Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has named popular gospel singer, Asu Ekiye; Secretary General of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Alfred Kemepado; IYC Chairman, Central Zone, Tare Porri and 21 others as Special Advisers. Also announced during the swearing-in ceremony which took place at the Exco Chambers of the Bayelsa State Government House was a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nathaniel Ngo-Sylva, a recent returnee to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Dickson said the appointment of more youths and women into leadership positions in the state was a follow-up to the government’s policy of building a mass of experienced future leaders for Bayelsa, adding that more than 90 per cent of the new Special Advisers are youths. He urged elders in the state to begin to create space for the young ones to assume leadership roles and vowed that the current trend of encouraging youths in the state to aspire to leadership positions would continue.
“We are preparing the ground for the emergence of a new set of leaders not just of this state, but of the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta. Leaders that will compete favourably with their peers from any part of the country and other parts of the world. “We have deliberately brought in young people even to the cabinet and we have also brought in over 20 women who are Special Advisers. Today, we are now expanding the process more, by identifying brilliant, capable, well-informed, dedicated, hardworking and loyal young leaders carefully selected from all the local government areas,” Dickson said.
In their separate reactions, Kemepado, who is the national IYC scribe and the zonal chairman, Porri, said the mass appointment of youths into the government was indicative of a forward-looking administration.
“This is a responsibility to test our capacity as youths, but we need to show that as people who have been at the vanguard of youths taking over, that we have the capacity to deliver.
“And that means doing better that those we have also criticised. So, what is important is to exceed expectations and show the whole world that the youths are capable of leadership, not just mere talk,” Kemepado said.
Speaking in the same vein, the IYC chairman, Porri, a lawyer while thanking the IYC said, “this is the first time in history of the Ijaw nation that young men and women between 25 and 35 and probably 40 are being appointed en mass into these kinds of positions in the entire Niger Delta.
“This calls for sober reflection, because this is the first time that a sitting governor is telling elders to take the back seat and allow the youths to take charge. The governor has told them that it is time to retire.
“We will not let the Ijaw nation down. We reassure the youths that under Governor Dickson there is hope and to rally round him to realise his dreams for the Ijaw nation. Let the youths embrace hard work and shun crimes. There’s no short cut,” he said.
Other Special Advisers sworn-in by the governor were Basil Kenbo, Salvation Ebena, Douye Koroye, Adokeme Godwin, Wisdom Fouyeri, Sinkumo Ekisah, Okobokakpo Ombu, Orufa Boloubo, Embeleakpor Apere, Prince Isiki, Richard Ibegu and Aboye Odibukuma. Also sworn-in were: Vote Salem Avworharie, Victor Ebiyekon, Lumumba Lokiri Odudu, Ebikeme Okiringa, Preye Okoriye, Bomo Serace, Randy Emeli and Asanakpo Oyinkuro Lucky.