The Elebele Community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has appreciated Governor Douye Diri over the construction of a bridge in its community.
Access into the community was cut off in 2019 when the steel bridge linking it was damaged by flood.
The Governor Douye Diri administration, however, commenced the building of a new concrete bridge in 2021 and it was one of the projects inaugurated during its second anniversary in February by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
On Friday, the community led by its paramount ruler, His Royal Highness David Osene Osene, paid a thank-you visit to Government House, Yenagoa, during which it announced the conferment of the chieftaincy title of Ogimemema I (Builder) of Elebele community and Ogimemema II on his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
Osene said the gesture was in appreciation for the construction of a permanent bridge in the community.
While applauding Diri for his commitment to development of the state, Osene noted that the governor has restored peace in the community and other parts of the state, and pledged their support for his Prosperity Administration.
In his response, Governor Diri appreciated the community and said the honour will spur him to embark on more development projects for the community and the state.
The governor expressed happiness that his administration was able to construct a permanent bridge, which had over the years being either wooden or iron.
He said he saw the bridge as a priority because of its importance not only to Elebele but also people of the state as it links the Bayelsa East Senatorial District with other parts of the state.
He enjoined other communities to emulate Elebele, which he noted was united in protecting the project from beginning to completion without any incident of protest or kidnap.
His words: “All you have succeeded in doing is to spur us to do more for the Elebele community.
“We see ourselves as performing the duties for which we were elected. But you thought otherwise, and beyond all that you have done, you are here again not only to say thank you to your government but to also confer chieftaincy titles on me and my deputy. On behalf of my family and the deputy governor, I say thank you.
“This is how communities should work with the state government. I keep saying whether you are APC or PDP, we are brothers and sisters, and development should be prioritised above other political considerations.
“That is why we are happy with you because in Elebele, there is no APC or PDP. Everybody came on board to protect the project. If we continue this way, Bayelsa will certainly prosper.
“I use this opportunity to call on other communities to take a cue from Elebele for the way they owned the government project sited in their community.
“I am glad that the state government has now built a solid bridge that will not collapse again. This bridge is important not only to the whole of Eastern Senatorial District but indeed Bayelsa State.”
The Bayelsa helmsman approved the community’s appeal for renovation and equipment of its health centre and fencing of its secondary school.
Highlights of the visit was presentation of paraphernalia of the titles to the governor and his deputy.