3 “A man who has no culture is lost. The beginning of a man’s culture is language and then his dressing. So, I count on you to ensure the sustenance of the rich Ijaw culture.
4 “My physical presence here should tell you the importance I attach to the cause of Ijaw nation.
5 “I am equally happy with what this group is doing, bringing all Ijaws in diaspora together.
6 “Consciously, we must continue to preserve and promote the Ijaw culture and tradition wherever we find ourselves. That applies to all of you abroad.’’
8 He expressed optimism that the operations of State Police would end the state of insecurity in the country.
10 He said the Federal Government should respect the true dictates of the Federal System fashioned after the U.S. democratic system where equity, fairness and justice remain the order of the day.
11 “The security challenges are there in Nigeria and that is why some of us are asking for restructuring of Nigeria. There has to be devolution of powers to the states.
12 “Right here in the U.S, I can see policemen who are not federal but under the jurisdiction of their respective states.
13 “That is the federal system. In Nigeria, why can’t we have state-owned policemen? state governments should be allowed and that will contribute to security in the country,” the governor said.
14 According to him, the current administration in Bayelsa is investing massively in security to create enabling environment for investments to thrive.
15 “We have been in the U.S. for some days now and have met various groups and institutions for partnerships and investments in the state.
16 “Bayelsa is so blessed in oil and gas but we are redirecting our energies to gas, renewable energy and agriculture among others. The meetings have been very encouraging and positive.
17 “But for us, we know that security is key and that was why we established the Bayelsa State Community Safety Corps headed by a retired Brigadier-General.
18 “We are involving our youth in the security of their localities. Of course, relatively in Nigeria, Bayelsa remains one of the safest states.”
19 Diri urged the diaspora Ijaws to support efforts of the government to attract investment opportunities to their state.
20 The governor took opportunity of the event to keep the diaspora Ijaws up to speed about development in the state, including the ongoing construction of the three senatorial roads.
21 “Through the three senatorial roads, we are connecting many riverine communities by roads. We also want to ensure that all our Local Government headquarters hitherto not linked by road are connected.
22 “For the Sagbama-Ekeremor road in the Bayelsa West, we are working to ensure the completion and commissioning during the 3rd anniversary of our government
24 “Just about two weeks ago, the last one in the East, Nembe-Brass road was flagged-off after decades that the road had been on the drawing board,” the governor said.
26 This he said they could do by adding their voices to trending national debates and promotion of the culture of the fourth largest ethnic group in the country.
27 In his address, the Chairman of the occasion and member representing Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Dr Fred Agbedi, stressed the need for the Ijaw people to continue to unite.
28 Agbedi urged those in diaspora to always contribute to the development of their state back home.
30 He said that the forum had formed a strong network across the globe to stand firmly together for the progress of Ijaw nation.
31 Other dignitaries present at the occasion were Amb. Tijjani Mohammed-Bande, Nigeria Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Ben Okoyen, Nigerian Amb. to Cuba, and Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, among others. (www.nanenws.ng)