2023: Bayelsa monarchs table demands before Tinubu
From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council led its Chairman, HRM King Bubaraye Dakolo Agada IV, Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom have tabled the demand for federalism before the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The monarchs made the demand when Tinubu visited the state for campaign, insisting that he must show commitment to a true federal structure if elected the president.
Speaking directly to Tinubu on behalf of the monarchs, Dakolo lamented the Federal Government’s neglect of Bayelsa State despite its enormous contributions to the Nigeria economy.
He said: “Your Excellency, you are well aware that Bayelsa State is where the first ever commercially viable oil well, Oil well 1 was discovered at Otuabagi in 1956, from where the first cargo of 5,000 barrels of excellent crude was shipped to Europe in 1958. Shipping out of the liquid gold has continued since then, by some oil thieves, and others by the government, with the proceeds used to transform everywhere else in Nigeria and abroad but not here.
“We are left to live with pollution from gas flares and oil spillages for all these decades. It may shock you to know that 26 years after the creation of Bayelsa State, the Federal Government of Nigeria has not been able to provide for its workers a functional Federal Government secretariat even here in Yenagoa. Is it not a pity?
Dakolo equally bemoaned the militarization of oil communities and sought a reversal of the situation from the present circumstance of the people. The monarchs further stressed the need for the Federal Government to build what he referred to as “three senatorial roads.” According to him, “these roads would connect to Brass in the East Senatorial District, to Ukubie Foropa in the Central and Agee in Western Senatorial District. These locations are natural Deepsea ports waiting to be harnessed for the countless business opportunities they will provide for Nigerian youths and adults alike.” Would you commit to building these seaports and roads please, he asked Tinubu.