Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has debunked the claim by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, that the Bayelsa International Airport was flooded and was built at a cost of over N100 billion.
The Governor, while speaking with journalists during an inspection tour of the new airport, said it was built with less than N70 billion by one of the best engineering and construction firms in the country, Dantata and Sawoe.
He said that the sand filling of the massive airport project was undertaken by another highly reputable firm, West Minister Dredging International, which delivered after sustained work for over a year.
The Governor described the Bayelsa International Airport, which has a 3.5 kilometre runway and equipped with some of the best navigational equipment and other facilities in the aviation sector, as among the best in the country.
He urged Bayelsans and Nigerians to ignore the “lies of a desperate political leadership of the All Progressives Congress,” which he said was out to de-market the airport for obvious political reasons, TheNation writes.
He urged the APC National Chairman and other leaders of the party to stop playing politics with the development of Bayelsa and her people.
He said that it was a grievous sin for leaders of the APC who had always played politics with the development of Bayelsa and the Ijaw people to come out to stifle the developmental efforts of the government.
Governor Dickson said that the airport had not been given its operational licence not because of lack of the needed facilities but for reasons that have to do with the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state scheduled for November 16, 2019.
He urged the APC political leadership to refrain from deliberate attempt to frustrate the airport project because of assumed political benefits, as the airport was meant not only to serve the PDP or the APC but the entire Niger Delta and Nigeria.
The Governor also called on the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and other regulatory agencies to adhere strictly to standard practice in the sector by refusing to play unnecessary politics with the critical project and issue the necessary approval for the airport to commence the awaited operations.
He said that the state government would lead Bayelsans and the Ijaw to commission the airport in December and put it to use in the interest of the people.
“What isn’t pardonable is that leaders of the APC, who had an opportunity to do this several years ago but would rather swindle our people, deceive them and play 419 with them, are out to discredit it for political advantage.
“We are not talking about that. We came here to work for our people. I call on the people of Bayelsa and Ijaw nation to know their true enemies and once again reject them at the polls on the 16th of this month,” he said.