How Abacha created Bayelsa – Igali

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The Pro-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Amb Godknows Boladei Igali, has recalled how the late military Head of State, late Gen Sani Abacha, consulted the late King Geoffery Filinti Aganaba, before taking the decision to create Bayelsa State.

Igali spoke in Yenagoa over the weekend during the silver jubilee memorial public lecture in honour of late King Aganaba, the Ibedaowei of Kolokuma (1972 – 1997), also named late King Aganaba, Lucky Okilo, King Ere and King Alfred Papapreye Diette Spiff among the Ijaw heroes that built Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

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He called on the people of Bayelsa to institute the culture of celebrating Ijaw heroes like Aganaba, who contributed to the creation and development of the state.

‘The role of King Aganaba must be ventilated and written on. I have not seen it in any of the literature. I have seen a lot of writings on who are the founding fathers of Bayelsa State.

‘So, for those, who will write the history of Bayelsa State, you must put it on record that in taking a decision on the final course on what the new Bayelsa State will be, General Abacha called King Aganaba before taking that decision on the creation of Bayelsa State.


‘For the founding fathers, Aganaba has a special place in the creation of Bayelsa State, He and late Senator Amatari Zuofa were neighbours with General Sabi Abacha on Abana Street in old GRA while he lived in Port Harcourt as Brigade Commander. That relationship continued and played a part during the creation of the state.’

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On the need to celebrate Ijaw heroes, Igali stated that people like the late King Aganaba were at the forefront of how the Ijaw people can move forward.

‘I do know the history of the 25 years celebration in Ijaw culture. I don’t know if the family even know the cultural value of what we are doing today.

’25 years signifies goodness, signifies the beginning of abundance but to the Ijaw culture after 25 years, there was a special celebration of great men and that celebration, though it was some years ago, the intention was to remind the other generations to celebrate them and the family has the biggest celebration for a man that has gone 25 years ago.

‘King Aganaba was a great man. The history of Rivers State cannot be told without him and in those days in Port Harcourt, Bayelsa are people that dominated and made it what it is in Rivers State”.