By Yemi Itodo
Bayelsa State Governor and former Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, has been adopted as “illustrious Idoma son” by the Idoma Area Traditional Council. Dickson is to be conferred with one of the highest Chieftaincy Title by the Och’ Idoma, HRH, Agabadu, Dr. Elias Ikoyi Obekpa on Saturday, February 8, at OchIdoma palace, Otukpo. He will be crowned as Oyi’ Ihotu K’ Idoma, meaning the cherished son of Idoma land!
The award is in recognition of Governor Dickson’s friendship with Idoma people and numerous contributions to the empowerment of Benue sons and daughters in his state.
Aside appointing a Benue man and current lawmaker, representing Ado, Okpokwu, Ogbadibo Federal Representstives, Dr. Francis Ottah Agbo, as special adviser on media relations and later, Chief Press Secretary, Governor Dickson also appointed Mr. Steven Ekoja as his Special Assistant. He also appointed an Idoma man, Innocent Adaji as his Chief Driver and another Idoma man, Mr.John Adaji as his Farm Manager, while some of his cooks are of Idoma and Tiv extractions.
The Governor also appointed a Benue Police Officer, late Inspector Ameh Ogbeh as his Excort Commander, amongst several other engagements.
According to a letter personally signed by his HRH, Agabaidu, Dr. Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, CON, Och’Idoma the 4th in 2019, Governor Dickson is to be conferred with one of the highest traditional chieftaincy titles in his palace on Friday, June 28, 2019 in Otukpo, Benue state. He said the title will further cement the relationship that exists between the Governor, the Izon ethnic group and Benue people.
“On behalf of myself, my council and the entire Idoma kingdom, I wish to, genuinely, appreciate your commitment to a peaceful and united Nigeria and in particular, your friendly disposition towards my people, including the Idoma Community resident in Bayelsa State.
“In view of the above, and to further strengthen this relationship, I and my Council, the Idoma Area Traditional Council, at our sitting of 16th May 2019, decided to adopt you as an illustrious Idoma son by conferring one of the highest chieftaincy titles, in the Kingdom on you.
“We intend the ceremony to coincide with our annual pan Idoma festival, the ‘Eje Aje K’Idoma’, which will come up at my Palace in Otukpo on the 28th of June, 2019.
“While awaiting Your Excellency’s early acceptance of our offer, to enable me put in place, adequate plans for the ceremony, accept the assurance of my esteemed regards and Royal Blessings”, the letter reads.
Dickson, who is also the Chairman of the South South Governors Forum, has since accepted the offer and promised to personally be in Otukpo to accept the tittle, which he said was an honour done him and the Izon nation.
A press statement signed by the Secretary of Idoma Area Traditional Council, Mr. Joseph Adah, noted that the conferement of the traditional title on the Governor was originally billed for Friday, June 28, 2019, same day with the pan Idoma annual festival, known as the ‘Ej’Aje K’Idoma’, but was shifted to Saturday, February 8 this year, at the Governor’s instance. The occasion is under the chairmanship of former Senate President, Distinquished Senator David Mark, while the Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom is the chief host.
The statement also enjoined all well-meaning Nigerians, the Idoma people and the general public to join the Och’Idoma and Idoma Area Traditional Council to give a rousing welcome to Governor Dickson and his entourage.