Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said that the dream of the late Kolokuma monarch, King Geoffrey Aganaba, for a prosperous homogenous Ijaw state is being fulfilled with ongoing development efforts in the state.
Speaking in Yenagoa during the 25th remembrance anniversary of the late Aganaba, Governor Diri remarked that his contribution to the creation of Bayelsa was remarkable and worthy of mention and celebration.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as commending the family for putting the remembrance celebration together, saying it is in line with the ideals of his administration to honour heroes of the state.
He stated that one of the greatest desires of the late king was to see the creation of a prosperous Bayelsa, which is now happening, saying he must be resting well knowing that his efforts were not in vain.
The state’s helmsman stated that his administration had a policy of honouring Ijaw heroes as evidenced in the naming of the newly built Bayelsa media complex after the late media icon, Ernest Ikoli.
He called on people of the state and Ijaw nation to unite and work for development of Bayelsa, saying no state can prosper in an atmosphere of disunity and rancour.
Diri said as the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria, the Ijaws deserve at least two more states and tasked the INC and other bodies to keep the struggle alive, assuring of the support of the state government.
His words: “Twenty-five years is a long time to be forgotten. And even a longer time to be remembered. That we have journeyed here today in our numbers bears ample testimony to a colossus of a man who inspired the best in us all and bequeathed an outstanding legacy of courage, duty and excellence
“One of his greatest desires was to see the birth of a prosperous Ijaw state that will be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest states in Nigeria. At that time, he fought relentlessly. He left every other thing and became one of those that stood for the creation of Bayelsa State.
“This man touched lives. His legacies are speaking for him. He was at the forefront of the liberation of the Ijaws.
“I like to on behalf of your government say a very big thank you to the Aganabas for this event. We must look back and look forward to a greater Bayelsa. That is the only way we can talk about prosperity. We cannot prosper when there is disunity. We must all come together to develop our state that God has given us.”
Earlier, leader of the Aganaba Family Forum, Dr. Tari Aganaba, said the deceased contributed significantly to the Bayelsa creation efforts alongside others and urged the state government to take delibrate steps to immortalise those who fought for the state’s creation as a way of encouraging the younger generation.
In his opening remarks, Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, lauded Bayelsa for remembering its heroes and advocated honouring them, especially when they are alive.
Highpoint of the event was the launch of the Geoffrey Filinti Foundation.