Bayelsa State Governor, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson on Tuesday put smiles on the faces of Christian faithful in the state, when he announced that he would lead a delegation of Christians, cutting across the various denominations on a pilgrimage to the Holy land of Israel, this year.
This followed a request by the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Arch Bishop Jacob Akpiri during a programme tagged “Breakfast Prayers With Christian Leaders For Peaceful and Successful Conduct Of The 2019 Election” at the Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa.
Governor Dickson, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, explained that he halted the sponsorship of pilgrims to the holy land due to the need to concentrate investments in infrastructure development, such as road construction, education, tourism, hospitals and other key sectors.
However, he mandated the Pilgrims Board to work out modalities for this year’s pilgrimage.
According to him, clergymen and women play critical roles in the development of the state, stressing that, the essence of the programme was to interact and propel them to pray for a
peaceful, free, fair and credible election in Bayelsa State and Nigeria at large.
He thanked the clergy for their fervent prayers for him, his family, the Restoration Administration as well as the state and urged them not to relent in their prayers for the peace, stability, security and prosperity of the state.
The Bayelsa State Governor, who was accompanied by his wife, Rachael, further urged the clergy to ask God to bring forth a worthy successor to him in 2020 to continue with the developmental strides of his administration.
He said that God alone knows who would be his successor noting that the person might not even know.
Governor Dickson, who advised youths to shun cultism, drug abuse, political thuggery, violence and other forms of criminality, also used the occasion to charge parents and guardians to be alive to their duties of training and teaching their children and wards the right values to make them productive and useful to the society, even as the general election approaches.
His words: “the chairman of CAN made a prophetic declaration, we shall all go to Israel in Jesus name and I endorse that. You don’t know why after my first year, I think we approved one or two pilgrimages or so then I looked at it and said NO no no.
“God will forgive us, God knows that I have to first build the schools, I have a duty to build the hospitals, I have to build the roads, God knows that unless am satisfied with building these key things essential to the developments of our state.
“I mandate the Pilgrims Board to fashion out modalities and design a system and I assure you I will also join you all to the holy land in Israel.
Young people, majority of them are now in jail. At an early age of ten, eleven, children become cultists and even experienced assassins, my dear friends those of you who are leaders in the body of Christ,
remind parents in your congregation that they have a lot of work to do, remind them and we shall not rest, you should not rest for there is too much danger around.
Even after my tenure I want to hear that Bayelsa state is one of the best states in the country. This state will be number one in Jesus name. So, this year we shall all by the grace of God be in Jerusalem”.
In his remarks, the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Arch-Bishop Jacob Akpiri, said the clergy in the state was happy with Governor Dickson due to his love for God and His servants.
He also thanked him for giving them a sense of belonging in the affairs of the state, assuring that, they would moblise their congregation on the need for them to collect their Permanent Voters Card, PVC’s and vote in credible candidates.
He assured the governor of the readiness of the clergy to sensitizing the citizens to take advantage of the government’s investments in critical sectors like health, education, infrastructural, among others.
Some dignitaries in attendance include, wife of the Governor, Dr. Rachael Dickson, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Kombowei Benson, former Director-General of the Department of State
Services, Mr. Mathew Seiyefa, clergymen among others.