The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, visited Bayelsa State on Thursday where he made an open confession about the state governor, Senator Douye Diri: he is proud of the governor for what he has done in the state.
The Sultan was in the state to inaugurate phase two of the newly-completed Glory Drive dual carriageway, a 10.2-kilometer road project constructed by the Diri administration.
The road, which stretches from Igbogene through several communities and eventually terminates at Onopa in the Yenagoa city centre, was conceptualised by the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan, when he was governor of the state.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Sultan said he was proud to be associated with Diri’s success story in the development of Bayelsa State.
The respected royal father stressed that the nation’s strength lies in its diversity, noting that it was important for leaders from far away to come and appreciate what the Diri administration was doing in terms of development of the state and work together to better the lot of the people.
The royal father who said the visit was his second in 22 years, urged the governor and his team to continue to do more to impact meaningfully on the lives of the people.
“This is the second time that l’m visiting Bayelsa since 2001, that is 22 years ago, and I’m very impressed with the level of development that has taken place in the state.
“I am happy to be part of this history in the commissioning of this road project. God has put you in this position to serve the people. You are their servant. As leaders, we should continue to work together to better the lot of our people. It is important for leaders from far away to come and see what you are doing. Our strength is in our diversity.”
In his remarks, Diri vowed that his administration will never play politics with development of the state, noting that the Glory Drive project was not only for supporters of PDP, APC or Labour Party but for the generality of the people.
According to the governor, the road was conceived during the Jonathan administration in the state under which he served as commissioner. Diri noted that upon assuming office in 2020, he decided to re-award the road contract to the Chinese construction giant, CCECC.
“We are bringing development to every area in Bayelsa State. Even development and shared prosperity are the defining characteristics of our government of prosperity.
“We know that in the absence of peace and harmony, sustainable prosperity cannot be guaranteed. We have endeavoured as a government to foster peace and reconciliation. I often said that those who will kill and maim in their desperate quest to gain political power cannot mean well for you.
“Development and peace are like Siamese twins. Development and peace are inseparable. Where there is no peace, there will be no development, and where there is no development there will be no peace.”
Also, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Moses Teibowei, stated that the project was constructed at the cost of N30 billion.
He stated that after it was conceptualized under the Jonathan administration and constructed from the East-West road to the Igbogene roundabout, the project was mismanaged under the Chief Timipre Sylva administration after awarding the contract to a construction firm.
“The road measures about 10.2 kilometers. It has dual carriageway of 7.3 metres width, with two-metre shoulder on each drive way.
“It also has four metres wide median, a walkway of 1.4 metres either sides, one major roundabout and 12 culverts.
“Governor Diri has also approved the commencement of the Glory Drive Phase 3, which stretches from the airport road to Onopa and the Government House.”