The Bayelsa State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief David Lyon, has vowed to develop poverty-stricken oil-rich communities if elected on November 16.
Lyon said he would establish a stronger collaboration between the government, security agencies and local communities to protect and judiciously use the crude oil wealth for the growth and development of the people.
The candidate, in a statement signed by the Secretary, Media and Publicity Committee, Bayelsa APC Campaign Council, Doifie Buokoribo, said the tripod collaboration would help foster speedy development of the oil-rich Niger Delta state.
Addressing the crowd that received him at Egbemo-Angalabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government, Lyon said the people still lived in penury because the Dickson-led administration failed to protect and invest the common wealth of the people in profit generating projects.
He said that the level of development in the communities did not reflect the true nature of the contributions they put into the wealth and growth of Nigeria as oil producing areas.
Lyon promised that when elected, he would protect the crude oil wealth of the state from pipeline vandals and crude oil thieves. Explaining further when his campaign team visited Peretorugbene and Toru-Ndoro communities, he vowed to ensure that all local communities were captured in the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) of multinational oil corporations operating in the area.
He said when he served as the youth leader of his community, Olugbobiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government in 1995, he was the first youth leader to sign a GMoU with a multinational oil corporation to secure contracts and jobs for youths, adding that the leadership of youth groups across the state could emulate him.
Lyon said that only when job opportunities were created to ensure that young people were self-reliant that the crude oil resources of Nigeria could be safe.
He said that creating job opportunities became more imperative to sustain peace and stability of the state, and above all prepare a better and prosperous future of generation of Bayelsans yet unborn.
He said that while he was traversing communities to seek the support of the electorate in a responsible manner, his main aim was to also use the opportunity to meet and find out the teething challenges of the people ahead of the governorship poll.
Reiterating his commitment to develop the state when elected as governor, Lyon said he was not only overwhelmed by the love Ekeremor people had demonstrated for him and the APC, but was also marvelled by the level of preparedness of the people of the area to exercise and protect their franchise for the APC.
Interacting with the chiefs and people of the communities, the APC candidate thanked them for their show of courage as flood continues to ravage many communities in Ekeremor.
He said he has no doubt that the people will give his party bloc votes with the same courage on November 16.
Assuring them of his readiness to impact more on their lives, immediately after being sworn in as governor, Lyon promised to complete the Sagbama-Ekeremor Road and begin work at the abandoned Agge Seaport project, which he said has the capacity to provide employment for thousands of Bayelsans.
He said: “As oil producing communities, you deserve more than the hardship the state government has exposed you to. I understand your condition because my community suffers the same fate. In other words, I am on the same page with you in this struggle.
“If we live in a state where only the right people are elected into office, communities like yours should be enjoying better roads, schools, health facilities and potable water. This time I expect you to do the right thing by voting for the APC to ensure that we change the narrative.
“When I become governor, I will create more jobs for your people. I will link your communities with the outside world through roads. I will build befitting hospitals for you. I will provide better and sustainable educational system for your children. The time to protect and spend our crude oil wealth judiciously has come.”
Receiving 150 defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into the APC at Ekeremor town, the Chairman of the APC in the state, Jothan Amos, said the mood in the state showed that the people were fed up with the PDP-led government.
In the communities visited, the people hailed him for employing thousands of youths through his oil and gas surveillance contract and assured him of their preparedness to work for the victory of APC in the forthcoming election.
People from communities in the area endorsed the APC as the campaign tour climaxed with a mega rally in Aleibiri community, the home town of former speaker and deputy governor, Peremobowei Ebebi, where a crowd gathered to cheer and receive the campaign team despite the rains.
Speaking at the rally, Ebebi said Lyon has given youths employment opportunities, adding that he is confident that when he becomes the governor, the rate of unemployment in the area will drop.
“I know David Lyon very well. He is a proven leader that has empowered and employed our youths with his position as a pipeline surveillance contractor. A man with that kind of track record I am sure will do far better if he becomes governor.
“For the last seven and a half years that we have supported the PDP-led government, what have we gained? They said they are constructing road to Ekeremor. That road is still far from being completed, and in five months they will be leaving office. What then can we say is our benefit?” he said.
The campaign team visited Egbemo-Angalabiri, Peretorugbene, Isampou, Toru-Ndoro, Aleibiri and Ekeremor where monarchs and chiefs gave the team their blessings and support.