There have been mixed reactions to recent moves by the Bayelsa State governor, Senator Douye Diri to restructure Yenagoa, the state capital and give it the look and aesthetics it deserves.
While many applaud the initiative, there are others who are clearly disenchanted and angry that their structures have been pulled down by the governor’s bulldozers.
Those in the first category are happy that at last, Bayelsa appears to have had a governor with the courage and political will to give the state capital the look of a city, taking away the inglorious insignia of a slum and garbage city that is been known to be.
The people that are not happy are basically those that may have been affected, one way or the other. Of course, there is no way an initiative of that nature would not hurt some people, especially because the owners of those shanties would now be looking for alternative accommodations for themselves.
We believe that the governor’s efforts and especially the bold initiative should be hailed by all well meaning individuals and lovers of development. This is what development should be.
At least, the state capital has been given some serious attention in the area of physical looks and architectural grandeur. The Tombia roundabout is a quick pointer to the obvious determination of the governor to take Yenagoa away from the compendium of undeveloped cities of the world.
We agree that a lot of people will suffer some form of deprivation and pains as a result of the on-going rebranding of the state capital. But we also believe that it is for general good.
Rather than being pilloried for bringing down those illegal structures, it is our opinion that the natives and residents, the people who have been affected in some ways, should rather see the development as a good omen for the state. Yenagoa has, for too long, been seen as a glorified village. If Diri has decided to change the nomenclature, he should be supported and assisted to take it to the end.
It is also our opinion that the restructuring should have a human face. The governor should also realise that the good initiative has offended and unsettled people. There should be a deliberate effort to provide succour to the people that must have been affected. A compensation package, no matter how small, will do some magic.
Now that some steps have been taken to remodel the state capital, nobody or group of persons should attempt to taken it back to that shameful past. Let Yenagoa be truly born again.