Bayelea State Commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs, Hon. Patrick Erasmus has assured the Ijaw Nation that the Prosperity Administration of Senator Duoye Diri is working round the clock to ensure it conduct a free, peaceful and credible INC election soon.
Erasmus who gave the assurance in Yenagoa when he received members of Ijaw Nation Organization (INO) on a courtesy visit in his office in Yenagoa, urged the people to be patient with the Prosperity Government and support the process leading to the conduct of the election.
The Commissioner who debunk the insinuation from some quarters that the government is playing politics with the INC election, said the Diri led government can never play politics with the INC as according to him the electing a new leadership for the Ijaw people is for the collective good and for best interest of the people.
He said: ” Senator Duoye Diri is working hard to ensure a free, fair, peaceful and credible INC election, so let’s be patient and support the process, hopefully from now till the middle of the year, the INC national executive will be in place and Ijaw voice will be heard in the Nigerian state.
” Those saying that this government is playing politics with the INC are perhaps not aware that Diri a is a man of strong conviction on matters that bothers on the collective interest of the Ijaw nation. And besides as a former executive member of the INC, what the governor is doing is to midwife the process of enthroning a leadership that will speak on matters that concerns our interest and will never do anything that will be against the good of the people.”
Erasmus who stressed the need to promote the Ijaw language and culture in the state and nation at large, noted that 272 students were sent to study Izon at the Centre for Niger Delta Studies in the Niger Delta University and that 115 of them are on clear standing waiting for the Government to engaged them and redeployed to various schools across the state.
He said that the ministry will soon kick start a project which is the setting up of Ijaw learning centre to engage in research and development of the Ijaw language.
He appreciated the group for the visit and encouraged them to keep up their good works of promoting Ijaw agenda and called on well meaning groups and individuals to support the group to achieve it’s lofty programmes.
The commissioner pledged to work closely with the group in the overall development of the state.
Earlier in his remarks, the Vice President and Bayelsa State Coordinator of the Ijaw Nation Organisation (INO), Comrade Gbasinghan Ajosi said the purpose of the visit is to intimate the commissioner of the activities of the group and solicit support from the ministry.
Ajosi said the main objective of the organization is to promote a unified Ijaw Language, stating that as the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria, the Ijaws ought to have a unified language and a comprehensive dictionary.
The Bayelsa State Coordinator of INO noted with concern the delay in conducting the INC election, adding that there are allegations leveled against the Commissioner and the Bayelea State Government of playing politics with the conduct of the INC elections.
Also speaking, Henry Inieyekenumu urged government to centre its development by diversifying the economy through the Bayelea palm, plastic industry, the entertainment industry as well as sports, adding that these are viable areas that can boost the state IGR and create job opportunities for the youths.