Category: Celebration

My Award, Encouragement to Perform Better, Says Gov Diri – Dedicates Honour To Bayelsans

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said his Independent Newspapers’ Governor of the Year 2021 Award will spur him to better serve his state and the country. 

He equally dedicated the award to people of the state and his Prosperity Administration team.

The governor, who was honoured as the best in the Good Governance and Responsive Leadership category, received the award at a well-attended event held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos on Saturday night.

In statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, on Sunday, Senator Diri said the award was not for him alone but also for members of his Prosperity Administration and all Bayelsans.

He appreciated the media organisation for the recognition, noting that he was delighted that his silent achievements were recognised by by the newspaper.

Describing Bayelsa as a hub of oil and gas activities in Nigeria, Diri said that an enabling environment has been created for investors in various sectors in the state.

His words: “For us, this award is dedicated to my Prosperity Team and indeed the people of Bayelsa State.

“We are happy that our modest efforts are reverberating and have attracted this award. But it is not to me alone as governor but also to the people of Bayelsa and the team of the Prosperity Administration. 

“To us, this is a further call to duty. To whom much is given much is expected. So for us, in the face of dwindling resources, the much that we can muster will be able to impact on the lives and environment of our state.

“Bayelsa is relatively one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria. It is the hub of oil and gas activities. 

“I can assure you that Bayelsa is prepared to host the world. The state now has an airport, which is operational, with two airlines flying to Bayelsa on daily basis from Lagos and Abuja. 

“So, the state is open business-wise. We call on investors that Bayelsa is open infrastructurally, spiritually and physically.”

When asked what the people of the state should expect in the remaining two years of his first tenure, he said: “Our own policy is to silently do what we want to do and thereafter showcase to the world like you saw during the second anniversary.” 

In his opening remarks, Managing Director of Independent Newspaper Limited, Mr. Steve Omanufeme, stated that the 2021 awards focused on people with outstanding performance in their various fields.

He noted that the awards were to show appreciation to the recipients and expressed the optimism that the gesture would motivate them to do more for society.

Governors who also received awards in different categories were Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Dr Samuel Ortom (Benue), and their Oyo counterpart, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

Other notable recipients were the Ijaw nation leader, Chief Edwin Clark, Minister of Transportation, Chief Chibuike Amaechi, his Niger Delta Ministry counterpart, Godswill Akpabio and the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airline, Chief Allen Onyema among others.

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Gov Diri Eulogises Alagoa, Others On Ijaw Book Project

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has applauded literary icons, Professors Ebiegberi Alagoa, the late Tekena Tamuno and John Clark and others for documenting the history of the Izon people.

Governor Diri spoke at the launch of a book, “The Izons of the Niger Delta” authored by the erudite scholars at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenagoa.

The book launch held Thursday as part of activities marking the second anniversary of the governor in office. 

The governor, who re-emphasised the imperative to preserve the language and culture of the Izon people, added that trained teachers would soon be posted to schools in the state to commence the teaching of the language.

He noted that the programme was one of the most important in the anniversary celebration as it afforded the people the opportunity to self-examine themselves and take the necessary steps to make corrections.

The state’s helmsman urged Bayelsans to speak Izon with their children at home to preserve the language as it has been forecasted that it would soon go extinct.

His words; “What we are doing today as Izon people is very important. If you do not know where you are coming from, you actually do not know where you are going. Music icon, the late King Robert Ebizimor, sang that if you do not know what killed your father and you do not what killed your father or your mother, the same thing that killed them will certainly kill you.

“Our Professor EJ Alagoa, who is now 89 years, we are very proud of you and we appreciate you. These scholars were role models back in the day. When we heard their names, we used to say we want to be like Prof. Alagoa. We aspired to be like any of these academic giants in the Ivory Tower and that was what fired most of us.

“Two of the other authors are gone but we still have Prof. Alagoa with us. Let us therefore tap into the Alagoas and those that are still alive like the Diette-Spiffs. We still have much knowledge to tap from them. 

 “I am happy that this  programme is part of our second anniversary. As I have been saying, we can build all the bridges and roads but if we lose our identity, we have lost it all. For me, this is one of the star events of our anniversary programme. 

“Our language is one of those forecasted to become extinct in a few years and we do not want it to become extinct. So, your government is doing everything to ensure this does not happen. 

“As Izon people, let us all resolve that wherever we give birth to our children, we will speak Izon to them.”

In his remarks, Prof. Alagoa said the book was special because the ideas were from ordinary Ijaw folks.

He thanked the governor for his support that enabled them launch the book, which project started in 2004.

He also appreciated former President Goodluck Jonathan, whose financial support enabled the authors to source for relevant materials around the world.

Also speaking, President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba, noted that the book addresses critical issues of the Niger Delta question and urged leaders of the Izon nation to get acquainted with the content of the 849-page book.

He called for legislation to make the learning of Izon history compulsory in all educational institutions in the state in order to inculcate the values and language of the Izon people in future generations.

The INC president applauded Governor Diri for resuscitating the project, which he noted was abandoned several years ago.

Earlier, a second anniversary symposium was held at the same venue where resource persons x-rayed the challenges and proffered ways to develop different sectors of the economy.

Chairman of the symposium, High Chief Seiyefa Koroye, said the state has kept the dream of being the ‘ ‘Glory of all Lands’ in 25 years of it existence through various developmental programmes by successive administrations. 

He said being part of the second anniversary celebration of the Diri administration, the symposium is expected to provide a documentation as well as analysis of the governor’s interventions and innovations to drive governance towards growth and development.

In his welcome address, chairman of the symposium organising committee and Commissioner for Education, Gentle Emelah, noted that the event was for self- introspection about where the state was, where it is and also project where it should be in the near future.

He expressed the hope that the ideas articulated would add value to the growth and progress of the state.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
February 11, 2022

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Thanksgiving Day: Diri Appreciates Bayelsans For Support

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has expressed appreciation to Bayelsans for the tremendous support for his administration.

Governor Diri spoke on Tuesday during the state’s 10th Annual Thanksgiving Day, which was the second under his administration. 

The governor, who was full of joy for the prevailing peace, stability and unity being enjoyed by the people, said he had not much to say other than to thank leaders and founding fathers of the state for rallying round his administration.

He promised to continue to churn out projects that would uplift the living standards of the people.

His words: “I thank Bayelsans for their love and support to the Prosperity Administration.  I also express my profound gratitude to all the leaders of the state, particularly the founding fathers and leaders of thought across the Ijaw nation for rallying round my administration. I’m overwhelmed with joy for the peaceful disposition of Bayelsans towards my administration.

“I would like to also express my appreciation to the legislature, the judiciary and members of my cabinet for the warm and cordial working relationship among us. I must say that this is really heartwarming and I assure you that the Prosperity Government will continue to embark on projects that would endear the people more to our government.

“My appreciation also goes to the youths and women of the state.”

He applauded the immediate past governor, Senator Seriake Dickson, for initiating the Thanksgiving Day celebration and for putting up the magnificent Ecumenical Centre, which has become the rallying ground every November 2 for people to appreciate God for His manifold blessings.

The programme attracted Bayelsans and other prominent Nigerians, who turned out in their large numbers. 

Speaking at the event, Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, represented by Chaplain of the Aso Rock Chapel, Pastor Seyi Malomo, commended Governor Diri, stating that the developmental strides witnessed in the state attested to the presence of God as a result of the recognition accorded Him.

He prayed God to continue to bless the state for recognising His supremacy.

In his remarks, Senator Seriake Dickson, who came with his wife, Dr. Rachael, also appreciated Diri for continuing with programmes and projects his administration initiated.

He urged Bayelsans to pray for the governor and his team to stay focused and courageous in their quest to develop Bayelsa.

Describing leadership as a relay race, he said one governor alone cannot solve the problems of the state, and urged the people not to allow rumour mongering and propaganda to derail the present administration.

Also speaking, former governor of old Rivers State, Chief Rufus Ada-George, said Bayelsans have reasons to thank God as it has produced prominent leaders in the country, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, and blessed with human and natural resources.

He said God has used Diri to foster unity and understanding among the people and the Ijaw nation, and advised the state to depend only on God for its progress.

Guest preacher at the event, Rev. Uma Ukpai, made prophetic declarations and proclaimed healing and blessings on the people of the state and land of Bayelsa.

Making reference to the scriptures, he urged Bayelsans to draw closer to God to experience supernatural increase.

Among dignitaries at the service were the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Speaker of the state assembly, Abraham Ingobere, Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kate Abiri and judges of the state high court.

Others were wife of former governor of the state, Mrs Margaret Alamieyeseigha, members of the National Assembly representing the state, immediate past deputy governor of the state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd), first military governor of old Rivers State and chairman of the Bayelsa Council of Traditional Rulers, King Alfred Diete-Spiff as well as other royal fathers.

Also in attendance were national and state Peoples Democratic Party stalwarts, clergymen, President of the Ijaw National Congress, Prof Benjamin Okaba as well as President, Ijaw Youth Council, Comrade Peter Igbifa.

Daniel Alabrah
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
November 2, 2021

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Ijaw Nation’ll Sustain Boro’s Legacies – Gov. Diri

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said the Ijaw nation would continue to agitate for the realisation of the ideals of equity, justice and freedom that the late Major Jasper Adaka Boro fought and died for.

Governor Diri stated this on Sunday during the 2021 Boro Day celebration at Kaiama, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area.

The governor also re-emphasised  the need for the Federal Government to restructure the country so the Niger Delta can manage its resources, develop at its own pace and pay taxes to the centre.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, Diri acknowledged that some of the issues the late Niger Delta hero agitated for have been achieved but that a lot still needed to be achieved.

His words: “Clearly, Isaac Boro has done so much to awaken our consciousness, awakened all that was within us as a people, as Ijaws, to demand what rightly belongs to us. Resource control, state creation and today, at least we have one homogeneous Ijaw state in Nigeria.

“Let nobody miscosntrue the true position of the Ijaw people. We are a people that have been marginalised, misunderstood and in the case of Adaka Boro condemned to death.

“All we are asking, like any other Nigerian, is freedom and equity. That we can put up our own plans to develop our region. Give us relative autonomy. Give us the management of our resources and we will pay back taxes to the Federal Government.”

He charged the new leadership of the Ijaw National Congress to work towards actualising creation of two additional Ijaw states of Toru-Ibe and Oil Rivers.

The governor, who noted that Boro fought for the emancipation of all minority groups, called on all Niger Deltans to join hands to demand for equity and justice from the Nigerian state.

In his welcome speech, Chairman of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Council, Hon Dengiye Ubarugu, said Boro fought for what the southern governors demanded recently at Asaba.

In his speech, the King of Kolokuma Clan, Onya Mozi Agara, tasked those in leadership positions to emulate the virtues of selflessness that were exhibited by Boro in his quest to better the lives of his people.

Also speaking, the  daughter of late Boro, Dame Esther Boro, challenged leaders to eschew selfishness and amassing of wealth from resources meant for the development of the society.

She noted that her father was being celebrated 53 years after his demise because he was selfless in his activities.
In a related development, Senator  Diri, speaking during the wreath-laying ceremony at the Ijaw Heroes Memorial Park in Yenagoa, urged the people, particularly youths of Ijaw nation, to imbibe the values that Boro represented in his struggle for self-determination, which include selflessness, discipline and justice.

While describing the youths as assets to the Ijaw nation, he said his administration was collaborating with the Presidential Amnesty Office to seek ways of creating empowerment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths.
The governor directed the General Manager of the Bayelsa State Housing and Property Development Authority to waive the N5 million being owed by Deigha Georgina Boro, who was alloted an apartment in one of the government buildings at Azikoro.

Commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs, Chief Patrick Erasmus, said Boro deserved to be honoured as a hero because of the sacrifices he made in fighting for the emancipation of his people.

In his remarks, President of the Ijaw National Congress, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, said the congress was poised to expand the scope of its programmes and  collaborate with the Presidential Amnesty Programme as well as network with relevant national and international agencies towards engaging the youths in productive ventures.

In their separate remarks, Presidential Amnesty Programme Interim Administrator,  Col. Dixon Milland Dikio (Rtd) and the Ijaw Youth Council president, Comrade Peter Igbifa, represented by the council’s spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, urged the people to emulate the shining example of Boro by advocating excellence in all their undertakings.

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