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Bayelsa At 25: Royal Father Expresses dissatisfaction over rate of development – Says Bayelsa is behind bar of progress

 . Urges SG to declare state of Emergency in Agricultural Sector

 By Austin Genesis

The Ebeni Sisibo of Atissa Kingdom in Yenagoa Local Government Area, HRH (Dr) Godwill Arebes Simeon has expressed dissatisfaction over the rate of development in Bayelsa state after its creation twenty-five year ago saying that it is behind the bar of progress. 

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HRH (Dr) Godwill Arebes Simeon


Dr. Simeon who made the assertion while exchanging views with Global Overseer in Yenagoa, averred that though, those who had ruled the state have done their best but he warned that unless concerted efforts are been made to change our pattern of leadership the state may not be a better place for habitation.

He described the rate of development in the state as slow as the movement of a snail occasioned with hunger, starvation, abject poverty and untold hardship posed to the people.

The royal father stated with regret that nothing tangible has been done to ameliorate the plights of the people and uplift their socio-economic well being in 25 years of statehood.

His words “We are not enjoying Bayelsa state at all.” We are not enjoying Bayelsa State in all ramifications except very few people. Look at the status of the state capital there are no drainage system. People build houses and block the channel that water flows. They throw dirty everywhere. Electricity supply is very epileptic and yet people were force to pay light bills while potable drinking is a scarce commodity. Infact, almost all the indices that make a state a developed state is seriously lacking in the state; and very soon it will be 30years,” he lamented.

On food security, he said that the state has nothing on ground to sustain its teeming population, pointing out that it could not even feed one local government.

He condemned a news bulletin in one of the Radio stations in the state of recent, alleging that Bayelsa state can feed Nigeria and West Africa while we still depend all most everything from other states.

Dr. Simeon used the forum to appealed to the state government to declare a state of emergency in the agricultural sector of the state to enable the state feed herself.

This, he said could be achieved when the state government set up Agriculture Demonstrating Farms in the eight local government areas to carry out intensive agricultural programmes to produce food items such as rice, plantain, cassava as well as seedling and crops among others.

As part of achieving the aforesaid objectives, the royal father further enjoined the state government to grant agricultural loans to genuine farmers of the state and set up with  monitoring committees compose of honest persons selected from the respective communities in the state to monitor and ensure that the loans are utilize judiciously. He decries the scenario where loans meant for genuine farmers were given to people who did not have farms.

“Let us not boast that we are promoting Agriculture in the state. We don’t see food or fish but we are claiming that we can feed the whole country while the genuine farmers and fishermen were always denied access to loan facilities to to expand their farms; they will select those that have no farm to benefit.

“We have fertile lands to produce local rice in large quantities. Let government provide loans and farming implements among others. Our people can plant,” he said.

Dr. Simeon blamed the poor performance of local government councils in state as a result of their unpreparedness to govern and render selfless service to the people.

He appealed to the state government to prevail on the local government council’s chairmen and councilors to reside at their respective council’s area headquarters to carryout real local government administration to improve the living conditions of the rural dwellers.

He said emphatically that it is uncalled for, that council chairmen and councilors abandoned their areas of jurisdiction to stay at their liaison offices in Yenagoa to pilot the affairs of their respective local government areas.

Dr. Simeon held that local government councils in the Old Rivers State performed very well and the council chairmen were regarded as “ The Governors” of the LGAs because of the essential services they rendered to the people and communities.

He expressed great dismay that local government council’s performance is gradually extincting as their services have diminished almost to zero percent.

He commended the state government for embarking on demolition of illegal structures in the state capital but appeal to the committee responsible for the exercise not to give preferential treatment to any person.

The royal father also observed that sequel to the prevailing hardship in the state occasioned with the frequent exorbitant multiple taxes imposed on small businesses by revenue agents several non-indigenes have left the state.

On the celebration to commemorate the creation of Bayelsa state, Dr. Simeon urged the state government to organize a befitting celebration every year to mark the anniversary.

According to him whether the federal government celebrate the nation’s Independence Day in low kid or not Bayelsa state should fully celebrate her anniversary.

According to him if there is any celebration that will be celebrated in the state, the celebration to commemorate the Day Bayelsa state was created should be accorded number one priority.

He highlighted several benefits derive  from the one-week long celebration, adding that it promotes unity as well as enabled the people to know the motive behind the struggle and how we are moving forward or backward.

On the solution to the myriad of problems affecting the development of the state, the royal father enjoined the people of the state to always pray to God to give us a good leader that will carry all the people of the state and communities along devoid of discrimination.

He added that the state can only move forward when those at the helm of affairs shun corruption, mismanagement of public funds, acquisition  of frivolous loans while important is attach to public interest above personal gains.

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