The Bayelsa State International Airport, Wilberforce Island, under the chairmanship of HRM, King Alfred Diette Spiff was unveiled today by the governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson.
The governor in his remark expressed deep gratitude to God to have given him the courage to initiate the gigantic and life-transforming project. He also expressed gratitude to his team for their support in the past eight years and the solidarity he has enjoyed from all strata of leadership in the state.
In his words, “Early last year, we witnessed the landing of two flights on this same airport and a few days ago, the airforce equally landed, marking the commencement of their operations at the airport. This commissioning is historic and will amongst other benefits, outlive us all and continue to serve the people of Bayelsa State’.
The governor used the opportunity to give credit to late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha whose government conceptualized what has come to fruition today.
Dickson who throughout his government has upheld and continued to honor all Ijaw leaders both living and dead used the occasion to name the Airport Road which was equally commissioned after the Late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, first civilian governor of Bayelsa State.
‘Today, we are changing the narrative that there’s not just an airstrip in Bayelsa, the heart of Ijaw land but an International Airport. This project will continue to take our people to the world and bring the world to our people. We as a people have been neglected for too long and we are far behind others even our closest neighbours. So when we talk about building schools, hospitals and airports, some can’t understand that our people have been left behind and urgently need to catch up.”
“It took a year and six months to sandfill this place because our terrain is treacherous. Everything that is seen in the airport, was put together by the Bayelsa State Government. There is no single grain of Federal Government sand in this airport. The Bayelsa State Government built this airport from start to finish. The initial agreement was for the Federal Government to construct it but at the pace they were going, it would have stalled so it was agreed that the Federal Government construct and equip the terminal building while the state government, the runway. But there was a change in government in 2015 and the agreement was not observed so we took it upon ourselves to embark on the project which we are commissioning today.
Governor Dickson used the opportunity to call on the Federal Government to be alive to their responsibility and build the terminal building that was agreed upon as there was still room for a bigger one.
“The landing equipment are of international standard as we spared no effort nor resource in securing the best because our people deserve it.”
‘For the records, this airport has never been flooded as critics have claimed in the past. The strategic location of the airport is such that it opens up directly to the gulf of Guinea.”
The governor used the opportunity again to call on the Federal Government and the authorities to expedite the required approvals for commercial operations to commence.
He also called on Bayelsans who understand clearly the treacherous terrain Bayelsa has but feign ignorance for political reasons to desist from such and rather support the development of our state instead of engaging in the peddling of uninformed speculations.
The governor also stated that his government is open to any form of scrutiny about the airport as the books are open.
“We cannot solve all the problems but I and my team came, seen and have done our best. We leave the rest for posterity to judge.”
“It is on this note, I officially unveil the Bayelsa International Airport for the use of Bayelsans, Ijaw people and the entire nation, to the glory of God almighty.’
The event was attended by Royal fathers from Ijaw speaking communities and dignitaries from across the State.
See more photos below…