• Dickson preaches Ijaw unity

Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Ijaw national leader and former Federal Commissioner, Chief Edwin Clark, wednesday alleged that the federal government has neglected the Ijaw people.

The nonagenarian urged the present administration to right the wrongs done to the Ijaw people of the Niger Delta in the past, insisting that successive governments had treated the ethnic group unfairly.

Clark, according to the Special Adviser on Media Relations to Governor Seriake Dickson, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, made the call when he hosted the governor who led a delegation of Bayelsa State Government officials and Ijaw leaders to the country home of the ijaw leader in Kiagbodo, Delta State.

Also present at the event were Prof. John Pepper Clark, the Bolowei of Gbaramatu Kingdo; Chief Wellington Okrika, President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Mr. Pereotubo Oweilaemi, and a former Delta State PDP Chairman, Chief Pius Sinebe.

Others were: Mr. Fred Agbedi and Douye Diri of the House of Representatives from Bayelsa State the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Konbowei Benson; his deputy, Abraham Ngobere, Assembly members, commissioners and traditional rulers.

Clark prayed for a change of attitude from the federal government in the new year, noting that the authorities at the federal level must appreciate the Ijaw people for their contribution to the national economy.

“This new year will touch the heart of the Federal Government that the Ijaw people have been neglected for too long. Something has to be done for them. We want actual appreciation, something has to be done for us,” he said.
He hailed the governor for fighting the Ijaw cause and contributing to its development, especially in the education sector with the introduction of free primary and secondary school education in the state.

“You are the man who speaks for us. When you speak, we are very proud of you. I listened to the governor in 2012 when he declared an emergency in education and I was waiting to see what that meant.

“Recently, he invited me to Bayelsa State to see what he has done; he invited General Gowon and his wife. And what I saw in the field of education, if I don’t say it publicly I will be doing harm to myself,” he added.
In his remarks, the governor said the led the delegation to Kiagbodo on a Christmas and New Year visit to Pa Clark and other top Ijaw leaders in the country.

Dickson said the visit was also partly motivated by the need to consult the Ijaw leaders on issues of urgent importance to the Ijaw nation.
He called for more unity in all the segments of the Ijaw movements especially the IYC.

“We will consult on other issues of urgent importance both at the level of Ijaw nation, and the larger Nigerian nation. So apart from bringing seasons greetings and warm felicitations to our leader and our fathers, I am also here to consult our leader because we have an urgent task to put the Ijaw Nation together.

“We have an urgent duty to put the all sections and components of the Ijaw movement together. And so I want to make a public call for unity at all level, I call for unity in the IYC.

“I want to see greater unity and greater display of dedication at all level in the course of service to our people. I call for support as we move together to reposition the Ijaw nation as we move forward,” he said.
Dickson had earlier yesterday called on all political leaders regardless of their political leanings to forge a common front in tackling issues bordering on security and the overall development of the state.

He spoke when Benson, Speaker of the State assembly, led the leadership and members to pay a new year visit to him at his country home in Toru Orua, Sagbama Local Government Area.

Benson had said he led the leadership and members of the assembly to pay a new year visit to the governor to felicitate with him in the spirit of the festive season.

“The visit at such a festive period is to seek ways of continually promoting good governance for the welfare and wellbeing of Bayelsans,” he said.