Bayelsa governor canvasses strong voice for Ijaw nation

Applauds INC’s e-voting initiative 

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has decried absence of a strong and distinct voice for the Ijaw ethnic nationality on issues currently affecting the country. 

He said reviving the ethnic group’s foremost socio-cultural organisation, the Ijaw National Congress (INC), was long overdue and therefore called on his kinsmen to close ranks.

The governor, who was one-time National Organising Secretary of the group, averred that as the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria, a comatose INC meant a loud and unacceptable silence at critical moments of the nation’s history. 

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, said the governor gave the charge yesterday to delegates and members at the opening of two-day convention of INC at Izon House in Yenagoa.x

Diri expressed the hope that with the convergence of critical stakeholders from across the country, the INC would rise again for the Ijaw nation to have a strong and indivisible voice.

He charged the delegates to choose the best candidate for the respective offices that are competent, courageous, incorruptible and ready to defend the Ijaw based on fairness, justice and equity.

His words: “We actually have no option but to come together to continue to forge a common front for advancement of the aims and objectives of the INC in order that the Ijaw nation may not be caught napping or find itself wrong-footed in these very turbulent times in the history of our country.

“Perhaps at no other time in the history of our dear ethnic nationality has our unity been more required than now. We have a lot to do pursuant to the aims and objectives of the INC as set out in Article 7 of its 2019 Constitution (as amended).

“I expect that our continued loyalty and love for the Ijaw nation would moderate the actions of everyone at this convention. It is important that we choose the best for the respective offices, so we can rest assured that we have competent, courageous and incorruptible leaders, who would always defend the Ijaw nation based on fairness, justice and equity.”x

While applauding INC Election Planning Committee’s e-voting initiative, Diri stressed he had been an advocate of e-voting at the National Assembly and stressed that its use during the convention would ensure the integrity and acceptability of the electoral process.

Also speaking, Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro, commended Governor Diri for midwifing the process of reviving the INC, noting that the ideals that underscore the creation of the INC were laudable, hence the need for a robust and formidable leadership.

On his part, Chairman of the Conference of Ijaw Traditional Rulers and Elders (CITRE), King Alfred Diette-Spiff, applauded the governor for reconvening CITRE and expressed the hope that the convention would succeed in the interest of the Ijaw nation.

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