State Governor, the Honourable Seriake Dickson has announced that the state
international airport would commence initial flight operations to Lagos and
Abuja upon the completion of the airport’s perimeter fence.
Governor Dickson dropped the hint when he was conferred with a traditional chieftaincy title of ‘Ama-ebimowei Keni of Amassoma by the paramount ruler, His Royal Highness, Sir Major Graham P. Naingba (Retd), Oboro VII, Amananaowei òf Amassoma, during the Ammasoma Seigbein Oge, an annual fishing festival, on Saturday.
The Governor said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, that work on the perimeter fence had reached an advanced stage of completion and should indeed be completed in two months for flight operations to commence.
Governor Dickson described the airport as the biggest, strategic and most capital intensive investments ever made in the history of the state.
He applauded the leadership of the Amassoma community and its people for their peaceful disposition, which provided the enabling environment for the completion of the airport.
He particularly commended the Amassoma women for the supportive role they played in his governorship re-election in 2015.
Governor Dickson noted the former Governor of the State Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, initiated the idea of the construction of an airport in Bayelsa but could not bring it to reality because of the abrupt termination of his administration,
He recalled that former Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva relocated the then planned airport to a swampy area along the East-West road and abandoned it after spending billions of naira on the project.
His words: “Under the government of my immediate predecessor, Timipre Sylva, this airport was relocated to the East-West road and put in the middle of a swamp that would have been impossible to reclaim”.
“With all the billions spent there, not even acquisition for that place was done and yet the government of the day went and put a sign board there, ‘Musa Yar’Adua International Airport.
“We are yet to put a sign board even though planes have landed on our own airport and that’s the difference between a serious government and a 419 government.”
Governor Dickson who also congratulated his co-awardees, urged the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to do more in bringing about development to the state.
In a welcome address address, Chairman of the Central Planning Committee, Amassoma Seigbein Oge, Engr. Charles Ambaowei, said the community’s decision to honour Governor Dickson was in recognition of his examplary visionary leadership.
Engr. Ambaowei noted that Governor Dickson’s development efforts particularly in the execution of an airport sited in their community would boost socio-economic activities not only in the state but the entire Ijaw nation.
He also commended Governor Dickson for the execution of roads linking the new and old NDU campuses, Senate building among other projects at the institution.
Engr. Ambaowei also appealed to the governor and the NDDC to assist the community in tackling flooding by providing shore protection.
Other who were conferred with Chieftaincy titles are Dr. Amba Ambaowei, Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Prof Nelson Brambaifa, and Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei.
The community also gave a posthumous award to former governor, the late Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.