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Bayelsa First Lady Commends ILA For Promoting Ijaw Cultural Heritage . . . Confers Cultural Ambassador Title On Founder

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Dr. Rosalyn Dressman
Rep. of Bayelsa State First Lady
Her Excellency, Chief Amb. Dr. Mrs. Gloria Ebibomo Diri

by Oyagiri Chime-emele

Bayelsa State first lady, Her Excellency, Chief Amb. Dr Mrs Gloria Ebibomo Diri, has commended the Ijaw Ladies Association, Nigeria (ILA) for promoting Ijaw cultural heritage.

Mrs Diri stated that apart from promoting the people’s culture, the group also foster unity amongst the Ijaw ethnic nation through its synergized approach, adding that culture serves as a bridge that connects people to the past.

The first lady, who was represented by the Focal Point Officer, Bayelsa State, Dr. Rosalyn Dressman, stated that through the actions of ILA, the bonds that tie the people is strengthened, positing that it had become the gate keeper of the Ijaw tradition and custodian of ancestry wisdom.

Her Excellency made the statement during the ILA, Nigeria groundbreaking/N3 Billion Fundraising for its secretariat complex & lecture 2023, on Saturday, June 17th, at Dr Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Ovom-Yenagoa, with the theme: “Cultural Revival: Imperative for unity and sustainable development for Ijaw nation.”

L-R: ILA vice President, Rep of Bayelsa First Lady, Dr Rosalyn Dressman & ILA National President

She described the Ijaw Ladies Association as wavers of the story that makes up Ijaw collective narrative, adding that the ILA’s unwavering commitment to Ijaw’s shared heritage does not only move and inspire but also renvigorate every person.

Mrs Diri, who conferred the prestigious title of Cultural Ambassador on the ILA founder, Rev Mrs Jane P. Alek, hinted that the title is more than a mere recognition but a testament to the resilience, determination and love shown to the Ijaw nation.

The first lady’s Rep, who is also the Technical Assistant (TA) to the Executive Governor, urged ILA to continue in its mission of safeguarding the cultural heritage of the people, and encouraged them to spread the gospel for others to join in rebuilding the Ijaw cultural heritage.

Earlier in her address, the National President of ILA, Nigeria , Princess Barr. Mrs Churchere Laura Komonibo, said the objectives of the group were to promote the Izon culture, healthy living and well being, especially of women and children, empower women and girl child and to collaborate with other Izon socio cultural groups to enhance peaceful coexistence and work with Izon Ladies when the need arises.

Princess Barr. Mrs Churchere Laura Komonibo

She described the association as a social cultural group that engaged in philanthropic activities, human rights and welfare.

She added that membership is open to Izon daughters and wives, who are 25 years of age and above.

The founder of the association, Rev Mrs Jane P. Alek, while giving a brief history of the group said: “The trend of events in our country, particularly in the 70s dictated the need for the Izon women voices to be heard, especially as the ‘mother’ of the fourth largest tribe in Nigeria and the Niger Delta in particular.”

She said the association was formed in October, 1977, in Lagos, with branches now spread to Yenagoa, Asaba, Warri and Abuja.

Highlights of the event were the unveiling of the architectural design of the secretariat complex, cultural dances from the state cultural troupe and children Izon Poun.


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