Justice, fairness, and equity are the panacea for development, hence, development is at risk of a very slow pace, Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said.

The governor made the assertion on Sunday at a special church service in commemoration of Nigeria’s 60th and Bayelsa’s 24th anniversary at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House, Yenagoa.

In a press release by his spokesperson, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor called on Nigeria’s leaders to ensure justice, fairness, and equitable distribution of the nation’s resources and key appointments.

His words: “Let me seize this opportunity to call on our leaders to note that a country cannot develop where there is no fairness, justice, and equity because these are some of the things that are counting for our slow pace of development.

“Anybody who finds him or herself in a leadership position should practice equity, fairness, and justice no matter whose ox is gored. That way the country will be developed. Resources and appointments will be equitably distributed and we will all be happier for each other.”

Senator Diri acknowledged that the nation and Bayelsa had made some progress just as he expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the headquarters of Zone 16 of the Nigeria Police as well as the support to the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board in Yenagoa.

According to the governor, on the country’s anniversary and that of Bayelsa, his message is that of peace, love, and forgiveness as captured in his inauguration address on February 14, 2020.

He said as a state and a nation, the anniversary called for sober reflection and advocated the need for the people to shun all forms of divisive tendencies that could hinder growth and development.

“The Bible passage that was read succinctly summarised my inauguration address. We live in a world of hatred, acrimony, and strife for material wealth. Greed has torn us apart. If only we are contented with what we have, then a lot of things we do would not be necessary.

“As Ijaw people, we clamoured for the creation of three states out of which Bayelsa was created. So we should learn to cherish our only homogenous state.

“I call on all Bayelsans to exude love. Where there is hatred, they should show love. And where there is darkness, show light.”

In his sermon, chairman of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Archbishop Jacob Akpiri, said there is every reason to thank God for His blessings.

Quoting Mark 12:30 and 31 from the Bible, he harped on the need for people to love God with all their heart and might as well their neighbours as this was God’s greatest commandment.

In an interview, chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, noted that at 24 years, Bayelsa had come of age and had made significant contributions to the development of the country.

King Diete-Spiff also pointed out that Nigeria had contributed immensely to the world economy in terms of what Nigeria had lost to other nations.

The highpoint of the service was the offering of intercessory prayers for Nigeria, the state, the people, and the government at all levels.