Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Friday, June 23, in Yenagoa, state capital, assembled leaders of thought in Ijaw nation to request their assistance and support to help in resolving issues affecting Ijaw ethnic nationality, especially the Ijaw National Congress, INC.
The governor while inaugurating a 20-member Ijaw National Reconciliation Committee, INRC, said “all is not well” as the conflicts and disagreements arising from individual interests has led to the polarization of the Ijaw Nation.
Dickson stated that a house divided against itself could not stand and, therefore, told them that the time had come to fashion out ways to holistically address all the challenges dividing them.
He said: “A number of things are not right about ourselves, about our zone and also the contradiction in our nation. And in all of these our people must develop a coherent approach as to how we can resolve these issues and move forward.
“Interestingly you all are not new to these challenges. All of you have been saddled in one form or the other and always to protect the Ijaw national interest.”
Dickson noted that it was normal to disagree, especially within a family or organisation but the end point must be to arrive at an acceptable place and position that would satisfy the yearnings of all parties.
For the INC, he lamented the lingering leadership crisis which he said had weakened the agitation of the Ijaw nation using the platform and charged the committee to work with six terms of reference to chart a way forward.
He described the INC as a pride organisation with so much hope and promise which some of the leaders had laboured so hard to keep in existence and wondered why drastic steps should not be taken to make it bounce back to national reckoning.
Just as he intervened and resolved the crisis in the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Dickson who gave the elders and leaders two weeks provisional time to come up with a road map to resolving the issue.
Dickson expressed great optimism that at the end of the crucial assignment the Ijaw Nation would bounce back and put to shame those who thought they would be in disarray forever.
“We may be down but by the time the leaders will be through with their work, it will be very clear that we were only down but not out.” he said.
In his acceptance speech, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, chairman of the INRC and Amayanabo of Twon Brass, commended the governor for his timely intervention and assured him that they would work hard to reconcile everyone and very group.
GTG Toby, a former deputy governor of Rivers State, will serve as deputy chairman while Felix Tuodolo is the secretary of the committee, which also has John Yeri, a retired general, and Inatimi Rufus-Spiff as members.
Other members are; Cletus Emein, a retired general; Amba Ambaowei; Kimse Okoko; Ayibaemi Spiff; Francis Doukpola; Nimi Briggs; Joseph Ajenika; I.E.I Ette and Rose Obuoforibo.
The rest are; Silas Eneyo; Joshua Fumudoh; P.Y Biakpara, a retired wing commander; Francis J. Williams; Christopher Dimie and Felicia Ajagu.