By Eseoghene Emuke
A frontline governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming Bayelsa State gubernatorial election, Hon Fred Agbedi, says his administration would create an Oil Bearing Communities Development Commission to develop oil producing communities in the state.
Agbedi, who presently represents Sagbama-Ekeremor Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives in Abuja, assured that he would prioritise development of oil communities if elected as governor.
He stated this while addressing members of the Federated Correspondents’ media Forum in Yenagoa, the state capital.
Agbedi is one of the 21 aspirants jostling for the ticket of the PDP in the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
The lawmaker explained that he would establish the Oil Bearing Communities Development Commission to fast-track development to oil bearing communities who have suffered under-development for years.
He said that he will ensure the economic empowerment of Bayelsa entrprenuers by patronising indigenous contractors and hence strengthening their capacity to compete with their peers at the national level.
According to him, “My administration will ensure that Bayelsa money is domiciled in Bayelsa, by patronising indigenous contractors and paying them for jobs done. We have a lot of competent and skilled people of Bayelsa in business, we must patronise them to help them grow.
“We will not want capital flight from Bayelsa so we want to groom a crop of entrprenuers who will have the financial muscle to grow the economy of the state and partner with investors to harness the abundant natural endowments for the benefit of the people of Bayelsa.”
On the issue of zoning amongst the three senatorial zones of Bayelsa Central , West and East Senatorial Districts, Agbedi said that there is no such arrangement in the state.
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“I am privileged to be one of the founding fathers of this state and from 1999, people from across the three senatorial districts have always aspired and contested. From the historical perspective, in 1999 the race was between Bayelsa Central and West.
“The primaries for the 1999 was also contested by aspirants from the three zones. The shift of power across the three zones have been natural and not by any deliberate zoning. I do believe in zoning but we have never had any in place in Bayelsa.
“I challenge anyone to a public debate on zoning in Bayelsa and in any case since power has moved round across the three zones and Bayelsa West currently holds it, we can take the first turn again since all the zones have tasted it'” Agbedi said.