The Bayelsa State Executive Council has approved the Ijaw traditional attire for its weekly meeting, saying the decision is now compulsory and binding on all members.
The move is aimed at further promoting the culture of the state, and serving as a measure to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the people in their dressing, as well as enable other citizens and non-indigenes of the state to emulate.
The decision was sequel to a memo by the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Itti Orugbani, which was approved by the council at its 46th meeting presided over by Governor Douye Diri.
Dr. Orugbani, stressed that the council’s approval had made it a policy for the cabinet members to show good example in the promotion of the Ijaw identity and reduce incursion of western culture among the people of the 4th largest ethnic group in Nigeria.
The Commissioner who said the policy on the wearing of traditional attires every Friday by civil servants and political appointees was still in force, said efforts were being put in place to ensure preservation and transfer of cultural norms to the younger generation.
“I wish to enjoin our people who live here or those outside the state, including those in the diaspora to cultivate the attitude of regularly wearing our attires, speak our language and promote our local dishes wherever they are, particularly among their children.
“It must be a conscious and deliberate effort. I know that our culture is very rich, so everyone should join us to promote it. Our leader and Governor is very conscious of this in every of his public functions”, he said.
The Diri administration is also in the process of introducing Ijaw language as a core subject in schools across the state as part of its deliberate effort to sustain the language for the coming generations.
Recall that the immediate past administration of Senator Seriake Dickson, had introduced the policy on the wearing of traditional attires every Friday by civil servants and political appointees.