By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA FORMER Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon yesterday urged state governors to stop the habit of abandoning projects left half way by their predecessors.
Gowon stated this in Yenagoa while commissioning the new Bayelsa State Governor’s office, an iconic edifice.
He praised the state Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson for continuing with the projects of his successors and and initiating new projects in the state.
Accompanied by his wife, Victoria, the former Head of State, who was accorded a rousing welcome by Bayelsans who thronged the Government House for the colourful ceremony told the governor, “from what I have heard, you did not abandon anything that your predecessors had done. But you built and improved on them and this is really to your credit. I am sure that there will be no abandoned project.
“While you are here you will complete them and build more. I will like to thank you for doing a good job in this state and your commitment is for the good and well being of the people of the state.
“It is your responsibility and the responsibility of any leader and if you don’t do that nobody will appreciate you. I thank members of your government for giving you all the support you need for good governance”
The former head of state had earlier commissioned the secretariat of the Bayelsa Traditional Rulers Council and was received by the Chairman of the council, King of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diette-Spiff, who incidentally was the first military administrator of old Rivers State which was carved out of the then Eastern Region by his administration in 1967.
In his remarks at the commissioning of the new Governor’s Office, Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, said Nigerian unity was not negotiable.
He recalled that after independence, the country opted for federalism, which he said was distorted later distorted by military coups.
This according to him, has led to the agitations in the country noting that at this point Nigeria must restructure to address all the issues.
“We all agreed that we wanted a federation. And that is what we have today but unfortunately, coups after coups changed the whole concept we back into having a unitary form of government in a uniform of federation.
“So what do we do? It is never too late. Let us restructure this country so that everybody will have a belonging. Whether you are a majority or minority, we are all equal Nigeria.
“So when people talk of good rulers in this country, the humble son of Nigeria in the person of General Yakubu Gowon had again contributed more than any one else. He can go from place to place, he is not arrogant.
“He is a humble man with good family background. Okay am happy today that my son, the executive governor of Bayelsa State has thought it wise to bring my former boss”.
He commended Dickson for bringing Gowon to inaugurate a building he described as the best in the whole country.
“I know that this building will generate good governance. I know this building will bring peace and stability in the country. There is no second class citizen in this country. There is no first class citizen in this country. We are all equal”, he said.
Also speaking, King Diette-Spiff described Gowon as the benevolent father of the nation adding that the former head of state was the architect of state creation.
He said the people of the state would mark the inauguration of the project and the presence of the Gowon as the part of the achievements of the state governor.
Earlier, Dickson had highlighted the qualities of the former head of state describing him as the father of the nation.
“I would like on behalf of the government and people of the state to welcome our leader and father, General Yakubu Gowon and when he landed and we saw him we all thought of our primary school days when all of us used to line up waving the green, white green and singing so many songs.
“But in the end also saying, “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done” and the other one said “go on with one Nigeria”. He is the father of Nigeria who led a team of very dedicated leaders.
“We thank you for what you and your colleagues did to give us one Nigeria. Nigeria is not perfect. No nation is perfect. Nation-building is a work in progress”.
On the office complex, he said: “I want to enjoin all of you to pray that this office should be a place where governor’s after me and others will work in peace to lead our stage aright with the fear of God and always in service of our people.
“When we took over, you are all aware that we have been working for the last five years to lay a solid foundation building on what we saw in ground and introducing mire and more things to ensure that our state gets to its desired destination. Today we are here to commission a befitting office that will serve our state for a long time to come”.