By Victor Edighomor, Yenagoa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, the Honorable Henry Seriake Dickson, has debunked the claim by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, that the Bayelsa International Airport was built at cost of N120 billion.
Governor Dickson said that it was most unexpected of a person of the status of a minister of the Federal Republic to feed the President and the Nigerian public with false Information inspired by bitterness.
Dickson said in a statement by his Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, that the Bayelsa Airport was built at a cost of N60 billion and not some imagined figures being bandied by Lokpobiri.
He said that the contract for the Airport was executed by Dantata and Sawoe, a Nigerian firm which could be contacted for the contractual sum.
The Governor said that while it would have been proper to ignore Lokpobiri and the imagined figures he dished out to the President and other Nigerians during the APC Presidential rally in Yenagoa, it was important to put the records straight and to spare the society from the mischief of misinformation.
Dickson also faulted the claim by Lokpobiri that the Airport was a seasonal facility which was affected by the last flood in the country.
He said that the airport equipped with the most standard and longest runaway in the country was built with the 2012 flood which devastated parts of the country in mind.
He said that the claim by Lokpobiri that the airport was flooded last years was a failed attempt to discredit the achievements of the Restoration Government led by him.
He said, “The Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, told President Muhammadu Buhari and the Public that the Bayelsa International Airport was built at a cost of N120 billion.
“The Minister went further to say that the airport is a seasonal airport which was affected by the flood that ravaged Bayelsa and other parts of Nigeria in 2018.
“It would have been logical to ignore the claims of Lokpobiri as the rantings of a politician on a mission to cause mischief through misinformation but for the need to set the records straight in the interest of the discerning public.
“For the records, the Bayelsa International Cargo Airport which is scheduled to have its inaugural flight on Thursday was built at a cost of N60 billion.
“Lokpobiri’s claim that the Airport which was built with a high runway with the 2012 flood in mind, was flooded in 2018, is even more shocking and indeed gives insight into his brand of politics.
“It is a fact beyond contestation that the Bayelsa International Airport was never flooded and therefore cannot be regarded as a seasonal airport as claimed by Lokpobiri.
“I call on Bayelsans and indeed all Nigerians to ignore the spurious claims being made by Lokpobiri about this celebrated feat in Bayelsa, the Ijaw nation and the nation’s aviation sector.”