The Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government (SSG), Mr. Kemela Okara, has joined the governorship race in the state.
The SSG announced his intention to seek the nomination of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to become the next governor of the state.
Okara, a lawyer and pastor who had also twice served as Commissioner of Trade and Investment under outgoing Governor Seriake Dickson, is anchoring his campaign on the theme “The bridge to Bayelsa’s prosperous future”.
The governorship hopeful, in a statement, said the focus of his campaign would be to achieve measurable and enduring all-round transformation of the state in massive job creation, industrialization, agriculture and security by building on the core accomplishments of the Dickson era.
Okara said: “Bayelsa has done well under the current administration, despite challenges. For instance, massive investment in education has produced significant positive outcomes such as 10 boarding schools across the local councils with free feeding and tuition, two universities – the Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa and University of Africa in Toru Orua have been established.
“In healthcare, the Dickson administration has built primary health care facilities in all 105 wards of the state, supported maternal healthcare through the N3,000 per month given to pregnant women and instituted a health insurance scheme.
“The Dickson administration has also opened up access roads to previously inaccessible places in the senatorial zones and built an airport that can handle international flights with a 3.5km runway.”
“I aspire to take Bayelsa higher by building on the strong foundation laid by Governor Dickson.
“My life-long philosophy is to use whatever platform that I have to serve the interests of the people.
“I have been privileged to contribute to the policy conceptualization and execution that has produced the significant achievements of Governor Dickson in education, healthcare, security and infrastructural development.
“Building on this foundation, I aspire to become the bridge to bring together contending interests within the party as well as the bridge to a more prosperous future for Bayelsa”.
Part of his other accomplishments in the state, Okara said, included developing The Bayelsa State Industrialization Policy, designing the masterplan for the State Eco-Industrial Park, designing the masterplan for the State Power Generation Hub, providing conducive trading infrastructure, and developing the strategic plan for viable inward investment into Bayelsa State. Mr Okara also oversees the N2b CBN MSME funding for Bayelsa State providing single digit interest rate financing for the MSME sector. [THE NATION]