By Emma Amaize
PATANIâ€”THE people of Kabowei kingdom in Delta State and notable Ijaw leaders across the Niger-Delta, weekend, at PataniÂ resolved to presentÂ the National President of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Dr. Chris Ekiyor, as a consensus candidate forÂ next yearâ€™s House of Representatives elections in the Patani/Bomadi Federal Constituency.
The affirmation and declaration of Dr. Ekiyor as the peopleâ€™s choice for 2011 happened at a reception organized by Kabowei people, led by their royal father, Major L. M. Erebulu (rtd), who said their decision was informed by the first-rate leadership qualities of Ekiyor, his contributions to the existing peace in the region as IYC president and free health services to rural communities in the kingdom, among others.
The motion for Dr. Ekiyorâ€™s adoption as the consensus candidate for Patani/Bomadi Federal Constituency was moved by the former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
He said the people wanted vibrant representatives in the National Assembly and not people who would warm the bench and drink tea without moving motions and making meaningful contributions on the floor of the House.
Pere of Kabowei kingdom and his subjects, including the leader of Ijaw ethnic nationality, Chief Edwin Clark, who was represented by Wing Commander P. Biakpara (rtd), former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, ex-militant leader, who presided at the event, ex-militant leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo,Â supported the motion.
Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was represented by his Commissioner for Housing, Chief Frank Omare, said he was pleased that the people of Kabowei kingdom decided to honour Dr. Ekiyor for his exemplary leadership of Ijaw youths and contributions to the growth of the area.
According to him,Â Ijaw people rarely roll out the carpet for their distinguished sons.
He said Dr. Ekiyor and the IYC have successfully partnered with the state government, particularly in the implementation of one of its three-point agenda of peace and security in the state and could attest to his zeal and passion for things that have to do with the region.
Former Tourism and Culture Minister, Alabo Graham-Douglas, said, â€œI congratulate Dr. Ekiyor for the great honour and recognition being bestowed on him by his community today (Saturday). The gesture will no doubt be a wonderful generational catalyst, especially for the youths, who look on to Chris as a role model.
â€œChris Ekiyor has, at so young an age, become an acceptable leader of Ijaw youths, a position that has exposed him to the wider world.â€
He charged him and his generation to remain resolute in fighting for their fundamental human rights and ensuring that equity, justice, equality and wealth distributions, as enshrined in the Nigeria constitution, were strictly adhered to.
Responding to his endorsement by the people of Kabowei kingdom, Dr. Ekiyor said he did not have enough words to thank them for the honour done him and promised not to disappoint them in any position of serviceÂ he found himself in life.