By Edu Abade
The Bayelsa State Government has pledged to settle the medical bills of victims of Thursday’s boat mishap at Okoroma community in Nembe Council of the state.
Following his commitment, Governor Douye Diri, yesterday, directed the Commissioner for Health to ensure that the state government pays the bills of the hospitalised victims.
Speaking during the Easter Sunday service at the King of Glory Chapel in Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Diri, who sympathised with those who lost their family members in the boat mishap, also directed the Commissioner for Health to refund whatever amounts the survivors spent on treatment.
A statement issued by Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Daniel Alabrah, also disclosed that the governor directed all relevant authorities in the state’s transportation sector, especially those in charge of the waterways, to ensure that all safety measures were duly complied with henceforth to avert another boat accident.
Diri said his administration would not hesitate to sanction anyone found wanting in the discharge of their duties, as the government would no longer allow such avoidable accidents to happen.
Speaking on the rerun election for the House of Representatives and House of Assembly of the Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency and Ogbia Constituency II, the governor stressed the need for peaceful conduct of the elections, saying the events that led to the rerun poll must be avoided.
He stated that in the spirit of Easter celebration, politicians should see politics as a means to serve the people and not engage in actions that negate value for the lives of those they intend to serve.
He also urged politicians and their followers in the state to close ranks after the general elections, stressing that Bayelsa could only move forward when there is unity and love towards one another.
His words: “No power could prevent Jesus Christ from resurrecting and no power will hold anyone or Bayelsa State down. As you already know, for us as a government, it is about how we can live in peace and harmony. We have rejected cultism and it can never be part of us again. If we believe in the resurrection power, we must show love and sacrifice like Jesus and God did.
“My message is very clear. We have seen the resurrection and its power. Whatever that was dead in our lives, the power of resurrection will affect it. As Ijaw people, we live by the truth and we will indeed be set free. Elections have come and gone and so we must put aside our differences. It is time for reconciliation. The power of government is to do good, to be compassionate, to bring about development and ensure peace.
“Rerun elections will hold on April 15, 2023. Let me use this opportunity to again make this call. Our purpose is to serve the people. So, what led to the rerun poll, should not repeat itself. That was bad publicity for our state.
“I also urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to do their job effectively. Democracy is about the people and not politicians. Let us go as brothers and sisters to the rerun election. All I ask for as governor of Bayelsa is peace and for us to be civil.”
In his sermon, Chaplain of the King of Glory Chapel, Pastor David Yalah, said the resurrection of Jesus Christ remains real and it gave hope to Christians that death will not always have power over them.