Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has inaugurated a 12 Member Executive Council of the State Elders Consultative Forum, with a mandate to advise the Government on the diversification of the State’s economy.
Governor Dickson, who gave the charge during the inauguration of the council in Government House, Yenagoa, said the move became imperative, because of the drop in federal allocation, which has hampered the spate of developmental projects in the State.
He noted that, the existing peace and stability could only be consolidated, if there is increase in economic activities, pointing out that, lack of job opportunities could bring about instability as most of the people depend largely on the Government, due to the absence of industries to absorb them.
According to Governor Dickson, “there is wisdom in forming the council as things do not go wrong in every society that has elders, because of the important role they play in helping to develop our Communities, State and Country.
“This council will liaise with the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and other bodies, as there is a lot to do towards mobilizing our people to interface with other parts of Nigeria in order to galvanize support for our people in the Nigerian project.
“Feel free to counsel us on every activity and programme, so that we can benefit from your wise counsel, especially at this critical stage where we need to strategize and galvanize our people to interface with other interest groups in the country.”
Governor Dickson commended members of the council for their advice, support and sacrifice, describing them as a people with track record of service to the state and country and true elders in every sense of the word.
Chairman of the Bayelsa State Elders Consultative Forum, Chief Francis Doukpola, outlined the objectives of the council to include, intervention and mediation in times of crisis, within the State and the Ijaw nation and advise the Government discreetly on complaints from the people.
The forum is also to encourage the Government to embark on welfare programmes for elders, interact and interface with similar bodies in the country as well as protect the socio-cultural values of the state.
Chief Doukpola said, the forum is also saddled with the responsibility of interacting with various political office holders and elected representatives to give account of their stewardship and to encourage the Government towards achieving the aspirations of the founding fathers.
Other members of the council include, Chief A. Maclean Aduba- Vice Chairman, Lady Anne Yougha- Secretary General, Chief Douyi Douglas Naingba- Assistant Secretary, Senator Emmanuel Diffa- Treasurer, Chief Thompson Okorotie- Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Love Amaseimogha- Financial Secretary, Barr. C.J Ayabowei- Legal Adviser while Chief Benedict Guembe, Prof. Turner Isoun, Prof. Francis Sikoki and Dr. Georgiana Ngeri-Nwagha are ex-officio members.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State