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Diri to Buhari: Bayelsa has no grazing routes, we’re fishermen

Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri has said that the state government’s ban on open grazing has come to stay, stating that the state has no grazing routes because the people are fishermen.

Diri made known the government’s stance in a state-wide broadcast yesterday to commemorate the 2021 Democracy Day in Yenagoa, the state capital.

The governor spoke against the backdrop of reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had restored grazing routes across the country, insisting that the reported pronouncement by the President was not applicable to the state.

WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that Bayelsa state government last week seized 34 cows for breaching the state’s ban on open grazing and pledged to enforce the law to the letter.

On the commencement of scheduled commercial flights to the recently licensed Bayelsa Airport, Diri said that plans had been concluded with United Nigeria Airlines to start flight operations to and from Bayelsa from July.

He said that the state held talks with Ibom Air and the airline requested guarantees that the state government indemnifies it for empty seats until passenger traffic grows, but the aircraft has a capacity for 90.

He said that as a prudent administration, considering the cost of empty seats in a 90 passenger capacity aircraft, the government got United Nigeria Airline which operates smaller planes with 50-passenger capacity.

“Our earlier plan was to start with Ibom Air and we opened discussions with my brother, Governor of Akwa Ibom during our recent retreat in Uyo and he agreed. We immediately set up a committee to work out the modalities.

“The committee found that we need to defray the cost of unoccupied seats as a new airport and we found the cost too high for the capacity of aircraft operated by Ibom Air so we had to look for airlines that operate smaller capacity aircrafts.

“I can confidently say the scheduled flights will start at our airport in July. Arrangements have been concluded following the presentation of certification documents for daytime flight operations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.”

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