the former Castle originally meant to serve as a Governor’s Lodge to the present Royal Tulip Hotel was taken in the best interest of the state.
According to Governor Dickson, the hotel which is now functional with recreational facilities such as the golf course and Polo Club surrounding it would go a long way in boosting tourism, investment and internally generated revenue base of the state.
Highlights of the ceremonies include the commissioning of the Golf course and ceremonial tee-off by Governor Dickson which was witnessed by professional and amateur golfers from South Korea, Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon and Nigeria.