The people of Kabokiri community in Sagbama LGA of Bayelsa State have expressed happiness over the autonomy granted to them by the state government.
Kabokiri is a community on the boundary with Delta State and has been struggling to be recognised as an autonomous community for years.
Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, announced the state government’s approval during a meeting with members of the Ijaw community recently.
He directed the state Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs to issue a certificate of recognition to the community.
He said Governor Douye Diri had directed that the name of the community, which is located on the Bayelsa part of the famous River Forcados, should be changed from New Patani to Kabokiri community as requested by the indigenes.
He urged Sagbama Local Government Council to work closely with the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs to ensure the full integration of the community into the scheme of things in the Sagbama area and the state at large.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo specifically charged the Chairman of the council to immediately meet with the leaders and integrate the new community fully into Sagbama Ward 13 to enable them have a fair share of their rights and responsibilities as indigenes of the state.
He also urged the community to work out modalities for the conduct of credible elections that would enable them choose their paramount ruler and officials of the Community Development Committee (CDC), as well as youth and women leaders.
“We are giving the community some weeks to conduct a formal Amananaowei election and CDC Chairman, Youth President as well as Woman Leader elections.
“We want the major families that are there to put their heads together and come up with a workable ‘formula’ for the election.”
In their separate remarks, Acting Amadowei of Kabokiri, Chief Ekiyor Ebidowei, Chief Pathfinder Ebikebina and Barrister E. B. Oyinkuro all expressed gratitude to the state government for granting autonomy to their community.