Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has reaffirmed that, the Ijaws would remain unwavering in their call for the restructuring of the country.
He said restructuring woven around resource control, fiscal federalism and devolution of powers from the Centre to the federating units will enthrone a fair, balanced and equitable country, where all ethnic groups will be proud to call their own.
A Government House Press Statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo noted that, Governor Dickson stated this on Sunday, while speaking with newsmen shortly after a special inter-denominational church service to mark Nigeria’s 57th independence and the 21st anniversary of the creation of Bayelsa State at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House in Yenagoa.
The Governor urged Nigerians not to see the call as a threat to national security, adding that the Ijaws believe in the continuous peaceful existence of Nigeria as one indivisible entity.
While describing restructuring as an urgent national imperative, he noted that, those who are calling for it, to do so in the best interest of the country.
Governor Dickson submitted that restructuring would help in laying a better foundation for the future of the country and address the current challenges threatening national Peace, stability and prosperity of the nation
His words: We have to re-examine our nation’s foundation and see how we can make necessary adjustments that will promote a more stable and prosperous Nigeria. The current structure of the country is not sustainable.
“Very often, a number of our leaders misconstrue the call for restructuring to mean secession. No, those calling for restructuring are the patriots of Nigeria. Because we want to lay a foundation for Nigeria that will last for the next 100 to 200 years.
“Our view as state, ethnic nationality and region is that, we support the call for restructuring but we must all sit down and agree on how we can re-adjust our country. We are Nigerians. Nobody is more Nigerian than a Bayelsan or Niger Deltan. Nobody has the right to question our Nigerianess. We are the people that have been sustaining this country with oil revenue.
The Governor used the opportunity to felicitate with President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians on the 57th independence anniversary and urged all to work for the good of the country.
Governor Dickson, who also paid glowing tributes to the founding fathers of Bayelsa and late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha for creating Bayelsa State, called on the people of the state to support the government at all times. While regretting that Nigeria had left Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation behind, development wise, the Governor said, it would have been worse if Bayelsa State was not created.
He promised to keep delivering on his campaign promises to Bayelsans, even in the face of the recession.
In his sermon, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Religious Matters, Rev Samuel John Peters enjoined Bayelsans and Nigerians to be creative and make good use of every resource at their disposal including time.
According to Rev John Peters, God hates indolence as He has given man the power to be creative and appreciate in value.
The service, which had in attendance, the wife of the Governor, Dr. Rachel Dickson, the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah Rtd and other prominent personalities, featured special prayers for the state and Nigeria in general