Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, on Friday in Yenagoa assembled leaders of thought in the Ijaw nation to request their assistance and support to help in resolving the issues affecting the Ijaw ethnic nationality, especially the Ijaw National Congress (INC).
Â The governor, while inaugurating a 20 member Ijaw National Reconciliation Committee (INRC), said “all is not well” as the conflicts and disagreements arising from individual interests had led toÂ the polarisation of the Ijaw Nation.
Â Dickson stated that, a house divided against itself cannot stand and insisted the time had come to fashion out ways to holistically address all the challenges, particularly those that were internal.
Â He said, “A number of things are not right about ourselves, about our zone and also the contradiction in our nation. And, in all of these our people must develop a coherent approach as to how we can resolve these issues and move forward.Â
“Interestingly you all are not new to these challenges. All of you have been saddled in one form or the other and always to protect the Ijaw national interest”.
Â Dickson admitted that, disagreements were normal within a family or organisation, but the end point must be to arrive at an acceptable place and position that would satisfy the yearnings of all parties.Â
For the INC, he lamented the lingering leadership crisis, which he said had weakened the agitation of the Ijaw Nation, using that platform and charged the committee to work with six terms of reference to chart a way forward.Â
He described the INC as a pride organisation with so much hope and promise, which some of the leaders had laboured hard to sustain and wondered why drastic steps should not be taking to make it bounce back to national reckoning.Â
Just as he intervened and resolved the crisis in the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Dickson, who gave the elders and leaders a two-week provisional time to come up with a document, said they could replicate same in the INC and the Ijaw Nation at large.
Governor Dickson expressed great optimism that, at the end of the crucial assignment the Ijaw Nation would bounce back and put to shame, those who think they would remain in disarray forever.Â
“We may be down, but by the time the leaders will be through with their work, it will be very clear that, we were only down, but not out” he concluded.Â
In his acceptance speech, chairman of the Ijaw National Reconciliation Committee (INRC) and Amayanabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff commended the governor for his timely intervention and assured him that, they will work to ensure that, everyone and group is reconciled. Â
A former deputy governor of Rivers State, Sir. Gabriel Toby will serve as deputy chairman, while Dr. Felix Tuodolo is the secretary of the committee, which also has Gen. John Yeri (rtd) and Senator Inatimi Rufus-Spiff as members.
Â The other members are; Gen. Cletus Emein (rtd), Dr. Amba Ambaowei, Prof. Kimse Okoko, Prof. Ayibaemi Spiff, Chief Francis Doukpola, Prof. Nimi Briggs, Prof.Â