Mrs. Ebizimo Brown is the former Deputy Chief of Staff to the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Seriake Dickson and currently the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Sagbama Constituency 3, Bayelsa State House of Assembly. She spoke to some journalists recently. ROLAND OGBONNAYA presents the excerpts…
Bayelsa is 26 now, kindly tell us from your own perspective how the journey has been after creation from old Rivers State.
Bayelsa at 26? We are finally on course in the journey of developing Bayelsa State. This state has come a long way. We can today boast of better educational standards for our growing children. A wider road network both in the state capital Yenagoa and intercity within Bayelsa State. Many towns are now motorable and progress is being made daily by the current prosperity government of Governor Douye Diri in reaching more towns through the road networks. This could go faster if we can get more federal government and local oil company support.
You have been privileged to be in government, kindly speak from the government’s direction and policies regarding where you think Bayelsa as a state should be in the next 10 years.
There is a great drive to industrialise the state and hopefully, in 10 years we would be able to see the realization of this area in which there is a great lack currently. It will be good to also have a greater presence of our local companies in major branch offices or head offices located within Bayelsa State and this will bring about better employment for our children.
As a true Bayelsan and a leader in the state, Kindly tell us details about the Bayelsa culture and why it’s different from any other state in Nigeria.
Bayelsa State has one of the richest cultures in Nigeria. We enjoy major cultural festivals across many cities and clans which are today much better celebrated with wider involvement of the people from far and wide in such local festivals. Some examples are the Seigben festivals of Amassoma, Odoni, Epie New yam festivals, lake Efi Fishing festivals, Sabagreia, and many others. These various festivals help to keep our beautiful cultural dances farming, fishing, and canoeing talents alive amongst our teaming youths. This helps to keep Bayelsa State on a level of its own compared to other states.
You are contesting for the House of Assembly in Bayelsa State, why do you think the people of your constituency trust you or should trust you?
Contesting the Bayelsa State House of Assembly is dear for my home constituency 3 Sagbama Local Government Area. My people have come to know me as I have lived and worked with them for the last decade. They are also aware of how committed I have been to the support of the government in the development at the state level and know that I will bring that commitment to the development of our constituency. They also know am always accessible and have a deep love for my people. My work ethic and skill set have been on public display for the past decade through my assignments and appointments, so you can say I am tested and trusted by my people.
What new plans and vision do you have for the people of your constituent?
Over the next four years, I have been in the Stae Assembly, I will like to see more development in my constituency. I will like to see the trade corridor to Onitsha via my constituency opened by the completion of the road network which will lead to more motorable cities. More large-scale and industrial farming in the constituency. This will lead to a better quality of life and plenty of job opportunities too. I look forward to helping to improve government awareness and raising bills that will cater to the welfare of the people of the constituency.
If you have the opportunity to stand before foreign tourists, kindly tell us how you will convince them to come and invest in your constituent.
My constituency is safe and secure very close to the east-west road which is a major thoroughfare and so goods from here will be transported without difficulty. We have the best land for rice, sweet potatoes, sugarcane fish and palm produce and general farming. Our land is fertile with minimal or no pollution. The people are warm and very receptive to visitors.
As an incoming lawmaker, how will you rate Governor Douye Diri-led’s government and what advice do you have for the government moving forward?
Senator Douye Diri has been an excellent Governor, he has displayed maturity, and remained calm and focused in his vision for the development of Bayelsa State. All his predecessor’s projects have been completed and he has started his own projects. He has a deep thirst to see Bayelsa fully developed and is on a mission to accomplish this. He has come up with programs like the prosperity walks that help him to intermingle with the grassroots weekly whilst ensuring their well-being. In three short years despite the retraction of the Covid epidemic and other challenges, he has achieved great feats for our dear state.
He started the Nembe Brass road, completed the Ekeremor road and took the Oporoma road to Angiama, and began the bridge to Oporoma. These are the three senatorial roads helping Bayelsa State to access the sea and its blue resources.
He should remain focused and continue to solicit the support of the federal government as it would help him achieve more. His calm demeanor and drive have and will help him to get more development partners.
Kindly give us your wish for Bayelsa as a state and the hope ahead.
I wish Bayelsa State a happy celebration as a state and pray this year will signify a new beginning of greater exploits and achievements of developmental strides.