N1.2Billion wasted for Yar’ Adua’s Bayelsa visit

Can one imagine that the sum N1.2billion that was enough for many projects that would have been of social and economic benefits to the citizens of Bayelsa State was budgeted for the visit of President Yar’adua?


Had the Bayelsa Commissioner for Information, Mr. Asara Asara not been quoted in the story I read in The Guardian of July 1, 2009 page 7, I would have said that the rumour mills have come again. He was briefing the Press on Monday June 29, 2009, regarding a two-day Presidential visit that was supposed to start the same day but was suddenly cancelled.
Can one imagine that the sum of State fund (N1.2billion) that was more than enough for so many projects that would have provided social and economic benefits to the entire citizenry of Bayelsa State was budgeted for the visit of Mr. President?  In his briefing, the Bayelsa Information Commissioner informed the Press that as a matter of fact, the total sum of N456million had already been disbursed in cash to the various (sixteen) committees set up for the presidential visit. The release was done the last working day to the visit – Friday June 26.
He stated that having postponed the visit abruptly, at the instance of Governor Sylva that rushed to Abuja to see the President for a renegotiated date which is yet to be made public. As abruptly as the cancellation was, the Commissioner shot himself at the foot by denying that it was not cancelled because of security reasons but thatGovernor Sylva had to, in order to enable his government hold meetings with recognized militants in the State following Yar’ Adua’s proclamation of amnesty and unconditional pardon to the militants”..
What was Yar’Adua coming to do: to commission some completed projects by Sylva’s government and lay the foundation for the proposed Bayelsa International Cargo Airport”? If Bayelsa could budget N1.2billion for a presidential visit, then imagine the big-spender Akwa Ibom State that is expecting a presidential visit this July for the main purpose of commissioning the controversial (N6.8billion) rebuilt Governor’s Lodge?
Mr. President is warned of this wanton waste and looting of the masses’ (tax payers) fund going on in his regime. The masses are revolting and some of such ways could be the kidnappings and militancy.     
Stella O. Bolokor
3 Randle Close
VGC, Lagos.