December 6, 2023

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Still On The Nembe-Brass Road Project

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Governance is all about service to the people. At every point in time when politicians mount the rostrum to canvass for votes and seek the support of their people to seek their blessings during election campaigns, promises and promises would be reeled out.

Some find it very convenient to keep those promises, others don’t. but ironically, even those who do not see anything wrong in making promises they knew they would not be able to keep, or that they forgot to keep, still would go ahead to make even more promises to the people, just to get their votes.

In saner climes, the people have their own way of rejecting such politicians, ensuring that when the next election circle is around the corner, they would be wiser with their votes.
However, in the Nigerian context, money politics appear to have blinded the eyes of many electorates. They would prefer to grab the peanuts they are offered by the politicians in exchange for their votes, while they wait with hunger, for the next four years.

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But there are also politicians and political office holders who delight in service to the people. Across the country, such public officers abound, though they can be counted with a tip of the finger.
Truth is, nature and even the god of public service has a way of rewarding those who truly serve their people and also punish those who delight in stealing the people’s common wealth while refusing to serve them religiously.

When a people enjoy the dividends of democracy, they would rejoice. That was what happened recently in Bayelsa State when the governor, Senator Douye Diri flagged off the construction of the long abandoned Nembe-Brass Road.
According to reports, the project has been on the drawing board of successive administrations since the 1940s.The Diri administration, which made it one of its campaign promises to people of the area, revived the project with the first phase of 21km and 10 bridges awarded to Setraco Nigeria Limited for N54.1billion.

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It is expected that when completed, the road, which is a federal project, will open up the Brass Island which has key national economic assets such as the Agip oil export terminal, the on-going Brass Liquefied Natural Gas and the Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical projects. That is why people of the area rolled out the drums to celebrate the commencement and realization of a long dream.
We commend the initiative of the governor. That he had the political will to embark on such an ambitious project, not waiting for the federal government to continue to play with the people of Nembe and Brass who have had to rely only on sea trips before accessing the state capital, is worthy of applauds.

Successive governments did not see the need to embark on this massive project, neither were they able to convince the federal government to do so. This is why the governor deserves all the accolades for what has now been termed the miracle mission to Nembe and Brass.
What that means is that the people of Brass and Nembe now have high hopes that they would no more have to use the sea to travel, with the attendant risks of facing sea pirates or the highly violent waves from the Atlantic Ocean. They now have high hopes that one day, very soon, they would be able to jump into their car and have a jolly ride to and from the Brass Island.

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This should be a challenge to all public officers to see their privileged position as an opportunity to put smiles on the faces of their people while it lasts. For, as a philosopher said, you can only pass through this world but once and once given the opportunity by God, it is necessary to touch lives and affect generations, because another opportunity will not come.
To be remembered on the right side of history pays much more than to amass all the wealth while in the office and end up in jail thereafter. This should be the guiding principle for all public officers.

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