27 August, 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State has challenged the Ijaws in the diaspora to return home and invest in the cause of transforming Ijaw land from a resource-based economy into a knowledge-based economy if it must catch up with the rest of the world.
Speaking at the 2011 Isaac Boro Day celebration organised by the Ijaw People’s Association (IPA) of Great Britain and Ireland in London with the theme “Ijaw Nation: A Time to Reflect” Chief Sylva noted that the transformation of Ijaw nation needs the collaboration of all including her sons and daughters in foreign land.
The appeal he said became imperative if the Ijaws must sit among those who own the future and not among those left behind to regret lost opportunities.
Sylva who spoke against the backdrop of the Ijaws having at the helm of affairs of the country one of their own in the person of President Goodluck Jonathan told the audience that some of them had over the years acquired skills in certain areas that are critical to the development of Ijaw land and the country.
He said, “the principal challenge of our time is how to get our people to acquire the right knowledge and ideas to make them productive and competitive in the global economy. We must get education, the right kind of education, backed up with technological skills to transform Ijaw land into an industrial hub renowned for quality products and service…
“Ijaws in the Diaspora have a significant role to play in the effort to protect and improve our collective legacy. Our people all over the world must be on the same page with the government and people of our native land in the work of educating the current and next generation of Ijaw citizens and preparing them to contribute to the productivity that we need to sustain our civilization.”
Continuing he said, “as a government, we have made the education of our people a priority. We have launched a campaign to educate our people to know the things we need to do now and those we must avoid in this generation in order not to endanger the next generation. We have tried to position our people to appreciate the changing times, understand the science of change and how to harness change for societal benefit.”
According to him, the Ijaws in the Diaspora have a central role in the propagation of this message and mobilization of the people around its ideals.
“Our people in foreign lands must endeavour to be committed partners in the collective effort to build a more informed and responsible society. I am confident that if we roll up our sleeves and get to work right away, we can achieve the Ijaw land of our dream by individually contributing our quota in the propagation of this gospel.”
Commending Mr. President for thinking along this line, he recalled his approval for the establishment of six federal universities, one in each of the six geo-political zones.
The one for the South South zone, he noted has been cited in the heart of Ijawland in Otuoke, Bayelsa State.
Also as part of the amnesty programme, the governor added that a number of the youths who were fighting from the creeks are now being sent abroad for training to enable them acquire skills so that they can stand on their own and be useful to the society and called the Ijaws in the Diaspora to support in whatever way they could to make this dream a reality.
“I urge you to come home and invest in this cause of transforming our community from a resource-based economy into a knowledge-based economy so that the Ijaw man can sit among those who own the future and not be among those left behind to regret lost opportunities.” Delete ReplyReply ForwardSpamMovePrint