Dickson's gesture to Bayelsans Outside the state

The Niche

They may be far from home, but that does not deprive them of the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of good governance and dividends of democracy back home. That is what happened to
Niger Delta organisations in Lagos State, South West Nigeria, recently.

As part of his effort to drive home its small and medium enterprises (SME) development policy, which is far from consideration of whether the indigenes are within the region or outside, the Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, presented N30 million draft as a revolving loan to the Niger Deltans in Lagos.

It is part of his administration's economic empowerment programme.The programme, which held at the Nigerian Navy Barrack in Ajegunle, Lagos, had in attendance the likes of renowned activist,Comrade Joseph Evah, who is the co-Coordinates Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG); Deputy National Chairman (South South) of the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, and over 600 organisations under the IMG.

The governor said the loan could be accessed through the formation of cooperative societies with minimum interests rates attached, adding that "The era of free money is long over in Bayelsa".

According to him, the Bayelsa State Government is collaborating effectively with credible financial institutions to raise about N30 million as trust fund, urging all the organisations to make prudent use of the facility to improve their economic fortunes.

He assured them of his preparedness to make more funds available if only they could justify the purpose of the scheme.

Dickson, who said he was satisfied to be addressed as Governor instead of Governor-General and would continue doing good to the Ijaw people whom he affirmed are equally doing well in the state, advised the Bayelsans in Lagos not to forget home.

"The Governor of Bayelsa State is for all Ijaw
People and you must support all. I am wishing that all of you will come and see Bayelsa - the glory of all lands, with security and peace of the state." he said.

He commended Evah for bringing Balyesans together, describing him as the commander-in-chief of all organisations in the Niger Delta.

The governor also lauded Evah for being the Jerusalem of all Ijaw people and Niger Deltans in general, and for bringing Niger Delta hospitality to Lagos.

Dickson pointed out that "Bayelsa is united for security and development", and that his government "is working hard, day and night to ensure even development across the state."

The system, before now, he said, had spoilt, "but there is need for change, because government's money is for the state and needed for improvement", stressing that he is in power to that.

His words: "Before now, it was only violence and sharing; but now, no free money to share anymore. One who has responsibility to work must start it now."

Lagos, the governor noted, has been an important contributor to the development of his people, and that he had declared state of emergency on Education.

Reeling out other government's contributions, he disclosed that, currently, Bayelsa has over 150 Ph.D scholars and 100 Masters Degree holders who are outside the country for training.

Apart from that, he said the government has established College of Education in Sagbama; Teachers Training Schools, which is like university; Tourism School built from the scratch; School of Agriculture to train young people; School of Music that comprises a studio; eight models secondary schools with boarding facility; and driving institutes.

Every constituency,he said, has a boarding school, and that he pays Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), NECO, science and practical fees, just as senior citizens of over 75 years enjoy the sum of N5,000 a month. The projects, according to him, gulp billions of naira annually.

Evah commended the governor for purposeful Leadership, noting that President Goodluck Jonathan was the first person who lit the candle through Godsday Orubebe, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

According to the activist, Dickson has given them hope, and that whatever the governor is doing is a way of promoting the image of the late Isaac Adaka Boro.

He warned that Bayelsa is a spiritual state, and so nobody should take it for a ride.

Giving insight into that title of Governor-General among the Ijaw people, Evah said the name was first given to Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was former governor of Bayelsa. He added that,however, not a title, but inherited from one governor to another in any Ijaw state.


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