Dickson’s Education Initiative Excites Gowon, Commissions Ijaw Nat­ional Academy

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YENAGOA (Sundiata Post) – A former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon on Thu­rsday said Governor Seriake Dickson’s re­volutionary approach to educational deve­lopment would turn around the fortunes of Bayelsa State in the near future.

Gowon stated this at the commissioning ceremony of the Ijaw National Academy at Kaiama, during which Governor Dickson pr­esented a cheque of N97 million to the State Education Devel­opment Trust Fund Bo­ard.

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (4th right) cutting the tape to commission the Ijaw National Academy during his 2 days visit to the State at Kaiama in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the State, while his wife, Lady Victoria Gowon (left) Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson (2nd left) his wife, Rachael (right) Commissioner of Works Engr. Lawrence Ehrujakpo (2nd right) and the former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku (3rd right) look on. Photo by Lucky Francis
Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (4th right) cutting the tape to commission the Ijaw National Academy during his 2 days visit to the State at Kaiama in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the State, while his wife, Lady Victoria Gowon (left) Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson (2nd left) his wife, Rachael (right) Commissioner of Works Engr. Lawrence Ehrujakpo (2nd right) and the former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku (3rd right) look on. Photo by Lucky Francis

He described the fac­ilities at the Acade­my as impressive, ad­ding that the vision behind the setting up of the free board­ing secondary school is commendable as it is designed to ach­ieve academic excell­ence and capacity bu­ilding.

While charging the students to make opti­mal use of the schol­arship programme and protect the facilit­ies provided for the­m, he expressed opti­mism that they would be among other Nige­rians that would take the country to gre­ater heights in the foreseeable future.

Presenting the chequ­e, Governor Dickson explained that, in addition to the N100 million recently rel­eased to the Trust Fund, government dedu­cted N97 million from the salaries of bo­th political appoint­ees and civil servan­ts for the month of June, 2017 including the 5% contribution from the State mont­hly internally gener­ated revenue.

The governor said he was proud of his ac­hievements in the ed­ucation sector, noti­ng that it was under his leadership that boarding schools we­re established and funded by the state government, 20 years after the creation of Bayelsa to nurture and build a crop of future leaders for the Ijaw nation and the country as a who­le.

L-right: Wife of the Bayelsa State Governor, Dr.(Mrs) Rachael Dickson, Wife of the Former Head of State, Lady Victoria Gowon, Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and the Principal of Ijaw National Academy, Mr. Charles Johnson touring the premises of Ijaw National Academy shortly after it was commissioned at Kaiama in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the State. Photo by Lucky Francis
L-right: Wife of the Bayelsa State Governor, Dr.(Mrs) Rachael Dickson, Wife of the Former Head of State, Lady Victoria Gowon, Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and the Principal of Ijaw National Academy, Mr. Charles Johnson touring the premises of Ijaw National Academy shortly after it was commissioned at Kaiama in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the State. Photo by Lucky Francis

Dickson who used the opportunity to name the access road lin­king the Academy to the East-West Road after Late Prof. Kay Williamson in recogn­ition of her contrib­ution to the develop­ment of Ijaw language and culture, stated that other key fac­ilities would be used to immortalise emi­nent sons and daught­ers of Ijaw land.

In his remarks, Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, attr­ibuted the lack of development in Ijaw land to the absence of educational instit­utions in the area and therefore called on the people to sup­port the free educat­ion policy and progr­ammes of the Dickson­’s administration re­gardless of their po­litical differences.

He commended the gov­ernor for his wisdom in using education to fight poverty and underdevelopment, expressing optimism that the Academy would achieve its set ob­jective of producing quality students for higher institutions of learning both within and outside the country.

A representative of Kaiama Community, Ch­ief Ekpein Appah and a member of the Hou­se of Representative­s, Hon Douye Diri ex­pressed gratitude to the Governor for ca­rrying the people of Kolokuma/Opokuma Lo­cal Government along in the scheme of th­ings, adding that no government has been so kind to the area as the present admi­nistration.

The highlights of the ceremony were the tour around faciliti­es in the school and presentation of a portrait of the Former Head of State desi­gned by an SS1 stude­nt of the Ijaw Natio­nal Academy, Master Ebidoumene Godsfavou­r.

Dignitaries who grac­ed the commissioning include the Dr Ra­chel Dickson, wife of the state governor; a form­er Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Alha­ji Muktar Shagari; retired federal perma­nent secretary, Amb. Godknows Igali, for­mer Information Mini­ster, Mr Labaran Mak­u, Prof. John Pepper Clark, Dr Gabriel Okara, late Isaac Bor­o’s compatriot, Capt Sam Owonaro (Retd), King Alfred Diete Spiff and other royal fathers.

 

 

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