It was celebration galore at the Bayelsa State Ecumenical Center, in Yenagoa, as the state government celebrated the 2021 annual thanksgiving service, in appreciation to God and the people of Bayelsa State.
The programme with the theme, Supernatural Increase, was held on Tuesday, November 2, which was earlier declared a public holiday.
This year’s thanksgiving which attracted Bayelsans and other prominent Nigerians, who turned out in their large numbers is the 10th Bayelsa State annual thanksgiving since it was initiated by the restoration government of the immediately past governor, Sen. Seriake Henry Dickson.
The Governor, Sen. Douye Diri, who spoke during the event, which was the second under his administration appreciated Bayelsans for the tremendous support for his administration.
Diri said he was full of joy for the ‘prevailing peace, stability and unity being enjoyed by the people.’
He thanked leaders and founding fathers of the state for rallying round his administration, even as he promised that he will “continue to churn out projects that would uplift the living standards of the people”
The governor, who is popularly referred to as miracle governor said, “I thank Bayelsans for their love and support to the Prosperity Administration. I also express my profound gratitude to all the leaders of the state, particularly the founding fathers and leaders of thought across the Ijaw nation for rallying round my administration. I’m overwhelmed with joy for the peaceful disposition of Bayelsans towards my administration.
“I would like to also express my appreciation to the legislature, the judiciary and members of my cabinet for the warm and cordial working relationship among us. I must say that this is really heartwarming and I assure you that the Prosperity Government will continue to embark on projects that would endear the people more to our government.
“My appreciation also goes to the youths and women of the state.”
Diri applauded the immediate past governor, Senator Seriake Dickson, for initiating the Thanksgiving Day celebration and for putting up the magnificent Ecumenical Centre, which he said has become the rallying ground every November 2 for people to appreciate God for His manifold blessings.
Also speaking at the event, Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by Chaplain of the Aso Rock Chapel, Pastor Seyi Malomo, commended Governor Diri, stating that the developmental strides witnessed in the state attested to the presence of God as a result of the recognition accorded Him.
He prayed God to continue to bless the state for recognising His supremacy.
In his remarks, Senator Seriake Dickson, who came with his wife, Dr. Rachael, also appreciated Diri for continuing with programmes and projects his administration initiated.
He urged Bayelsans to pray for the governor and his team to stay focused and courageous in their quest to develop Bayelsa.
Describing leadership as a relay race, he said one governor alone cannot solve the problems of the state, and urged the people not to allow rumour mongering and propaganda to derail the present administration.
Also speaking, former governor of old Rivers State, Chief Rufus Ada-George, said Bayelsans have reasons to thank God as it has produced prominent leaders in the country, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, and blessed with human and natural resources.
He said God has used Diri to foster unity and understanding among the people and the Ijaw nation, and advised the state to depend only on God for its progress.
Guest preacher at the event, Rev. Uma Ukpai, made prophetic declarations and proclaimed healing and blessings on the people of the state and land of Bayelsa.
Making reference to the scriptures, he urged Bayelsans to draw closer to God to experience supernatural increase.
Among dignitaries at the service were the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Speaker of the state assembly, Abraham Ingobere, Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kate Abiri and judges of the state high court.
Others were wife of former governor of the state, Mrs Margaret Alamieyeseigha, members of the National Assembly representing the state, immediate past deputy governor of the state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd), first military governor of old Rivers State and chairman of the Bayelsa Council of Traditional Rulers, King Alfred Diete-Spiff as well as other royal fathers.
Also in attendance were national and state Peoples Democratic Party stalwarts, clergymen, President of the Ijaw National Congress, Prof Benjamin Okaba as well as President, Ijaw Youth Council, Mr Peter Igbifa.