At the book launch, His Excellency Sen. Douye Diri in his opening remark appealed that the Ijaw history book project which was started years back by the late DSP Alamieyeseigha should be given wide support by all Izons sons and daughters as part of concerted effort to ensure that the Ijaw language do not go into extinction. He specifically commended the past Governors who initiated, funded and superintended the book project.
He also thanked the only surviving editor of the book Emeritus Professor E.J Alagoa, who will turn 89yrs in a few months, for embarking on such feat, noting that the beauty about him is that even at his age, he still reads without lenses and also prayed for the repose of the soul of Late Prof. Tekena and late Prof. John Pepper Clark who were co – editors.
At the event, the Chief Launcher, High Chief Emonena Victor Wayles (JP) reminded the gathering that the Ijaw culture was built on the foundation of truth and asked all citizens of Ijaw Nation to continue in this vein, otherwise history will not judge us well. He also went further to plead with everyone present that the token donation he is presenting should not be the maximum value plead it should rather be considered as the starting point, if possible. He applauded His Excellency Gov, Sen. Duoye Diri for making the book launched dream a reality.
The Ijaw National Congress President, Prof. Benjamin Okaba who was also the Chairman of the book launch entitled “The Izon of the Niger Delta” in his speech was nostalgic about the days when the rally cry of “Ahh Izon” represented steadfastness to the Izon cause, especially by the male folks. He was also saddened that, increasingly, Izon parents do not communicate with their children in the language, thereby failing to promote that aspect of the culture.
The remarkable, epoch making event featured symposium presentations by Izon intellects and resource persons including His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa state Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Abraham Ingobere, Chief Judge of the State, Justice (Mrs) Kate Abiri, Immediate past Deputy Governor of the State, Rtd. Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jsuppo Onah, Prof. Paingha Alagoa, Prof. Mark Okorobia, Dr. ThankGod Apere, Mr. Dianam Dakolo, Mr. Matthew Seiyefa, Hon. David Alagoa, among others dignitaries, and a host of prominent Ijaw sons and daughters under the keen watch of His Excellency, Senator Duoye Diri, the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State.
At the ceremony, the book that documents Ijaw history entitled, The Izon of the Niger Delta was launched. The book launch was well attended by top Government Functionaries, including Traditional Rulers, Technocrats, Politicians, Captains of Industries, including High Chief Emonena Victor Wayles Egukawhore (JP), Chairman, De Wayles Group of Companies. prominent Izon sons and daughters.
Millions of naira was eventually realized during the book launch, with strong financial pledges, support and contributions from captains of industry, government officials, intellectuals, prominent personalities, and Izon sons and daughters, both present and represented.