The Bayelsa State government has described as false the claim by the Labour Party (LP) candidate in the November 11 governorship election, Udengs Eradiri, that the state government spent N30 billion on 10.2km of road half completed by his predecessors.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor, Daniel Alabrah, on Friday frowned at Eradiri’s claim explaining that the current government inherited the project which he started afresh because it was abandoned.
The Labour Party candidate had claimed Douye Diri, the governor, who’s seeking reelection on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had spent N30 billion to complete the 10.2km phase two of the Glory Drive dual carriageway.
The Labour Party governorship candidate was also quoted in a report as querying “how the road project, which former Governor Seriake Dickson almost completed, could cost N30 billion.”
Eradiri recalled that while former Governor Timipre Sylva completed the clearing component of the project, Dickson carried out the sand-filling aspect, and Diri was expected to asphalt the road.
Alabrah said Eradiri’s claim is an “outright falsehood and a terrible lie” that should be completely disregarded.
Diri’s spokesman berated the Labour Party candidate for frequently making what he called mendacious statements and churning out inaccurate statistics in a bid to grandstand and attract attention to himself.
“To place the issue in context, the Governor Diri administration re-commenced the second phase of the 10.2km Glory Drive project in 2021 more than 10 years after it was started by the Timipre Sylva administration.
“The Sylva administration paid the ‘contractor’ the sum of N9bn for a project that was less than 5% done. So, his successor, Senator Seriake Dickson, queried the amount paid, which his predecessor claimed was for 50% of the job done.
“The disagreement resulted in a litigation by the contractor that eventually stalled the project throughout the eight-year duration of the Dickson administration,” the statement explained.
It emphasised that the legal action prevented the Dickson government from touching the project. “So, it is actually ridiculous that Eradiri, who was a Commissioner and member of the state executive council in that administration, could concoct such a blatant lie.
“By the time the Diri administration assumed office in 2020, the 10.2km stretch of the project had become a huge forest. The administration had to start afresh with clearing, excavation of the soil, sand-filling, asphalt-laying and installation of solar-powered lights on the dual carriageway.
“It is therefore pathetic for Eradiri to engage in revisionism just to score cheap political points.
“It is also clear that the LP candidate lacks understanding of what it takes to govern Bayelsa. Often, he displays crass ignorance on issues bordering on the development of the state.
“If Eradiri thinks spewing falsehood would bolster his chances in the Bayelsa governorship race, he needs to be reminded that the Bayelsa electorate does not reckon with him due to his unenviable record from his days as Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) president.
“Given Governor Diri’s prudent management of the state’s resources coupled with his visible developmental impact, no amount of lies, misinformation and calumnious campaign against him can sway people of the state from re-electing their performing governor.
“The LP candidate must also note that no matter how far lies travel, the truth will always catch up and overtake them,” the statement added.