Paramount ruler of Idoma kingdom, Och’ Idoma IV, Dr. Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, while conferring the title on Dickson at the Och’Idoma Square, disclosed that the honour was in appreciation of his kind gestures towards the Idoma people who are resident in Bayelsa State.
The Governor, who hails from the Izon kingdom, was also adopted as proud son of Idoma kingdom by the Idoma Area Traditional Council.
Performing the ceremony, the Och’Idoma said it was in line with the Idoma age-long tradition of returning kindness for kindness.
“It is also to demonstrate our appreciation for the cordial relationship that has existed between our people and the people of Bayelsa state,” he said.
Aside appointing an Idoma man and current lawmaker, representing Ado, Okpokwu, Ogbadibo Federal Representstives, Dr. Francis Ottah Agbo, as special adviser on media relations and later, Chief Press Secretary, Governor Dickson also appointed Mr. Steven Ekoja, another Idoma man as his Special Assistant.
He also appointed an Idoma man, Innocent Adaji as his Chief Driver and another, Mr.John Adaji as his Farm Manager, while some of his cooks are of Idoma and Tiv extractions.
Governor Dickson also appointed a Benue Police Officer, late Inspector Ameh Ogbeh as his Excort Commander, amongst several other engagements.
The paramount ruler acknowledged the member, House of Representatives, Dr. Agbo, for keeping him informed about the goodwill shown to his Idoma subjects by Governor Dickson, even as he enjoined his sons and daughters outside Idoma land to always draw the attention of the palace to similar gestures anywhere.
He also used the occasion to call on well-meaning individuals and organizations to come and invest in Idoma land, assuring that the Palace will not hesitate to honour others who have shown kindness to his subjects.
Responding, Governor Dickson applauded the Och’Idoma and all sons and daughters of Idoma land for the honour done him and the Bayelsa people.
The Governor who also stressed the need for more handshake across the tribal divides in the country, advocated for unity among people in different areas of the county irrespective of tribal, religious or political affiliation.
“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.
“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. Your son, my friend, the Honourable Francis Ottah Agbo has a dual identity of being Ijaw and Idoma and has done well at the National Assembly, and I thank you all for supporting him…”, Dickson said.
On his part, Dr. Agbo said he facilitated the award on the Countryman Governor to prove to the world, that the Idoma people are grateful people who would always appreciate every kind gesture extended to them as a people. He commended the Idoma kingdom for the honour done him.
The event was well attended by many prominent sons and daughters of both Benue and Bayelsa states, including the former Senate President, Dr. David Mark, Deputy Governor of Benue State, Engr. Benson Abounu, among others.
In their separate addresses, Senator Mark who chaired the ceremony and Engr. Abounu, hailed Governor Dickson for always extending the hands of fellowship to the Idoma people, urging him to henceforth see himself as an Idoma man.