From Clem Onyemaechi, Yenagoa
The new Bayelsa International Airport will begin commercial flights in June this year, State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has said.
Governor Dickson made the disclosure while playing host to the Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command, Yenagoa, Air Vice Marshall Uburufih Peter-Uzezi and other top officers at Government House, Yenagoa.
The Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as saying that the airport would have flights from Abuja and Lagos.
According to him, the state government is intensifying efforts to complete the fencing of the airport to prevent animals from straying into the runway.
He commended the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the partnership to secure the airport by deploying its personnel to the facility.
Also, Governor Dickson commended the Officers and men of the Air Force for their exemplary conduct and professionalism during the last election.
He said that personnel of the Air force had shown in clear terms that they are disciplined, well-trained and are alive not only to their duties, the people and country but to their own code of conduct.
He said the last elections in the state were far from peaceful as the officers and men of the Nigeria Army were used as an armed wing of the All Progressive Congress, maiming and killing innocent citizens of the state.
“During the elections in this state, soldiers turned themselves to be agents of political actors in the APC and may that day never come in our country when all organs especially of the security apparatus will or are expected to become political operators; may that day never come in this country.
“Time and time again, I have had the unpleasant duty of leading and mobilizing this state to go for peaceful elections, only to be confronted by agents of the Nigerian state that should be apolitical, playing active political roles, killing, maiming and terrorizing our people.
“Some days back we had to bury two young men murdered by a combination of the APC, their leaders, the Nigeria Army, State Security Service, working against the stability of this state. In all of this brigandage by the Army, the SSS, and the police, I am not aware of any involvement any officer of the Nigerians Air Force.”
Governor Dickson, who also received the new Commander of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, in Government House, however assured that the state government would continue to partner all arms of the military and security services to ensure peace, stability and development of the state.
In his remarks, Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command, Yenagoa, Air Vice Marshall Ubrufi Peter-Uzezi, said the Air Force would soon start flying its planes into the Bayelsa International Cargo Airport to
create confidence for flight operators and to show that the facility was safe for business.
Peter-Uzezi commended Governor Dickson for his developmental strides in every sector of the state, including the construction of the airport with the longest runway in the country and for partnering the Air Force and its sister organisations.
He appealed for the release of funds for the completion of the Community Secondary School in Zarama, Biseni, Yenagoa Local Government Area, which was offered to the Air Force for the citing of a Comprehensive Secondary School expected to commence academy work in September.