In line with the vision of the founding fathers of our dearly beloved state and given this administration’s stand on Ijaw mobilization, Ijaw integration and the need to promote Ijaw fundamental interest, which clearly is not subordinate to any other interests, the government of Bayelsa State has given its approval to have a state-owned emblem to mark and strengthen our sense of identity as a state.
The decision was taken at the end of the 7th meeting of the State Executive Council held on Monday 6th, August 2012. Accordingly, the State Executive Council has approved a flag, state anthem and Coat of Arms for Bayelsa State which will reflect the colours and symbols of the Ijaw nation and it will be put to use as soon as His Excellency, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, gives his accent to the law which has just been passed by the State House of Assembly.
This decision also underscores government’s belief that this state, like any other state, is where the Ijaws, the fourth largest ethnic nationality, has as its home. Bayelsa is home to all Ijaws both at home and abroad. The emblem therefore will help serve as a unifying force and rallying point for all our people. It says a lot about the preservation of our culture, our essential values as a people and as a race. These are the qualities that distinguished us and makes us who we are – proud, great people of the Ijaw Nation; irrepressible in spirit, a people that are second to none in this country. There is therefore need to project our culture and uniqueness as a people. There is the need to preserve our proud values and pass them on as part of our heritage.
Hence, once the law is accented to, the emblems will be officially unveiled to the public. The point must however be made clear that the step taken by our government to announce the proposed launch of a state owned flag, anthem and coat of arm is not in any way different from what other states in the federation have done. It is common knowledge that virtually all the states in the southwestern region such as Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun and Ekiti State – have since launched theirs. The most recent was the North Central state of Kwara.
In the South-South, Cross River and Rivers State are the only two states in the region that has embraced this noble concept. In the case of Rivers, it was done since the 1970s. We believe that Bayelsa State, being the only state that can be considered as the home state of the Ijaw race, deserves even much more to blaze this trail than any other state in the federation, given its uniqueness. This much is true because of the emphasis we place on the propagation of the Ijaw ideals and what we stand for as a people, the Ijaw ideology.
More importantly, as a government, we view the decision to launch the state-own emblem, as critical to our development and it matches our drive to project Bayelsa State as a world-class tourist destination, the new frontier for eco-tourism and an investment haven.
The emblem that is soon to be launched represents a unique form of branding for our dear state and we believe it holds the key to our collective abilities as Bayelsans and Izons to stand for what we believe in, if we must make tangible progress going forward