Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Sen. Seriake Dickson has called on the Ijaw Nation to always stand and support their sons leaders in order to foster unity among the Ijaw Nation.
Dickson made the call in Ataba Kingdom in Andoni, Rivers State where he attended the eterment ceremony of the mother of his friend and colleague, Mr Erasmus Patrick whose mother, Mrs Henrietta Fimie Patrick passed on at the good old age of 102.
He said, ”I stand and support those who stand by me and I urge you and the entire ijaw nation to learn to stand by your sons and leaders no matter the intimidation and blackmail and learn to say no when no is the right answer.
”Our past leaders of the Ijaw nation like Harold Dappa-Biriye, Melford Okilo, Pa Clark etc, worked to put our people together.
”When Bayelsa was created, our first civilian governor, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha of blessed memory, started the process of using the apparatus of state to promote the Ijaw conciousness and this has since been the tradition.
”Chief Alamieyeseigha even awarded the contract and started the building of the INC headquarters in Yenagoa, a project that lingered on until my government completed, commisssioned and christened the Ijaw House with Chief Alamieyeseigha and other Ijaw leaders by my side.”
”I came and proclaimed Bayelsa the Jerusalem of Ijaw nation and formulated deliberate policies and programmes to deepen that conciousness and gave more opportunities to ijaws outside Bayelsa.
”This was how most of your sons and daughters became part of Bayelsa till date. Gov. Duoye Diri is a product of this movement, he knows the issues and is consolidating on it.
”To all Ijaws, Bayelsa remains your Jerusalem and the Governor of Bayelsa will always remain your Governor too,” he added.
Dickson, who commended His Royal Highness, King Benson Mgbowaji Egwenre JP Oruk XVII Okaan Ama Of Ataba Kingdom and the entire council of chiefs for the honour done on him and the Governor of Bayelsa, noted that the people of Ataba and Andoni believe in the Ijaw cause.
He said that over the years, the people of Ataba and Andoni had produced sons and daughters who have served and are still serving the Ijaw nation in various capacities, adding that, ”we are proud of them all.”
Dickson recalled how their son Mr Erasmus Patrick has been a friend, colleague and a stalwart of the INC.
He also recalled the sterling qualities of their son Maj. Lancelot, a dependable brother whose support and services to him were invaluable and who has continued to render same to his successor.
Dickson who commended Governor Duoye Diri forl playing his part in defending the Ijaw Nation, assured him of his abiding support.
”I call on all Ijaws to extend the support and prayers that they gave to me as governor to Governor Diri as he continues to serve not just as Governor of Bayelsa state but as Governor of the Ijaw nation, ” he said.
The people of Ataba kingdom conferred on Dickson Chieftaincy title of ”Utoron 1” of Ataba kingdom, which means the light of Ataba kingdom, while Gov. Diri was conferred the title of ”Oroata 1” of Ataba Kingdom, which means one who does good.