Why Governor Seriake Dickson Is Popular In Ijaw Nation

By Kokobaiye Abeki

Bayelsa state is seen as the headquarters of the Izon Nation and that is why Governor Henry seriake Dickson often refers to it as the Jerusalem of Ijaw Nation.

there is national legislation making Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo as part of our national lingua Franca and are taught in schools and examined as major subjects by WAEC, NECO and Nigerian universities as degree courses while Ijaw is not taught in public schools not even in Bayelsa State.”

In some schools, it is a punishable offence to speak local dialects during school hours as pupils and students are forced to learn and speak in tongues other than theirs. Ijaw is one of the languages facing extinction.

To save the dying language, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, immediately he assumed office in 2012, approved the learning and teaching of Ijaw language in schools. He went a step further to direct the Ministry of Culture and Ijaw National Affairs to develop scholarship and research for the sustainable teaching and learning of the language.

His mission is to harness the vast potential of the arts and cultural heritage sector as a vehicle to restore the cultural values of the Ijaws, to develop and promote the Ijaw language and its indigenous dialects and to encourage the unity of ijaw people.