Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the state’s airport project scheduled for inauguration soon as a ‘cesspit of fraud’.
The party, in a statement by its spokesman, Doifie Buokoribo, said the project was a fraudulent scheme put up by Governor Seriake Dickson to allegedly facilitate the siphoning of state funds.
The party advised Governor Dickson to be prepared to stand trial for this and other crimes against the people of Bayelsa State.
The statement said the N80 billion plus Bayelsa Airport project was built at vastly inflated costs, making it “clearly the most expensive airport project in Nigeria, as none of the 26 owned by the Federal Government or the eight owned by states is near that figure.”
Besides, the APC said the airport was economically unviable as it lacked vital intermodal network for easy accessibility.
It described the project, which has taken a heavy toll on the welfare of civil servants and the infrastructural needs of the state, as “symptomatic of a vision that is not only deficient but also diseased.”
The statement read, “We know it as a matter of fact that state governments that built airports in the past are unable to sustain them and want the Federal Government to take them over. No self-respecting, patriotic and honest Nigerian should be associated with this kind of fraudulent project.”
In a reaction, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso- Markson, in a statement, described the APC under the leadership of former Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva as “a rejected party of sick, confused and confusing minds on a mission to attempt creativity with mischief”.
According to him, “APC was now desperate to cling unto lies and imagined stories as a lifeline after losing most of its members to the visionary leadership of the PDP led Restoration Government of the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson”.
The Government’s spokesman said that it would only take a band of unconscionable political desperadoes to criticize the well conceptualized and effectively executed Bayelsa International Airport.
He said that the APC and its remnants of political bandits should be ashamed of their record of failure in Bayelsa and should atone for their sins by towing the path of their compatriots who left the party for the PDP.
Iworiso-Markson said that the leader of the APC in Bayelsa, Sylva failed woefully in the attempt to give Bayelsa and her people a desperately needed International Airport between 2007 and 2011 in spite of the huge resources at his disposal