Friday, November 29, 2019 6:27 am
The Governor òf Bayelsa State is the leader of the Ijaw nation. When Governor Dickson took over the mantle of leadership, he did not derail from this ‘extra governmental’ responsibility.
The pioneer Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, (of blessed memory) was the first to give a glimmer of hope to threatened Ijaw communities outside Bayelsa. It is on the lips of all our people, that the late Alams responded promptly to the cries of the Arogbo people when they came under a grave existential challenge in 1999. He did not not turn his back to their desperate need then. History remembers him with love. May the Almighty God bless his soul.
When Hon Dickson became Governor in 2012, he sustained and built on this legacy. He made out time out of his busy schedule to visit Arogbo. He got creative and extended some rare privilege to the Ijaw people outside Bayelsa.
For the first time, he appointed a commissioner from outside Bayelsa State, in the person of the erudite, articulate and bold pioneer President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, in the newly created Ministry of Ijaw Affairs. A non Bayelsan Ijaw man sat in the Bayelsa Executive Council to contribute to the process of decision making.
Dr. Felix Tuodolo from Bomadi in Delta State is still a Special Adviser in his Government till date.
The Governor did the unexpected when he traveled far to Arogbo, Ondo State, to pick a son of the community as his Special Adviser, Media Relations. After a year, he found him worthy to occupy the privileged position of Chief Press Secretary. This position is not a right. It is a privilege! The rare qualities of leadership in him simply prevented him from seeing the barriers of geography that should have prevented it!
Governor Dickson appointed Mr. Erasmus as his Senior Special Assistant from the Eastern Obolo in Akwa Ibom State, and Johnson Uroupa, as his SSA from Edo State. There are more.
I know what Love Governor Dickson has demonstrated to stranded Ijaw leaders from the six states to which our people are indigenous. Don’t ask for their names.
This uncommon leader executed a sensitive project designed to save lives in deprived Ijaw communities with exploding population outside Bayelsa.
The Ijaw National Academy gives free boarding secondary school education to selected Ijaw sons across the land no matter how few. Every year, Ijaw sons and daughters from outside Bayelsa are given slots of admission into the great institution. He has always told the oppressors of the Niger Delta that the Ijaw sons are coming… it is a freedom song!
He gives opportunity to all Ijaw sons of a certain cadre in the milItaly and the security agencies to own a plot of land in the new Yenagoa City to give them a sense of belonging in Bayelsa which he fondly christened the Jerusalem of the Ijaw nation.
We the Ijaw people cannot afford to throw away yesterday because of today and its perceived prospects. In 2015, we lost a Presidential election but we recovered from the shock. The uncompleted East West Road and the weekly ritual of suffering at the Mbiama Junction are sad reminders of the great ideas consumed in that loss. The good thing is that the nation is moving on.
Those hurling unnecessary insults at the Governor should note that the Bayelsa election was contested by Ijaw people. Whichever way this contest goes, an Ijaw man would be Governor of Bayelsa State! That is why this unfair mob action is unnecessary.
I am bold to declare that Governor Dickson is a hero, a true lover of his people! When the story of the Ijaw nation is written, the Chronicle shall reserve special chapters in honour of this particular Leader with uncommon vision