From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri and prominent traditional rulers in Bayelsa State have described former governor of the State and Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva as a blessing to the Niger Delta region and Bayelsa State.
Diri stated this weekend where he led notable dignitaries, politicians and prominent traditional rulers to Okpoama Kingdom, Brass Local Government Area of the state to attend the grand reception of Sylva organized by the Amanyanbo of Okpoama Kingdom, King Ebitimi Banigo Okpo XXI
Diri who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Benson Sunday Agadaga described the Minister as a peace loving individual who has the interest of the state at heart as he is seeking to bring development to the state that will yield more revenue in the nearest future.
“Honour is given to whom it is due. Today we are enjoying your contributions to the state as a former governor and now minister of state.We want to sincerely thank you for those things that you want to do for the state that will definitely elevate our IGR.”
“We also want to felicitate with you for the new face of Bayelsa, the face of love, and collaboration.Sylva as a former governor and now a minister for state, has done well and brought about peace for the loving people of his kingdom and the entire Bayelsa State,” he said.
Gov. Diri, commended the Minister for promoting what he described as the ‘New Phase” of love, harmonious co-existence, mutual understanding and collaboration in Bayelsa State.
According to Diri it was in the same consideration for the overriding interest of the State as Bayelsans that while serving as a Senator, he endorsed Sylva’s nomination and clearance for the ministerial position, irrespective of party affiliations.
In his welcome address, Chief Inikio Sam-Sele, Chairman, Okpoama Kingdom Council of Chiefs, said Okpoama people, are very friendly peace loving, hardworking people, unique in their ways, resilient and always determined to succeed in the things they do.
He described Sylva, as a man of sterling qualities, a visionary leader, a strategic thinker, and a man of courage and positive actions that have impacted on the lives and well-being of many persons and communities as well.
“We salute you, as we say that we are proud of you today and always, as you have achieved a lot as a man.
In his remarks, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amayanabo of Twon Brass, in Brass Island said Chief Sylva had done well in all spheres of life, making his people proud of him.
“The celebrant is our son, in whom we are pleased. He is a hardworking man who became a lawmaker at a very tender age, in old Rivers State.
“He is a great linguist, an orator, man of timber and calibre, a man with style, a man of many parts. We are proud of him in all,” he said.
Diete-Spiff, the first military governor of old Rivers State, said Sylva’s achievement started at a tender age and till date he is still waxing strong.
Also speaking, King Edmund Dakoru, the Amanyanbo of Nembe Kingdom, in Nembe Local Government Area of the state said Sylva, is a man that is accepted by all.
Represented by a former military Administrator of Delta and Ebonyi States, Navy Capt. Walter Feghabo(rtd), he said Sylva had distinguished himself as a true and trusted leader such that when given an assignment he will ensure smooth delivery.
In his speech, Sylva, said he was delighted over the grand reception organised by his kinsmen to honour him, as their son.
“I feel humble today on the show of love, by my people. It is said a prophet is never recognised or honoured by his people, but mine is different.This community has given so much to me, by giving me a place to be born. It’s gives me a whole lot of joy to see my mates around today.”
“I am not more special than any of you here, you people have given me the opportunity that I have today. I preach peace and love amongst us as a people.Without peace we can never prosper as a people, let the youths start showing good example, and shun any act of violence and crime, but should embrace peace among us,” he said.
The minister, also commeded King Banigo, whom he described as a fulfilled man, and one who has many parts as a king.
He urged the youths of Nembe and Brass to embrace peace so as to benefit from the developmental projects the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is working to bring to the area.
Sylva admonished people of the area to respect the laws of the land and should be ready to face sanctions when violated.
Dignitaries in attendance included the member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency, Chief Fred Agbedi, of the PDP who joined two of his colleagues of APC, Hon. Preye Oseke (Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency) and Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli (Nembe/Brass Federal
Others are are Chief Domo Lulu-Briggs, Mr Victor Okoronkow, Managing Director of AITEO, Minister of State of the Niger Delta, Senator Tayo
Alasoadura and top officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).