Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has called for elimination of the factors that led to annulment of the June 12, 1993 election if Nigeria must be taken seriously among nations practising democracy.
He said the celebration of June 12 would remain a ruse or mere jamboree if the issues that led to it were not addressed.
Diri made the call at a Special Thanksgiving Service commemorating June 12 at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House in Yenagoa.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the governor said almost 27 years after the rape on a smooth democratic process, the country was still wallowing in injustice, abuse of human rights, election thuggery, nepotism and total disregard to the rule of law.
The governor was quoted by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, as saying that the historic day of June 12 is yet to translate into good governance and unity of the country.
To this end, Senator Diri re-emphasised his administration’s drive to run an inclusive government and called on his opposers to accept the olive branch he has magnanimously extended to them.
He said as Bayelsans, they should join hands with his Prosperity Administration to move the state forward rather than assist the enemies to further oppress and work against its development.
His words: “The things that led us to June 12 are still very much around. The injustices, discrimination, segregation, nepotism, bribery and corruption, oppression and repression and where some people are taking undue advantage over others are still going on in this country and we are celebrating June 12. It is my opinion and that of the Bayelsa State Government that we must make deliberate efforts to reduce or if possible completely eliminate the factors that led to June 12.
“On our part as a government, we have taken steps to ensure that we eliminate those things. That is why concerted efforts are being made to bring those who offended us, people who have done us things that are unprintable, the present government has opened its arms to extend the olive branch from the very day of its inauguration.
“We want to use the opportunity of this June 12 celebration to enjoin all Bayelsans wherever they are to think of how they will make Bayelsa great. This is the time for all Bayelsans, politicians and non-politicians, religious and non-religious and everybody to come and join hands with the Prosperity Administration.”
The governor said his administration would fulfil its infrastructure promises to Bayelsans, which is evident in the clearing of the roundabout at the Edepie/Etegwe axis to pave the way for the expansion of the lanes and the completion of the outer ring road as well as pursue its agricultural programmes to bring the dividends of democracy to people of the state.
Earlier in a sermon titled “Learning to work with God,” Rev Godspower Asingba enjoined the governor and his team to depend on God in everything they do.
According to Rev Asingba, relying on one’s wisdom and the opinions of men without hearing from God while making decisions would lead to failure.
He called on the people to hold God fast and not allow the pressure of men to push them into terminating their destinies on earth.
The thanksgiving service, which featured special prayers for the state and the country, had wife of the governor, Mrs Gloria Diri, Secretary to the State Government, Dr Konbowei Benson, Deputy Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Michael Ogbere, Head of Service, Mrs Biobelemoye Charles-Onyeama and other top government officials in attendance.