By Amgbare Ekaunkumo,Yenagoa
Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) has described Yenagoa as one of the fastest growing cities in the country, adding that when completed Yenagoa will be a chioce destination for investors and tourists.
Gen. Abdulsalami also lauded the strides of the State Governor, Seriake Dickson, saying he was surprised at the fast pace at which the state is developing.
The Special Adviser, Media Relations to governor Dickson, Fidelis Soriwei, said Abdusalami spoke as the Chairman of the official launch of the 200 hectares New Yenagoa City project at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Yenagoa.
The former Head of State in company of other dignitaries performed the ground breaking ceremony for the New Yenagoa City.
According to Abdusalami, Dickson’s vision of a new Yenagoa City was laudable and expteesed optimism thst the ,project would come into fruition in no distant future.
He said: “Let me start by thanking His Excellency for inviting me to this occasion. Indeed it is very delightful to come and see the work you have been doing for the last eight years.
“I was talking to my friend when we were coming here that, I can’t believe that Bayelsa and Yenagoa in particular will grow to the level I’m seeing today.
“I will like to say without any contradiction that Yenagoa is one of the fastest growing cities in Nigeria today. And i want to congratulate you and all those who have made the ground work for this city possible.
“Your vision for the New Yenagoa City is indeed a lauble one and may your vision come true. Let me on behalf of all the people who are here congratulate you and your team for your vision.
“Let me also on behalf of the former presidents thank you for the surprise gifts of parcels of land at the waterfront of the new city. With what we have seen in the video clips, Dubai will no longer be the destination when this comes to pass, it will be the New Yenagoa City.”
Also speaking, former President Goodluck Jonathan applauded the efforts of Governor Dickson for passionately working for the realization of the vison, adding that the dream of building a new Yenagoa City had been on the drawing board since the creation of the state.
Jonathan also noted that, if leaders of the state remained united and contributed their quota to the development of the state, the New City would be completed in no distant future.
He reiterated the need for the incoming administration to consolidate on the achievements of Dickson to ensure continuity and build confidence in investors.
“Dubai was a piece of desert but today it is the world market. Yenagoa also has a lot of potential to become another Dubai.
“I have to thank you and your team for this and that is the way to go. I still believe as long as our leaders have dreams and visions it will not take us more than 25 years to get to where we want to be.
“It depends on one government taking over from the other and building on certain good projects instead of abandoning them”, he said.
On his part Dickson said Bayelsa’s land was strictly for development purposes and not for Rural Grazing Area, RUGA.
Dickson, who assured that the allocation of plots in the new city would not be discriminatory, urged all Nigerians of goodwill irrespective of tribe to invest in the project.
According to the governor, his administration had already provided recreational facilities such as, a golf course, five star hotel, a polo club, a choice Government Reserved Area and others in the new city.
He said: “The area set aside for the New Yenagoa project is serene with an alluring water front, part of wich is reserved for former presidents whose activities have impacted positively on our people and state.
“The city is available for every Bayelsan and Ijaws irrespective of party affiliations and all Nigerians of goodwill. Here in Bayelsa, we don’t have land for RUGA but for development.”
Dickson used the opportunity to sign and present certificates of occupancy to Gen. Abubakar, Dr. Jonathan and his wife, Chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete Spiff.
The Governor, who also issued C of Os to the state Chief Judge, Speaker and to all service commanders for their official accommodation, explained that plots were also reserved for former governors of the state.