Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has been conferred with an Idoma traditional title, ‘Oyi’Ihotu K’Idoma’ meaning the cherished son of Idoma land in Otukpo, Benue State.
A statement on Tuesday by the Secretary, Idoma Area Traditional Council, Joseph Adah, said Mr Dickson described the award as a ‘handshake across the Niger’.
The Paramount ruler of Idoma kingdom, Och’Idoma IV, Elias Obekpa, while conferring the title on Dickson at the Och’Idoma Square, said the honour was in appreciation of his kind gestures toward the Idoma people.
The governor, who hails from the Izon Kingdom, was also adopted as proud son of Idoma kingdom by the Idoma Area Traditional Council.
“It is to demonstrate our appreciation for the cordial relationship that has existed between our people and the people of Bayelsa State,” he said.
He hailed Dickson for appointing several Idoma natives as part of his government.
Dickson, in response, applauded the monarch and people of Idoma land for the honour given to him and Bayelsa people.
“Instead of dividing and tearing us apart, instead of promoting sectionalism, instead of promoting policies that tend to divide and separate our people, we should emulate the Idoma Traditional Council by building people together instead of tearing them apart,” he said.
“We need more handshakes across the Niger. I, therefore, urge all of us to close ranks in this country. This award will strengthen the bond between the Ijaw and Idoma ethnic nationalities.”