(From Shedrack Frank, NAN)

A former governor of Bayelsa and now Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has been extolled for his immense contributions to the development of Bayelsa.

Governor Douye Diri stated this on Saturday night, during a grand reception in honour of the Minister at Okpoama Kingdom, in Brass Local Government Area (BLGA) of Bayelsa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Diri was represented by his Chief of Staff Mr Benson Agadaga, who led the state’s delegation to the event.

The governor also commended the Amanyanbo of Okpoama Kingdom, King Ebitimi Banigo and other key stakeholders in the BLGA for recognising Sylva’s modest effort.

He said: “Honour is given to whom it is due. Today we’re enjoying your contributions to the state as a former governor and now minister of state.

“We want to sincerely thank you for those things that you want to do for the state that will definitely elevate our IGR.

“We also want to felicitate with you for the new face of Bayelsa, the face of love, and collaboration.

“Sylva as a former governor and now a minister for state, has done well and brought about peace for the loving people of his kingdom and the entire Bayelsa State,” he said.

In his welcome address, Chief Inikio Sam-Sele, Chairman, Okpoama Kingdom Council of Chiefs, said Okpoama people, are very friendly peace loving, hardworking people, unique in their ways, resilient and always determined to succeed in the things they do.

He described Sylva, as a man of Sterling qualities, a visionary leader, a strategic thinker, and a man of courage and positive actions that have impacted on the lives and well-being of many persons and communities as well.

“We salute you, as we say that we are proud of you today and always, as you have achieved a lot as a man.

“We do sincerely express our love and appreciation to you our respected guests and visitors who have come from different parts of Nigeria (and elsewhere), to join us to honour and celebrate this distinguished son of our great kingdom,” he said.

In his remarks, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amayanabo of Twon Brass, in Brass Island said Chief Sylva had done well in all spheres of life, making his people proud of him.

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“The celebrant is our son, in whom we are pleased. He is a hardworking man who became a lawmaker at a very tender age, in old Rivers State.

“He is a great linguist, an orator, man of timber and calibre, a man with style, a man of many parts. We are proud of him in all,” he said.

Diete-Spiff, a former military Administrator of old Rivers State, said Sylva’s achievement started at a tender age till date that he is still waxing strong.

Also speaking, King Edmond Dakoru, the Amayanabo of Nembe Kingdom, in Nembe LGA, said Sylva, is a man that is accepted by all.

Represented by a former military Administrator of Delta and Ebonyi State, retired Capt. Walter Feghabo, said Sylva had distinguished himself as a true and trusted leader that when given an assignment will ensure smooth delivery.

In his speech, Sylva, said he was delighted over the grand reception organised by his kinsmen to honour him, as their son.

“I feel humble today on the show of love, by my people. It is said a prophet is never recognised or honoured by his people, but mine is different.

“This community has given so much to me, by giving me a place to be born. It’s gives me a whole lot of joy to see my mates around today.

“I am not more special than any of you here, you people have given me the opportunity that I have today. I preach peace and love amongst us as a people.

”Without peace we can never prosper as a people, let the youths start showing good example, and shun any act of violence and crime, but should embrace peace among us,” he said.

The ninister, also commeded King Banigo, whom he described as a fulfilled man, and one who has many parts as a king.

He urged the youths of Nembe and Brass LGA, to always work together as to bring about inovation that will move their communities forward.

Dignitaries in attendance included the Chairman of Brass Local Government Area, Victor Isaiah, Commissioner for Special Duties (East) Preye Kate Brodrick and governor’s special representatives Ogbia LGA Prince Isiki among others.