By Samuel Oyadongha
Bayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson says he will be leaving behind very big shoes for his successor after eight years of sustained efforts to develop the state.
Dickson added that his administration has raised the bar of performance for succeeding governments by making painstaking sacrifices and ambitious investments in the interest of the state.
He stated this weekend shortly after commissioning the Bayelsa Golf Course at the Tourism Island in Yenagoa.
The governor explained that the state needed concentrated developmental action having been created from the most deprived and least developed part of Rivers State.
Dickson, who listed some of his administration’s legacy projects to include the Bayelsa International Airport, the 18-hole Golf Course adjudged as one of the best in the country, the Polo Club, among many others in education, health, agriculture, expressed the confidence that posterity would be fair to him.
“The Restoration Government under my leadership has laid a solid foundation for any patriotic leadership to further the developmental aspirations of our state,” he said.
According to him, virtually all the ambitious projects in the state were initiated and completed by his administration unlike what obtains other states which were created earlier developed by the Federal Government.
Dickson who decried the long period of neglect the state suffered in the hands of the Federal Government, promised to continually contribute towards the common good of the state.
“This is the first time we are having a golf course, so when some governors who have everything built for them by Federal Government and by the whole country, over hundred years, talk, they don’t seem to understand what we are struggling to do here.
“Today we have just commissioned a golf course started by us and then we are commissioning it. And of course, if you look at the order side you’ll see the polo club, again, started by us.
“We came up with the idea, did the planning and then awarded the contract and the supervision and battling to fund it.
“So these are the long term programmes that we have worked out to deliver and I’m happy that this golf course today has been commissioned.
“I’m happy also with the interest of the golfing community, not just in the state but around the country and even outside.
“There are players across Africa who are here and my advice to the incoming government will be to nurture and support these dreams.
“These are not dreams that ordinary people can immediately relate to, but If you have this kind of golf course, you have an airport, you have a polo club and which is why I have no difficulty in converting this place that was built as governor’s residence where I would have stayed for 8 years, into a hotel.
“Now you have a five-star hotel here and that’s why everything is integrated. I came prepared, you have the heliport there that can take 8 helicopters at the same time, the whole idea is for people to come to Bayelsa, land here, stay in hotels, invest in Bayelsa, enjoy Bayelsa.
“So I want to ask those coming behind, I have tried my best, if there are things they don’t understand, of course, I will be available to explain and advise.
“It is not ordinary when you see a governor converting a building he could have stayed with his family and turn it to a hotel, and that has been done.
“In Bayelsa, we are leading a deliberate development effort of a deprived underdeveloped area at a difficult financial period and I have tried my best despite that.
“So we expect that the new people coming in should brace up, there is plenty of work, it is not just cheap talk, not propaganda, not blackmail.
“Governance and pushing ahead and sustaining this development and adding more improving in all sectors, health care, education, infrastructure, stability and law and order is a big job. So I can only wish Bayelsa the best,” he said.