The Labour Party has said the ranking of Bayelsa State as the second poorest state in Nigeria signifies failure by the Peoples Democratic Party-led administration in the state.
The state LP candidate for the November 11 governorship poll, Mr Udengs Eradiri, spoke during an interview with journalists in Yenagoa on Thursday.
He said the state’s poor rankings in economic and developmental indices remained an eloquent testimony that the PDP-led administration had failed to perform.
He said the PDP had nothing to campaign with, saying that he could not comprehend the stinking poverty in the state in spite of its small population and huge revenue allocations from various sources.
The LP candidate attributed challenges in the state to what he described as many years of incompetence, avarice, profligacy and anti-people policies of the PDP, saying that the current administration had no idea of how to tackle the issues.
“Why is Governor Douye Diri and the PDP still campaigning for a second term? Data technology company, StatiSense, recently unveiled the multidimensional poverty index of 2022 report of the National Bureau of Statistics.
“That report exposed the number of people living in multidimensional poverty in the oil-rich Niger Delta states. That report is alarming, distressing and goes to show the failure of the PDP leadership of Bayelsa since 1999.
“It shows that the PDP leadership and the current government of Diri diverted and squandered our commonwealth.
“Bayelsa has the red flag in all developmental indices. It will shock you to know that 2.61 million people out of the 2.9 million people are languishing in abject poverty.
”This is to say that 88 per cent of our population are extremely poor in spite of the humongous resources and revenue coming into this state,” he said.
He added: “While Sokoto, a desert, occupies the first position, Bayelsa, an oil-rich state, comes second.
”What other proof do we need to know that the PDP has remained the whirlwind that will not blow this state and our people any good? What other evidence do we need as a people to know that this forthcoming election affords us the opportunity to kick out Diri and his party? They mean no good for our state and should be given a red card.’’
Eradiri also said that the ranking of third among those with the worst unemployment rate in the country was proof that the PDP had no business seeking re-election.
He called on the people to massively vote for what he termed the credible alternative offered by the LP, saying that with his People, Education, Agriculture, Power agenda he would give the state a solid fresh beginning.
In his reaction, the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr Maxwell Ebibai, in a statement faulted the report, saying that the parameters used in the rankings were questionable and did not meet best practices.