...As Mrs Henrietta Fimie Patrick is laid to final rest at age 102
The former Bayelsa State Governor and Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District in the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson has been conferred with the Chieftancy title of Utoron (1) of Ataba Kingdom, Andoni, Rivers State, on Saturday, 5th of March, 2022. He was conferred the Chieftancy title alongside the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, who was conferred with the title of Oroata (1) of Ataba Kingdom.
Senator Dickson was in Ataba Kingdom in Andoni, Rivers State to attend the interment ceremony of the mother of his friend and colleague, Erasmus Patrick, whose mother, Mrs Henrietta Fimie Patrick passed on at the good old age of 102
On his Facebook page, Senator Dickson said, “as part of the ceremony, I was conferred the title of Utoron (i) of Ataba kingdom by the council of chiefs of the Ataba kingdom, which means the light of Ataba kingdom. My brother the Governor of Bayelsa State, HE Senator Douye Diri was equally conferred the title, Oroata (i) of Ataba Kingdom, which means, one who does good”.
Responding after the conferrement of the chieftancy titles on them, Senator Dickson, speaking on behalf of Governor Diri, thanked H.R.H, King Benson Mgbowaji Egwenre, JP. Oruk XVII Okaan Ama Of Ataba Kingdom and the entire council of chiefs for the honor done him and his family and the honor done to the Governor and the good people of Bayelsa.
He said the people of Ataba and Andoni believe in the Ijaw cause and have over the years produced sons and daughters who have served and are still serving the Ijaw nation in various capacities and they are proud of them.
Senator Dickson further narated how their son, Mr. Erasmus Patrick has been a Bayelsan friend, a colleague and a stalwart of the INC. He said the sterling qualities of their son, Major Lancelot, as a dependable brother whose support and services to him are invaluable and who has continued to render same to his successor, Senator Douye Diri was most delightful.
In addition to the above illustrious sons of Andoni, Senator Dickson added that their son, Hayford has been part of the Bayelsa state government since 2012 and has served in various capacities, while another illustrious son, the IYC president had the full support of himself, the Bayelsa State Government, Governor and Bayelsans.
Senator Dickson stated that Prince Uche Secondus another illustrious son of Andoni clan has been a pillar of support for him and that he was one who believes in the Ijaw ideals, a trainee of past Ijaw leaders. He informed the gathering that Secondus would have been at the event but for some exigencies and that he sends his greetings.
Senator Dickson said, “for me, 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”.
Senator Dickson threw light on the founding fathers of the Ijaw nation, saying that, their past leaders like Late Harold Dappa-Biriye, Late Melford Okilo, Pa E.K. Clark etc, worked and are still working to put Ijaw people together.
He explained that when Bayelsa was created, its 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 his administration completed, commisssioned and christened it “Ijaw House” with Chief Alamieyeseigha and other Ijaw leaders by his side.
Senator Dickson said that he 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.
Senator Dickson revealed to the gathering that, this was how most of Andoni sons and daughters became part of Bayelsa till date. He pointed out that, governor Diri is a product of this movement and that he knows the issues and is consolidating on them.
Dickson assured all Ijaws that Bayelsa remains their Jerusalem and the Governor of Bayelsa will always remain their Governor too.
Senator Dickson, the Utoron (1) of Ataba Kingdom thanked his Royal Highness and the council of chiefs for the honour done to the Bayelsa State Governor and himself.
He noted that the traditional institution is playing its part in deepening the Ijaw concuoisness and assured HRH and the people of Andoni of his, and the Bayelsa governor and government’s abiding support.
In conclusion, Senator Seriake Dickson called on all ijaws to extend the support and prayers that they gave to him as governor to governor Douye Diri as he continues to serve not just as governor of bayelsa state but as governor of the Ijaw nation.
Speaking during the event, the King of Ataba Kingdom, H.R.H King Benson Mgbowaji Mgbere (JP) said, the conferrement of the chieftancy titles on Senator Dickson and Governor Diri was in recognition of their uncommon love for the Ataba Kingdom. He noted that their sons who Senator Dickson and Governor Diri graciously engaged in Bayelsa State were worthy and illustrious sons of Ataba.
Present at the occasion were, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor Douye Diri, Bayelsa state government officials who accompanied the governor, Ambassador Godknows Igali, INC President, IYC President and other political leaders from Bayelsa State.