By:Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has tasked Traditional rulers of the state to support the state’s incoming administration.
Dickson gave the charge Wednesday in Yenagoa during the award of certificate of recognition and staff of offices to 5 newly upgraded first class kings and other traditional rulers of the state.
He commended the monarchs for the support given him throughout the 8 years of his administration,stressing that their role as custodians of culture and tradition as well as keeping peace and order in their respective domains can not be overemphasised.
According to the Governor, the presentation of certificates of recognition and staffs of office to the Royal fathers became necessary, saying it is fallout of his second tenure Governorship campaigns in 2015 during which he promised the reclasification of traditional stools.
Governor Dickson lauded the monarchs for their contributions in the development of the state,pleading that they show the same cordial relationship they had with his administration to the incoming Government.
“Our Royal fathers,I’ve great regard for all of you.You’ld recall that during my second tenure campaigns to your towns,clans and kingdoms I made a promise of reclassifying traditional rulers.That’s because as your Governor I understand the conditions in which some of you operate as royal fathers.”He said.
“We decided to embark on the reclassification so that all traditional rulers can have something to operate with,no matter how small it is. So after upgrading some to first, second and third classes we now also have created a fourth class so that no matter how small or big your community or kingdom is you are recognized.”He added.
Also speaking, the state commissioner for community and chieftaincy affairs,Chief Saviour Ibegi said the reclassification exercise was carried out inline with the history,culture and to certain extent size of the community and kingdom involved,harping that those wishing to be upgraded to classes otherthan their current ones whose complaints have been received would be reviewed by successive administrations.
The commissioner said a total of 424 traditional rulers where reclassified into various classes and certificates of recognition given them, including the upgrade of the traditional stools of their Royal Majesties,Kings Patrick Egberibine of Kou clan of Ekeremor, Ikpaingi perekibina of Apoi clan,Southern Ijaw, Joel Ibani of Idowuni kingdom, Ekeremor and Solomon Ebifatei of Koluama clan,southern Ijaw LGAs as well as the Traditional ruler of Gbaraun clan still of Southern Ijaw LGA to first class.
In his remarks,chairman, Bayelsa state Traditional rulers council and Amayanabo of Twon Brass,HRM king Alfred Diete-Spiff expressed his readiness to carry all traditional rulers of the state along,reassuring that the council is open to all recognised Royal fathers irrespective of class.
The Monarch advised Royal fathers to stick to and be addressed by their appropriate traditional nomenclatures, saying that the title His Royal Majesty is exclusively for the address of first class Traditional rulers.