New Bayelsa on the horizon – Sen Ewhrudjakpo
* Laments CBN cash withdrawal limits
Amgbare Ekaunkumo, Yenagoa
The New Year 2023 has been described as a year that offers great possibilities for Bayelsa State in particular and Nigeria in general.
The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the assertion while speaking with newsmen shortly after attending the New Year Day mass at the Saint Paul’s Catholic Parish, Ofoni in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, used the opportunity to also send his New Year greetings to President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Douye Diri, and the entire people of the state.
The Deputy Governor, who thanked Bayelsans for their support and resilience, emphasized that 2023 has a positive outlook with great opportunities for the state despite the challenges facing the country.
He however pointed out that for such opportunities to become a reality, Nigerians, especially those placed in authority, should strive to abide by the rules governing the conduct of public affairs.
The Deputy Governor specifically called on the Federal Government, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do everything within their powers to ensure that the general elections in the country this year were free, fair, credible and equitable.
Faulting the monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria on daily cash withdrawal limits, he noted with concern that the policy would not favour predominantly rural states like Bayelsa because of the absence of banking services in the rural areas.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo assured Bayelsans that the Prosperity Administration was resolutely poised to meet its campaign promises by consolidating on the progress the state has achieved so far.
According to him, the Administration is making steady and noticeable progress in education, infrastructural development, women empowerment, healthcare, and in sports where Bayelsa recently took second position at the 21st National Sports Festival.
His words: “First of all, we want to thank God for guiding us through 2022; a very turbulent year, but God saw us through. And now we are in 2023 by His grace and mercy.
“2023 is a year with a lot of possibilities. It is an election year and we believe that the Federal Government and the electoral umpire will do all that is necessary for us to have a free, fair, credible and equitable election.
“However, the current monetary policy is not in the favour of those of us who are more of a rural state like Bayelsa. This policy will not do well for us for now. So, we pray the Federal Government to reverse the policy and encourage free flow of cash in order not to further stifle our fragile economy.
“As a state, our government is poised to making good its campaign promises. As you are aware, we are firing on the throttle in terms of our infrastructure development. All the three senatorial roads are moving at a pace they ought to go.
“Our health infrastructure are also doing very well. In the area of sports, we are doing well too. We just came second in the recent National Sports Festival, and the Bayelsa Sports Festival is coming up shortly,” he said.
In his sermon, Reverend Father Mathias Onome-Isodje, explained that Catholics all over the world use the New Year Service also known as the Solemnity of Mary, to honour the holiness and humility of the Mother of Jesus Christ,
Rev. Father Isodje explained that the Solemnity of Mary helps the Church to understand more of man’s salvation story which revolves around God’s immeasurable love for mankind through Christ and called on God’s children to walk in love.
The New Year Day mass, which had the Wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Beatrice Ewhrudjakpo in attendance, featured holy communion, special prayers and thanksgivings.