Visit to Bulou-Orua Community

Yesterday, I was at my community in Bulou-Orua to condole with the entire Onitsha family and the community and to pay my final respect to Late Isaac Onitsha.
He was an astute businessman in Yenagoa and the owner of Ebis Hotel, one of the very first hotels established upon the creation of Bayelsa State over two decades ago.
He was one businessman who never held any political office in the state. He was a good man, a great supporter of mine and everyone else and was one of those I counted on to stabilize our community.
I pray God to comfort and guide his wife, his children, the entire Onitsha family and the community.
I also made a stop at Amassoma community to condole with one of our elders in the state, Chief Douglas Naingba who lost his wife, Mrs Adibalakumo Douglas-Naingba.
He continues to be a dependable elder, a stalwart in Amassoma and an Ijaw activist I offered my condolences and thereafter returned to Abuja. I pray God to grant her soul eternal repose and also grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Nominees for the board and management of the NDDC.

Today, I joined other members of the joint committee of the National Assembly on Niger Delta to screen the President’s nominees for the board and management of the NDDC.
Though this is coming late, it is a good thing that the President finally sent in the list of nominees as required by the Act.
However, I pointed out repeatedly the need for the appointing authority and those nominating and backing the candidates for the various positions on the NDDC board to respect the mandatory provisions of the NDDC Act particularly section 1, subsection 2 and Section 12 which requires that the Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors and State representatives must be amongst other things, persons from an oil producing area.
This is to recognize the fact that historically, the reason for the creation of the NDDC and its provision made by the National Assembly was to address the agitations by oil-producing communities who complained of infrastructural deficit and exclusion.
So it is not enough for a nominee to be competent professionally or academically, this is one requirement. The second requirement is that the person must pass the test of indegeneship in the Act.
I observed with dismay that a lot of Mr. President’s nominees in this list did not pass the indegeneship test though professionally competent and of reputable backgrounds. I made this point not in opposition to any candidate in particular but to them all so we don’t have a culture of disobedience of the NDDC Act, gradually leading to a total abandonment of the indegeneship principle.
As it is, the NDDC Act is more adhered to in breach than in compliance.
All the same, I am in touch with the members of the committee and my position is that if we need to fast forward the screening and clearing of the nominees because the government is winding down, let it be on a condition and a resolution should be sent to the President who is the appointing authority and as a reference to future presidents underscoring the fact that they need to comply with the clear provisions of the Act with respect to indegeneship.
I congratulate all the nominees who eventually may be recommended by the committee.
In the case of Bayelsa, Mr. President has done well by nominating the MD designate Samuel Ogbuku from Bayelsa and the state representative Hon. Dimaro Denyabofa, who are both eminently qualified.
I congratulate them and indeed all the members of the National Assembly from Bayelsa state are united and in support of the nomination of the MD designate and the State representative.
We wish them the best of luck and I have advised that there should be broad consultation in determining the choice of projects and other policies. The Governors and all stakeholders should be consulted and the NDDC should focus on big ticket projects with the capacity to transform the Niger Delta and let go of petty projects. I also advised that the NDDC should cease to be a political cash cow for political leaders to control and feather their nests. Too much of this has happened already to the shame and disappointment of everyone in the Niger Delta and in the country.
I warned against friction between board and management which has impaired the normal working of previous boards and it is my hope that all political leaders who sponsored the nominees as well as those who appointed them, should give them room to consult stakeholders and identify priority projects that are beneficial to the various states and people in the Niger Delta working in tandem with the states, other agencies of the Federal Government and development partners to advance the course of development, peace and stability in the Niger Delta.
I wish them luck and an eventful term in office.

10th year anniversary lecture and foundation launch in memory of His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa

Today I attended the 10th year anniversary lecture and foundation launch in memory of His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa, former Governor of Kaduna State who died in a tragic crash in Bayelsa in 2012.
How time flies!
When I learnt of the event and received the invitation, I felt duty-bound to attend.
His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa was an older colleague of mine and an elder brother who died while attending a burial ceremony in Bayelsa State. It was my responsibility as governor to manage all the events relating to the retrieval and conveyance of his remains to Kaduna state after which I led a state delegation on a condolence visit to his family, the Government and the people of Kaduna State.
He passed alongside General Owoye Azazi, the first 4-star general in Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation. That day remains very sad in the annals of Bayelsa, Kaduna states and across Nigeria.
I thanked his widow, Her Excellency, Mrs Amina Yakowa for her untiring efforts in keeping the family and the flag of his legacies flying.
I thanked the Chairman of the occasion His Excellency, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, former governor of Kaduna State, one of those who discovered, supported and gave the opportunity to His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa to thrive in public service as he did.
I also thanked all the traditional rulers, Gen. Agwai, Ministers and other dignitaries for coming and prayed God Almighty to continue to stand by the Yakowa family.
I stated also that we in Bayelsa; the government, leadership and people will continue to support and pray for the Yakowa family.
I promised to personally convey this event to the government of Bayelsa State and expressed confidence that the government and people of Bayelsa will continue to show solidarity.
All Nigerians should draw appropriate lessons from the life of His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa especially at these trying times where he taught inclusiveness, simplicity, humility, respect for people and consensus building. He was a unifier, not a divider and Kaduna State and Nigeria at large needs more Yakowas.
The Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation pledges to support the Patrick Yakowa Foundation with the sum of 3 million naira while the letter to the governor of Bayelsa state His Excellency Senator Douye Diri, who was not aware of the event but whose goodwill message is embedded in mine, shall be personally forwarded for appropriate attention.
The Yakowa family and the people of Kaduna State should know that we in Bayelsa appreciate their friendship which His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa died servicing and together, we will continue to build bridges of understanding and unity in a fair and all-inclusive Nigeria.
May his gentle soul continue to rest in peace and may God continue to strengthen his wife, Her Excellency, Mrs Amina Yakowa and the entire family. HSD

Visit to Odi community

On Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting Odi community to commiserate with my former Personal Physician who is currently the Executive Secretary of Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Zuoboemi Agadah on the occasion of the burial of his late mother.
I commiserated with him, the family and the Odi community. Mama lived a good and fulfilled life and raised a son in the person of Dr. Agadah amongst several others.
Dr. Zuoboemi Agadah served me loyally and he continues to serve our state. Mama and Agadah’s father properly raised him. He is Dutiful, God-fearing, Quiet, supportive and dedicated to any assignment given to him.
I also saw his beautiful family, three sons who are medical students and only daughter currently studying law. I thanked his wife, Mrs Agadah and the children. I commiserated with them, the elders and others over the loss.
Thereafter, I proceeded to Nembe City where I joined the governor, top government functionaries to commiserate with Honorable (Dr.) Jonathan Obuebite, his wife, children and the entire Obuebite family and the entire Nembe community over the loss of his mother who was being interred and as I spoke at that event, I appreciated the Nembe community and the people for standing by him and joining together to bury as they always do. I reminded them that Nembe is a very historic and important community in Ijaw Land.
I was pleased to have witnessed the reconciliation and the statement of brotherly love by two notable grassroots leaders of the community and in the state, namely, Gabriel Jonah, the leader of Otita Political Force and Honorable Dr. Jonathan Obuebite, leader of the Wind Political Family, having presided over the state and knowing what happened especially toward the dying days of my government and the incidence in Nembe.
It was very refreshing seeing the maturity displayed by the younger brother of my deputy governor, Hon. Gabriel Jonah, the leader of Otita Political Force who with Hon. Jonathan Obuebite made heartfelt statements of reconciliation, peace and solidarity in Nembe community. I commend both of them and as I said in my remarks, I enjoined all the youths, the elders in Nembe community to continue on the path of solidarity, peace and consensus building and to support development within Nembe and the state. Having said that, I proceeded to the traditional burial ceremony in Nembe called Tiripaga which I know is the most important aspect of any burial ceremony in Nembe with all the chiefs, elders, men and women in attendance which I also frankly made it clear that contrary to the mischief makers and blackmailers, the people of Nembe should know that No one in Ijaw land is more Ijaw than the Nembe man and that the people, especially the youths should be informed and properly educated about their identity and that we are all Ijaws but of different clans with minor dialectical variations and I commended the chiefs and the elders for upholding the burial customs and traditions for our people and it was a pleasure to have been in Nembe again which is one ijaw city that honors and upholds rich tradition and culture of our people. I commiserated with the Chiefs and the Tiripaga and I made my contribution to the burial and the traditionalists and I proceeded back to Abuja.
We pray the good Lord comfort the families of the bereaved and grant the souls of the departed, eternal repose.

Book launch of the LetterMan

I was at the book launch of the LetterMan to honour and support Mojeed, a thorough professional who has done a great Job in compiling some of the letters of former President Obasanjo.
Former President Obasanjo is an iconic leader in Nigeria, Africa and around the world and I thank Mojeed for providing additional insight into the workings and mind of this great man.
As a supporter of history and in particular, Nigerian and African history, I believe that Nigerians do not write or read enough about their history and Mojeed’s work throws more light into some of the complex jigsaws in our country’s march towards nationhood and the roles those key personalities have played.
It is good to preserve our history and knowledge and pass it on to generations unborn. This was why after I visited the Olusegun Obasanjo library (OOPL), I was further encouraged to preserve materials relating to my service as governor in the library owned by my foundation, The Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation (HSDF), the launch of which was kindly chaired by former President Obasanjo himself. The library will have this book in it and the Foundation is purchasing 50 copies with the sum Two Million Naira.
I recommend this book to everyone and I challenge Journalists to undertake more research into the lives and activities of our leaders as Mojeed has done.

Niger Delta region on developments on The Presidential Amnesty Program

Arising from complaints and issues by participants, stakeholders and some youths in the Niger Delta region on developments on The Presidential Amnesty Program, I convened a closed door meeting with the pioneer amnesty coordinator Chief Ndutimi Alaibe that set up the template of the program and the current Presidential Adviser General Ndiomu this morning after which Chief Alaibe and I formally congratulated him and also pledged support for the continuation of the amnesty program as we have since done.
We believe in the ability of General Ndiomu to pilot and bring to greater fruition, the objectives of the program as originally conceived.
We are aware of the challenges and we believe that with the support and understanding by all, these can be surmounted and he has the capacity to do so. He has our support and we call for the support of all beneficiaries and stakeholders of the program.
We call for the continuation of the program and also greater financial support from the federal government to enable the program continue with the lofty ongoing programs of the PAP e.g the ongoing scholarships which need to continue for the benefit of our people and the country, skills development of the participants, the completion of ongoing construction of training facilities in the region that will help in capacity building and also the prompt payment of stipends and other allowances.
Once again, we call for support for General Ndiomu and the program and we believe that the coordinator and his team will address all issues of concern.
I thank them both for coming.


I left Abuja early this morning for Yenagoa to join our governor, leaders and good people of our dear State to observe our annual Thanksgiving which holds every November 2nd by Law.
Congratulations once again to the state, the governor, the government and all the people of Bayelsa. As I said in my brief remarks at the occasion, we commend and congratulate the governor for continuing with this initiative which pleased the Lord to use me, my government and my team to initiate in 2012 as Governor.
How time flies to note that today was the 11th Edition of the State Annual Thanksgiving Service. It was a pleasure to join all our Leaders and especially to have met our leader and father, the Former President of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who also found time to grace the occasion as he always does and I expressed my appreciation to him for his encouragement and support to the state. I call on all our leaders to join hands at moments like this to together in unison irrespective of differences, be they political or otherwise.
As time goes on, we hope that the Thanksgiving service will be observed by all Bayelsans even in their homes and it will be an opportunity for all leaders of the state and people to meet together and praise God for his faithfulness, that is why it is a public holiday by law.
Not everything is politics and we should learn from others. Certain things transcend politics. Our Social activities, Burials, deaths, celebrations, State occasions etc are beyond politics and it was gratifying that the Governor led the state and all of us in thanksgiving even amid this devastating flood.
As I said at the occasion, I was speechless flying into Bayelsa and seeing all our communities and homes still submerged up to roof level. As everyone knows, Bayelsa is the Basin of the Delta where all major rivers in Nigeria flow through to empty into the Atlantic.
While other states like Kogi, Benue and Anambra are affected, Bayelsa and the surrounding neighbouring states, parts of Delta, and Rivers that share the same environmental and climatic conditions suffer much. The entire Bayelsa is under water and I once again use the occasion to call on the Federal Government, International community and well-meaning persons and agencies as I have earlier done.
We have all tried, the government itself has tried, all individuals and leaders, but the devastation is simply overwhelming. I found time also to visit some of the camps along the airport road to Amassoma that have been split into 3 or four places and interacted with some of the Internally Displaced People and as someone who managed several floods and other natural disasters in the course of my 8-year tenure as governor, I know the distraction, the toll it takes and I call for understanding as I did earlier.
Let us again, use the opportunity of thanksgiving to reaffirm our resolve as one Bayelsa people, one Ijaw people and join hands to support our state and our people and the government of the day. When it is time for politics, we can play the politics but this is the time to empathize, to support and work together for the survival of our people.
It was refreshing flying again to the airport that I built as a governor in a recession. That is the only gateway into Bayelsa as all road routes have been cut off which was the reason my government at the time, even in a recession gave priority to have a gateway for the Ijaw nation.
This is the first airport in the heart of Ijaw Land and right now, it is our gateway to the rest of the country and the World as all other routes have been cut off. I believe that as time goes by and the years roll by, this Airport will even be more valuable, as it is intended as a free trade zone. All the propaganda, blackmail and allegations were thrown at me were a small price I and my team paid in service of our people. I was glad that our airport even in this unprecedented deluge, is not flooded. I commend the contractor Dantata & Sawoe and the supervisory team for a job well done. The airport was dry and busy with commercial flights.
Finally, it was a pleasure to be in the company and gathering of our people to support the governor, the government and our state in today’s thanksgiving service. I thank all the clergymen especially the guest minister Dr Paul Enenche and his wife for finding time to officiate at the service.
I pray that in-spite of our imperfections as humans, and as shortcomings as leaders, that God continues to have mercy and accept our offerings of thanksgiving and usher in greater stability, unity of purpose, divine guidance and inspiration for our leaders, tolerance and understanding for all our people, more developments, stability and peace.


Few days after the Senator representing Bayelsa West, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson donated over 15 million Naira to alleviate the acute living conditions of flood victims in Bayelsa, his friends have raised N11 million to support them under the platform of Friends of Senator Dickson.

Senator Dickson who conveyed his appreciation to the benevolent donors most of whom prefer to be anonymous also expressed gratitude to the beneficiaries.

Dickson reiterated his appeal to public-spirited individuals, NGOs, and corporations, to come to the rescue of displaced and suffering flood victims.

Dickson said, he appreciated the Initiative of his friends who came together to start this humanitarian drive.

According to him, a special account for the foundation has been opened with Sterling Bank into which the donations from his friend are Domiciled and into which further donations can be made.

Dickson also reiterated the policy of the foundation to record and publish the list of all donors as well as the beneficiaries for purposes of transparency.

However, he said that where there are requests for anonymity, the foundation will have no option but to respect their preference.

He added that donation is not only in cash but also in kind as the foundation would make arrangements to receive all such donations in kind such as relief materials of every description.

He said, “Following the announcement of my donation to flood victims in Bayelsa State, some of my friends called to support and as at now they have raised Eleven Million Naira. A number of them preferred to be anonymous.

“However, we will do a letter from the foundation to express my gratitude and that of our people to them.

Dickson had made donations running into millions of Naira to alleviate the plight of flood victims in Bayelsa State.

The Senator announced a donation of N400,000 Naira to each of the wards in the Sagbama Ekeremor Senatorial District on Wednesday in Abuja

Dickson, a former two-term Governor of the state also announced a donation of N5 million to those affected by the flood in Yenagoa, the state capital.

He stated further that his friends under the aegis of ‘Friends of Senator Dickson’ were also putting donations together to the sub-account of Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation to reach out to those affected by the ravaging flood.

He said, Those willing to donate both in cash and in kind, can do so through the foundation’s

Sub-Account details:
Bank Name: Sterling Bank PLC PLC
Account Number: 0091512632

For relief materials and any other assistance to the victims kindly contact.
Dr. Clement Angiangei: 08030843555
Or Ebizimo Okoroye: 09076311111
Or Stephen O. Ekoja: 0803669088

He stressed that the funds would be distributed dispassionately to the victims irrespective of political affiliations.


The Senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, has made donations running into millions of Naira to alleviate the plight of flood victims in Bayelsa State.

The Senator announced a donation of N400,000 Naira to each of the wards in the Sagbama Ekeremor Senatorial District on Wednesday in Abuja

Dickson, a former two-term Governor of the state also announced a donation of N5 million to those affected by the flood in Yenagoa, the state capital.

He stated further that his friends under the aegis of ‘Friends of Senator Dickson’ are also putting donations together to the account of the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation to reach out to those affected by the ravaging flood.

He added that the donations are in addition to discreet efforts being made to ensure that the harsh effect of the flood on the people is reduced.

He stressed that the funds would be distributed to the people of the area irrespective of political affiliations.

The former Governor added that he had earlier dispatched some items to the state which are still in transit and are expected in the state.

Dickson who repeated his call on the Federal government to go into urgent collaborative action with the states on the debilitating effects of the flood said that the time has come for the Federal Government to proffer lasting solutions to the flood menace.

He said, “As governor of our state for eight years and as one who managed devastating floods and natural disasters within that period, I am distressed by the images, videos and reports emanating from our communities in Bayelsa state.

“I have an idea of the magnitude of damage and devastation this has caused and the toll it has on families and livelihoods. I also understand the limits to what the government or any one person can do.

“I have since, like any other leader, been inundated with the cries of our people which are genuine. Irrespective of what we have been doing silently, I announce formally, a donation that will be made available through my foundation, the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation, the sum of N400,000.00 Per ward in Bayelsa West Senatorial District and an additional Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) for displaced residents in Yenagoa City, the state capital.

“This will be managed under the supervision of our respected Elders, Chief T. K. O. Okorotie and supported by Hon. Fyneman Wilson who will serve as the coordinator, with selected elders, women and youths in the senatorial district and will be disbursed in an apolitical manner. I, therefore, call for cooperation and understanding.

“This is my little way of adding to whatever support the government and well-meaning individuals and organizations have been doing.

“Last week after receiving the reports and speaking with the governor, I made calls and had meetings with relevant authorities who have since dispatched some support which sadly is still stuck in transit.

“The above donation by my foundation is a simple token of my care, especially when compared to the magnitude of the devastation, destruction, inconveniences and suffering occasioned by the flood that has affected every person, family and community in the state.

“The funds will be managed dispassionately no matter how little, irrespective of the political divide, so I call for understanding as no amount of monetary support can be sufficient at this trying time.

“We only pray and hope that the flood recedes soon and that all concerned, the Federal Government, State Government and residents all learn to be better prepared next time.

“Lastly, I repeat my earlier call for the Federal Government and its agencies to robustly collaborate with the government of Bayelsa State.

“It is time for the Federal Government to take measures In stopping the perennial flooding in Nigeria caused by the activities or operations of Dams in neighbouring countries. This should be treated as a matter of national security.

“Once again, my condolences to all those who lost loved ones, this is sad and I want you to always know that I care.”

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