By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
This yearâ€™s celebration of Valentine Day will for long linger in the memories of residents of Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital as the Governor of the State, Chief Timipre Sylva and his wife, Mrs. Alanyingi Sylva were awarded a brand new motorcycle popularly known as Okada for being the most romantic couple of the day at a time most Bayelsans are clamouring for the banning of Okada as a means of transportation.
Unlike other Valentine day celebrations in which loved ones flocked eateries and other relaxation spots in town this particular one was remarkable in the sense that Governor Sylva led other indigenes and residents to mark the 2010 Valentine season with a charity dinner targeted at raising fund for the victims of the recent Jos crisis and other orphanage homes in the state.
In spite of the cash crunch facing the state most Bayelsans used the opportunity to unwind with their families and friends at the different relaxation spots, charity and ball dinner in town to celebrate love and unity with special focus on the less privilege and needy.
As part of the show, an indigene of Sagbama Local Government Area of the State, Patience Toulowei, regarded as the first African woman to engage in the designing of lingerie for women all over the world showcased her designs with models who treated the audience to electrifying catwalk on the walkway.
On hand to add colour to the night were other prominent indigenes of the state, including the former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), a bishop and many other politicians who also tested the walk-way clad in different attires with a touch of red to support the charity campaign.
Governor Sylva, accompanied by his wife and other members of the of state executive council, the business community and civil servants were treated to beautiful shows from upcoming artistes, and a beautiful singer Lady I.B, who delivered the National Anthem in an R&B style.
In the different parts of the state the Valentine fever was high as several eateries and clubs, including the fast growing Ox Bow Lake relaxation spot recorded high patronage from residents of the capital city.
But the event held at the Banquet Hall of the Government House organised by White Lake City and Event Centres and coordinated by the chairperson of the organising committee, Lady Jully Donii, could best be described as the centre of attraction ostensibly due to the presence of the Governor and his wife and members of the state executive council and other prominent Bayelsans.
In his speech, Governor Timipre Sylva commended the organizers of the 2010 charity dinner and called for a sustenance plan for a yearly celebration that will bridge the noticeable gap between the less privileged and other section of the society.
The Governor noted that a constant and special show of love is a necessary ingredient in the sustenance of the existing peace in the state and insisted that with the enthronement of the peace, there is nothing that will hinder development.
Sylva who noted that Bayelsa which was once for peace and love was later embroiled in violence and insecurity expressed happiness that the issue of insecurity was now over adding that it was a thing of joy that the people embraced peace on their own.
â€œThe people of the state need to be united more than before as the state has produced the Acting President of the country,â€ he said and urged the people to rededicate themselves to love and give peace a chance as prosperity was on the horizon.
The Governor later threw the hall into frenzy when he recited a poem titled: â€œThe Yearâ€ and was voted the romantic man of the year after a beautiful romantic dance with his wife, Mrs. Alanyingi Sylva.
Delivering the opening speech, a Los Angeles based Bayelsa, Mrs. Binna Ogunowo agreed with the State Governor on the issue of the celebration of love and said it will assist in the promotion of peaceful co-existence among tribes of the nation.
The show put up by the models of the designer lingerie however caused a little stir but the organizer and the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee, Lady July Donni assured that the show was not to provoke any distaste but to showcase talents existing in the state and encourage those spending huge amount at foreign boutiques on lingerie to patronize one of their own and save money.
On the absence of masked Musician, Lagbaja and Sunny Nneji who were billed to performance at the occasion, Lady Donni said the masked musician called in at the last minute that he would not be able to make it and assured that subsequent editions will be better and the love of valentine shared in a bigger way.
Also on display were a dance from the cultural troupe of the Bayelsa State Arts and Culture with a dance drama titled â€˜Harmonyâ€. The dance traced the era of militancy and the need for peace and patience for the federal government to implement the pro-amnesty campaign.
Highpoint of the occasion was the cutting of the Valentine cake by the governor and his wife, Mrs. Alanyingi Sylva assisted by other top government functionaries.