Ijaw traditional rulers and leaders from the six states of Bayelsa,
Edo, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ondo have converged in Yenagoa to
discuss issue of collective interest and well beings of the people.
The meeting which was declared open by Governor Seriake Dickson also focussed on the issue of reconciliation, unity, peace, stability and economic progress of Ijaw nation
Governor Dickson called on them to put aside their differences and
forge a strong united front, submitting that this is the only way to
make Ijaw nation relevant among other ethnic nationalities in the
He said the time has come for the Ijaw traditional rulers, elders and
leaders of the people to constitute a strong, credible, dependable and
fearless leadership for the Ijaw National Congress.
A Government House Statement signed by Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Dickson as having made the call while speaking at the Conference of Ijaw
Traditional Rulers and Elders in Yenagoa.
The governor stressed that the call was inspired by the reality that
certain key roles in the interest of the Ijaw Nation could be undertaken and indeed spearheaded by a strong President òf the INC and
his e executive committee.
He said that the absence of a strong INC meant the existence of a
vacuum which was inimical to the development of the Ijaw Nation and
the Niger Delta.
He said, “On the need for Ijaw unity, everybody in the Ijaw nation,
all our leaders are on the same page. And I am delighted that all of
you who are the critical pillars of the Ijaw movement which is founded
on our Ijaw traditional institutions are present here, that is why you
have clan representation.
“Let me draw your attention to the need for the Ijaw nation at this
point in time more than any other time to be united SD quickly as
possible put processes in place that will lead to the emergence of a
credible, solid, dependable, knowledgeable and fearless leadership for our people because there are certain things only the INC can do.
There are certain things only the the INC president and his team can
say, all of us will give support. Right now there is a vacancy, a
vacuum and that is not good at all for us, for the Niger Delta because
our peopo le, the Ijaw people have Aa duty to galvanize this region
and close leakages that can lead to more stable and prosperous Niger
Delta, and Nigeria.”
He called on the people to prioritize support against kidnapping,
piracy, and other criminal activities that had aggravated the economic
and development challenges in the communities.
Dickson lamented that the Ijaw communities were losing businesses and developmental opportunities as the enemies of the people were taking advantage of the situation to blackmail the area and deepen
underdevelopment in the area.
“I call for peace, stability and an end to kidnappings, brigandage,
piracy on the waterways and lawlessness that has de-marketed our
region, state and communities that is further aggravating our economic and developmental challenges for their selfish reasons.
“Our enemies are all too happy as we are losing businesses and they
are using propaganda to paint our region as a place not good enough to
satisfy their own selfish interest.”
Dickson who enjoined the people to continue to cooperate with
constituted authorities and to live in harmony with their neighbors in
their geographical locations, also advised them to continue to raise
genuine issues peacefully.
He commended all the elders and leaders of the people who responded to the call to play various in the National Reconciliation Committee of