Bayelsa Government Supports the Olotu Awards
The Government of Bayelsa State has re-stated its commitment to encouraging youths who make sacrificial contributions to community and society genuinely in any area of endeavours.
The state Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, stated this while speaking as the Patron at the official launch of the Olotu Awards Project in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital.
The Commissioner said as Ijaw people: we are honest, hardworking, hospitable and diligent, not as misrepresented in recent times because of our stance for justice against under development.
Dr. Tuodolo also said; “our subscription to the Olotu Awards Project is consequent upon our resolve as a Ministry and people, to be true to the shared values of our founding fathers, especially at times like this where awards are monetized and politicized.
Also speaking, the Initiator of the Olotu Awards and CEO of Pink Diamonds, Maria Glover, said the Award is aimed at repositioning the negative spotlight of the media on the Ijaw Youths.
She said the youths of the region have engaged in militancy and arms struggle and as such been branded names such as hoodlums, vandals, terrorists, etc due to their fight against the oppression and marginalization of their territories.
The Olotu Awards Initiator however said that in spite of this, there are ordinary Ijaw Youths who are living lives of bravery, courage, selflessness and succeeding in their various endeavours despite the challenges of poverty, physical disabilities, illiteracy, disease, depravity, environmental pollution and more.
These youths who have not engaged in the negative vices associated with us are the “real heroes”, she says, and we want to “recognize, celebrate, reward and award that Bayelsan youth between the ages of 15 – 25 years, as a different approach to join the fight against the negative perception about us.” Maria Glover therefore called for entries from all the 8 Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State for youths who fit this description, saying that 3 persons would be nominated from each Local Government Area, and would be televised in April this year on various local, national and international television stations to enable the public vote for their favourite stories/persons that should be the “Olotu”.
She also said that the Award will culminated in a grand finale May18, 2013 in Yenagoa, where the potential 4 finalists would be recognised and awarded, with the First Prize given in honour of the late Major Isaac Adaka Boro, due to his commitment to the emancipation of the Izon people. Entries for the Awards will close May 28, 2013.
On his part, the Royal Father of the day, the chairman of the Bayelsa State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Godwin Igodo thanked Pink Diamonds for initiating the Olotu Awards project and for their commitment to the vision which is aimed at re-branding the negative image of the Ijaw youths of Bayelsa State.
Olotu Awards Project