…Unveils Road Map
By Our Correspondents
A governorship aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Barrister Anthony George-Ikoli, has unveiled his road map ahead of the November 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
George-Ikoli said Monday in a meeting with party faithful, community leaders and youths in Yenagoa, that the road map was aimed at changing the erstwhile narratives and bringing about a rejuvenation of the fortunes of the people.
A former attorney general and commissioner for justice in the state, George-Ikoli said if elected, he would build on the strengths of the state.
His words: ‘’Bayelsa State is bound all sides by the Atlantic ocean and such the easiest way to build prosperity among its many poor inhabitants is by using this most abundant resource and opportunity provided by nature. It is incumbent upon us to build a new economy that delivers the most people out of poverty using the resource closest to them but improving the means by which they engage it. We will implement seafood processing and export hubs where we can develop an international seafood brand with the private sector and in the same vein improve and modernize the fishing practices of the average fisherman currently surviving on subsistence fishing. My administration will work tirelessly to exploit areas where our state has a clear competitive advantage in agriculture and aquaculture. It is my belief that we can earn substantial income from industrial seafood and cash crop processing and export.’’
Tagged ‘’Rapid Socio-Economic Transformation of Bayelsa State’’, George-Ikoli promised that as governor, he would focus on the grassroots.
He continued: ‘’A new day is possible with single minded dedication and dogged determination. We can grow a new economy and expand our GDP up to five times its current size. By developing 12 of Bayelsa’s most picturesque beaches, we can create autonomous economic zones that develop the communities at the grassroots into power houses of economic growth. My vision is a technology, manpower and tourism hub that sparks to life a sustainable livelihood for the people at the grassroots which invariably will attract young people away from the temptations that push them into militancy and social vices.’’
He pledged to overhaul the education sector in Bayelsa State and better the lives of its teeming inhabitants.
He said: ‘’Our education plan includes an overarching strategy to overhaul not only our formal instruction methodologies but our teacher training capabilities with the new methods of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Under my watch, professionalism will return to the teaching profession and teachers will be accorded the confidence building environment that will enable them produce the next generation of intellectuals and builders within the ranks of our children. Under my watch, Bayelsa will take the lead in all the current educational metrics and set a benchmark for learning in the region. We must make ready the next generation of Bayelsans, for the challenges of the future will be lot more daunting than the inconveniences of the present. We can no longer stay aloof, feeling sorry for ourselves or reminisce about a past that once was. The time for strong determined action is now.’’
He also promised to provide good drinking water, electricity and good network of roads in the state.
‘’Our people deserve access to basic infrastructure that makes life easier and commerce accessible. My administration will spend less time admiring its achievements and more time building the frameworks that forever banish poverty from our land,’’ he averred.
The legal luminary spoke about the challenges in the health sector and what the people should expect.
Continuing, he said: ‘’My government will ensure that every individual in Bayelsa is registered to a Health Maintenance Organisation tied to a state issued identity card that doubles as HMO card. This card will amongst other things guarantee subsidized health services for all and free healthcare for pregnant women, the elderly and young children. Under my watch, Bayelsa will have properly staffed and equipped primary health centres within a strategically located minimum radius of a general hospital for easy referrals and expeditious ambulatory evacuation. My government will introduce private sector led air, land and sea ambulances initiative to improve evacuation services for serious cases and improve outcomes for the generality of Bayelsans.’’
He also spoke on true federalism, resource control, accelerated progress and regional infrastructure.
‘’As governor, it will be my singular mission to return respect and responsibility to our region where countless challenges daily confront our people from within and from outside. With my background in the law, I will move expeditiously to bring the battle for resource control and restructuring to the centre stage and look to implement personal ideas that may hasten the implementation of this long neglected objective of fairness and justice. Our region can take a stand against the current and past injustices and bring the justified prominence our region deserves to the fore. I will also push for the integration of our regional infrastructure like railways, roads and ports to expand the possibilities of prosperity of our region,’’ he said.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) vowed to strengthen the revenue base of the state, empower the people, create job opportunities for the youths and encourage business investments and economic growth.
Furthermore, he said: ‘’My administration will religiously set aside funds into a Bayelsa Sovereign Fund with which we will undertake a future savings fund and project guarantee from, from where we will issue matching guarantee for the many large scale infrastructure projects we will undertake under a strategic PPP programme,” stressing that his “administration will focus on far reaching judicial reform that ensures law, order and decency become a way of life of the average Bayelsan.”