Outgoing Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has said he would be leaving behind remarkable footprints and big shoes for his successor to step into.
Dickson, who would be leaving office in less than four weeks, precisely February 14, said after his eight years of sustained efforts to develop Bayelsa, it would be a task of Hercules for his successor to step into his shoes.
The governor stated this shortly after commissioning the Bayelsa Golf Course at the Tourism Island in Yenagoa at the weekend.
He stressed that his administration, in the last eight years, had raised the bar of performance for successive administrations through deliberate, painstaking sacrifices and ambitious investments in the interest of the state.
“So, I want to ask those coming behind. I’ve tried my best. If there are things they don’t understand, of course, I will be available to explain and advise. It’s not ordinary when you see a governor converting a building he could have stayed in with his family to a hotel, and that has been done.
“In Bayelsa, we are leading a deliberate development effort of a deprived underdeveloped area at a difficult financial period and I’ve tried my best despite that. So we expect that the new people coming in should brace up. There’s plenty of work; it’s not just cheap talk, propaganda or blackmail,” he said.
The man popular as ‘Contriman Governor’ urged his successor to push ahead and sustain his giant strides, and even add more.
According to him, improving in all sectors, including healthcare, education, infrastructure, as well as and law and order is a big job.“So I can only wish Bayelsa the best,” he added.
The governor explained that the state needed concentrated developmental action, having been created from the most deprived and least developed part of old Rivers State.
He listed some of his administration’s big projects to include the Bayelsa International Airport, the 18-hole Golf Course adjudged by many as one of the best in the country, the Polo Club among many others in education, health, agriculture sectors.
The Restoration Government under him, Dickson insisted, laid a solid foundation for any patriotic leadership to further the development of the state.
No government, according to him, could completely tackle the developmental needs of a state or country in eight years.
“This is the first time we are having a golf course. So when some governors who have everything built for them by the Federal Government and by the whole country, over 100 years, talk, they don’t seem to understand what we are struggling to do here,” he said.
Governor Dickson stated that his administration came up with the idea, did the planning and then awarded the contract, supervised and battled with its funding.
He expressed delight that the golf course was successfully commissioned, explaining that he converted the governor’s residence to a hotel to complement the golf course, polo club and airport.
“If you have this kind of golf course, an airport, a polo club and which is why I have no difficulty in converting this place that was built as governor’s residence, where I would have stayed for eight years, into a hotel.
“Now you have a five-star hotel here and that’s why everything is integrated. I came prepared; you have the heliport there that can take eight helicopters at the same time. The whole idea is for people to come to Bayelsa, land here, stay in hotels, invest in Bayelsa, enjoy Bayelsa,” he said.