The Senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, on Wednesday sponsored a motion seeking to retain the name of foremost Niger Delta activist and leader, Harold Dappa Biriye, in the New Permanent Head Office of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
While presenting the motion on the floor of the Senate, Senator Dickson noted that Dappa Biriye has nothing to his name apart from the NDDC headquarters unlike his contemporaries who fought alongside him for Nigeria’s independence and whose names and faces are on national currencies and strategic assets.
Senator Dickson, a one-time Secretary to the quintessential Niger Delta Leader and National Legal Adviser to the Ijaw National Congress told the Senate that while the NDDC has commissioned and moved its personnel and operations to the permanent headquarters, “it has refused, neglected, or failed to transfer the name Harold Dappa Biriye House to it.”
The Senate which agreed with the rich submission of Senator Dickson resolved to urge President Muhammadu Buhari to name the new National Headquarters of the NDDC after the late Harold Dappa Biriye.
The Senator recalled that Dappa Biriye among others was the founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ijaw National Congress with Pa Edwin Clark as his deputy.
The Senator stressed that the late Dappa Biriye offered crucial advise to the President Obasanjo Administration on the need to restore peace in the Niger Delta and was one of the leaders who played frontline roles in the establishment of the NDDC.
Dickson recalled further that “following the establishment of the NDDC, the Federal Government and the management of NDDC with the support of the Rivers State Government led by Sir Peter Odilli, who himself was one of the several protégés of Harold Dappa Biriye decided to name the NDDC temporary headquarters, donated by the Rivers State Government after him, as a mark of recognition for his services to the Niger Delta people and Nigeria at large.”
According to him, all through his adult life, Dappa Biriye, fought for the Niger Delta people and all Nigerians and was a quintessential Nigerian who lived a good life promoting national unity, understanding and cohesion.
Senator Dickson said in his presentation that the late Dappa Biriye collaborated with other leaders of Nigeria and former Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon in managing the issues and agitations that culminated in the creation of Rivers State.
Dappa Biriye, he said, also negotiated the release and pardon of Ijaw Icon, Jasper Isaac Adaka Boro, who joined the Nigerian Army and died fighting for Nigeria.
The Senator said that the late leader taught the Niger Delta people how to work for a united, just and egalitarian Nigeria, a Nigeria that works for everyone.
“He taught us how to serve Nigeria, work for the good of all in a multi ethnic, multi cultural society, not to stop raising the issues that must be raised,”
He recalled when he became Governor, he built an international conference centre and named it after him to immortalize him.