From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Bayelsa State Government are engaged in a war of words over plans and programmes of the state government.

The Chairman of APC in Bayelsa State, Dr Dennis Otiotio, had carpeted the state government over the Diri Digital Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Programme, (DDEEP).

According to Otiotio, the claim that the state government has launched DDEEP to train youths in the areas of information, communication and technology is a ruse.

‘The claim that the government has launched the Diri Digital Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Programme, (DDEEP) in the state to train youths in the area of information, communication and technology to equip them for the fast-paced and digitalised global economy is another empty farce as even the youths it is aimed at deceiving are wise enough to remember that until this day the Diri Boost which is now been repacked as the so-called DDEEP has not seen the light of day and has remained only on paper and social media propaganda of this government. It is shameful that after close to two years in office all the Diri Administration can boast of in terms of youth empowerment is the launch of the Diri Boost that has not to boost anyone and now the hollow DDEEP. So what is youth-friendly about that?’

However, Diri has reaffirmed that the state government would continue to place a premium on youth development as evident in the various policies and programmes being devised for their empowerment.

Diri represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo stated this during the 56th Executive Council meeting in Yenagoa.

Reacting to recent comments made by the APC that the Prosperity Administration was not a youth-friendly government, Senator Diri described such comments as unfounded and malicious propaganda that cannot be verified.

The governor reminded the people that only a fortnight ago, his administration launched the DDEEP in the state to train youths in the area of information, communication and technology to equip them for the fast-paced and digitalised global economy.

According to the governor, the N500 million proposed for the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development in the state’s 2022 budget is a proposal, which is flexible and not cast in stone.

‘We want to place on record and correct an erroneous impression that the Prosperity Administration of Governor Douye Diri is not youth-friendly. I want to state that, that narrative is propaganda by the opposition party, the APC, which is unfounded and unverifiable,’ he said.

The governor also advised members of the state executive council to liaise with the Ministry of Information and Orientation to engage the media to properly inform the public on what the government is doing through their various ministries.

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Source: news