120 indigent students of Bayelsa State have been awarded scholarship to study Ijaw language at the State owned Niger Delta University, (NDU), Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the State.
Briefing newsmen as part of activities marking one year of Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration in office at the weekend, the Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolor said the decision is aimed at promoting Ijaw culture and preventing the language from going into extinction.
According to him, “the state recently awarded scholarships to 120 indigent students to study Ijaw language at the Niger Delta University and after their graduation, the awardees will be posted to teach Ijaw language in the Public schools.”
The Commissioner said the Ministry which was created in April, 2012 was vigorously pursuing social and cultural cohesion policies aimed at preserving the Ijaw culture and identity.
Dr. Tuodolor noted that as part of measures to promote the Ijaw culture and identity, the Ministry made it mandatory for public officers and appointees to wear traditional attires on Fridays.
According to him, the newly created Ministry is now generating a minimum of one million naira monthly to the internally generated revenue profile of the state through the rental of its facilities.
The Commissioner added “as a very new Ministry we are already making a modest contribution to the coffers of the State to the tune of about one million naira every month from the commercialization of the facilities at the Ijaw House in Bayelsa.”
“We felt that Bayelsa as the base of Ijaw people should have a befitting edifice for our people so we fast tracked the project and got it inaugurated and put it to use.
“It is a major development for Ijaw people within and beyond Bayelsa and today as it houses the Ministry of Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Ijaw National Congress, Ijaw Youth Council, Bayelsa Traditional Rulers Council, Bayelsa Mausoleum amongst others”.
The commissioner also listed some achievements of the new Ministry to include the Ijaw Identity Project which produced a coat of arms for Bayelsa, Flag and Anthem for the state.
Dr. Tuodolor explained that Bayelsa Heroes Memorial Park is for the immortalization of past heroes of the Ijaw Nation such as Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro, Harold Dappa-Biriye, Ernest Ikoli among others.