As Bayelsa, the homogenous Ijaw State marks its annual Thanksgiving Day celebration, Governor Seriake Dickson has called on the people of the state to jettison all divisive tendencies and join forces with his administration to build the state.
Speaking at the well-attended thanksgiving, Thursday at the 10, 000 seater State Inter-denomination Ecumenical Centre at Igbogene, Yenagoa, Dickson called on Bayelsans to be united, and work towards the common good of building the state, irrespective of their political differences and affinity.
The Governor, who read the 3rd lesson of the service, noted that, with effective collaboration between the government and the people, the state would continue to witness peace, stability and progress.
Describing the 2nd of November as a sacred day in the life of the state, he urged the people to appreciate God for His blessings upon their lives wherever they are.
Accordingly, the Governor said, the State Thanksgiving law was enacted by his administration to re-dedicate Bayelsa to God and promote Christianity in the state.
Commenting on the Ecumenical Centre, he said the project, particularly the worship hall has been completed, but government not minding paucity of fund would ensure that additional building in the plan such as a three star hotel, and other facilities be put in place owing to the significance attached to the project.
In his sermon, Rev Dr Uma Ukpai commended the State Government for enacting the ‘Thanksgiving Day Law’, noting that, the gesture would attract more divine blessings to the state.
Rev Dr Ukpai, who enjoined youths of the state to imbibe discipline and show respect to elders, also urged Bayelsans to cultivate the habit of thanking God in every circumstance.
Speaking on the essence of the 2016 Thanksgiving Day, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Religious Affairs, Pastor Samuel John-Peters, said Bayelsans have every reason to appreciate God for the creation of the state 20 years ago and for seeing them through their challenges.
Pastor John-Peters described this year’s edition of the Thanksgiving Day, as historic, in view of the fact that, it was the first to be hosted at the ten thousand-seater Ecumenical Centre, which he noted, when completed, would be the first to be built by any state government, in terms of its capacity.
High points of the event were the special thanksgiving and offerings by the three arms of the government and various groups, songs of praises, as well as special prayers for the state and the country.
The State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri read the first lesson, while Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Konbowei Benson delivered the 2nd lesson at the service, which was attended by the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Retd), members of the National Assembly, and former federal Permanent Secretary, Amb Godknows Igali.
Other dignitaries include, former Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Peremobowei Ebebi, Secretary to State Government, Chief Serena Dokubo Spiff, Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete Spiff, serving and former State and National Assembly members including Chief Fred Agbedi representing the Ekeremor/Sagbama Federal Constituency.