Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has hailed the infrastructure drive in the Niger Delta and believes the oil-rich region will soon match Dubai’s developmental feat.
He said this during the commissioning of the Mgbuoshimini-Nkpor Road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. The governor praised his Rivers counterpart, Nyesom Wike, for his visionary leadership and expressed optimism that with similar strides by other states in the region, the Niger Delta will eclipse major cities around the world.
“Development must continue in the Niger Delta. We would turn this Niger Delta into another Dubai. Governor Wike has started it and every other governor that will be coming will follow suit,” he said during the event held on Wednesday.
“The same thing [is what] we are doing in Bayelsa. The same thing is happening in Delta. The same thing is happening in Delta. So, I like to thank you, your excellency; the one who has defined and redefined governance in this state.”
For Governor Diri, the Niger Delta must embrace unity to bring development faster to the region. According to him, irrespective of differences in belief and political affiliation, the states in the area should work together to deliver quality governance to the people.
“They want to play Rivers State against Bayelsa State; they want to play Delta State against Bayelsa, against Akwa Ibom. We say, no!” the governor said.
“We must continue to come together; we must continue to live together as brothers and sisters.”
Governor Diri faulted claims that the resources in the region belong to the country, saying the Niger Delta deserves more than it is getting from the Federal Government.
“People say [the] oil belongs to Nigeria. We are not arguing about that. But if Rivers State, Bayelsa State, Delta State were not part of Nigeria, will [the] oil belong to Nigeria? If we were in Equatorial Guinea or Cameroon, will Nigeria claim the oil? Give the due to the Niger Delta people. People give us 13 percent [derivation] and they think that is too much. You give us 13 percent, you take 87 percent.”