Bayelsa News

Ijaw Stakeholders Storm Bayelsa; Discuss Unity, Reconciliation, Strong Leadership

…Dickson galvanizes Ijaw to progressive actions

…says; “Our enemies are taking advantage of vacuum among us.”

Ijaw traditional rulers and leaders from the six states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo, and Rivers, on Friday converged in Yenagoa to discuss issues of collective interests and well being of the people.

The meeting which was declared open by Governor Seriake Dickson also focused on the issue of reconciliation, unity, peace, stability and the economic progress of Ijaw nation

Governor Dickson called on them to put aside their differences and forge a strong united front, adding that, that was the only way to make Ijaw nation relevant among other ethnic nationalities in the country.

He said the time had come for the Ijaw traditional rulers, elders and leaders of the people to constitute a strong, credible, dependable and fearless leadership for the Ijaw National Congress, INC.

A Government House statement, signed by Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Dickson as making the call while speaking at the Conference of Ijaw Traditional Rulers and Elders in Yenagoa on Friday.

The governor stressed that the call was inspired by the reality that certain key roles in the interest of the Ijaw nation could be undertaken and indeed spearheaded by a strong President of the INC and his executive committee.

He said that the absence of a strong INC meant the existence of a vacuum which was inimical to the development of the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta.

His words, “On the need for Ijaw unity, everybody in the Ijaw nation, all our leaders are on the same page. And I am delighted that all of you who are the critical pillars of the Ijaw movement which is founded on our Ijaw traditional institutions are present here, that is why you have clan representation.

“Let me draw your attention to the need for the Ijaw nation at this point in time, more than any other time to be united and as quickly as possible, put processes in place that will lead to the emergence of a credible, solid, dependable, knowledgeable and fearless leadership for our people because there are certain things only the INC can do.

“There are certain things only the INC president and his team can say; all of us will only give support. Right now,  there is a vacancy, a vacuum and that is not good at all for us, for the Niger Delta because our people, the Ijaw people have a duty to galvanize this region and close leakages in ways that can lead to more stable and prosperous Niger Delta, and Nigeria.”

He called on the people to prioritize support against kidnapping, piracy, and other criminal activities that had aggravated the economic and development challenges in the communities.

Dickson lamented that the Ijaw communities were losing businesses and developmental opportunities and that the enemies of the people are taking advantage of the situation, to blackmail the area and deepen under-development in the area.

“I call for peace, stability and an end to kidnappings, brigandage, piracy on the waterways and lawlessness that has de-marketed our region, state and communities which is further aggravating our economic and developmental challenges for their selfish reasons.

“Our enemies are all too happy as we are losing businesses and they are using propaganda to paint our region as a place not good enough to satisfy their own selfish interest.”

Governor Dickson who enjoined the people to continue to cooperate with constituted authorities and to live in harmony with their neighbours in their geographical locations, also advised them to continue to raise genuine issues peacefully.

He commended all the elders and leaders of the people who responded to the call to play various roles in the National Reconciliation Committee of the INC.

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