The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has asked African leaders to stop blaming their woes on the colonial era and rather make deliberate efforts to develop their countries.
Speaking during the launching of two books: “The African Voice” and “Once A Soldier”, written by the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council and Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, King Bubaraye Dakolo, on Wednesday, Diri recalled that institutions such as textile industries and paper mills in Delta and Akwa lbom states, as well as the Cocoa House in Oyo State, were established prior to the colonial era and wondered why they had become comatose.
Represented by his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Diri stressed the need to do away with policies that created barriers to regional integration and economic development, advising that such policies should be jettisoned to allow for more integration to fast-track development on the continent.
He, however, lauded African leaders for taking steps to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which promotes intra-African trade thereby deepening integration.
On his part, King Dakolo stated that inequality and injustices suffered by the people of the Niger Delta could best be addressed through intellectual discourse to attract attention to the region.