Governor Seriake Dickson has declared July 31 of every year ‘Ijaw Cultural and Musical Day’ in a bid to project the cultural identity and values of the Ijaw nation.
He made the declaration at the presentation of special awards to Ijaw musical icons in recognition of their various contributions to the preservation and promotion of Ijaw culture and tradition.
Governor Dickson made the presentation at the first memorial anniversary of the late musical legend, King Robert Ebizimo, at the Dr. Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenagoa, the state capital.
He expressed the government’s commitment to honour illustrious musical icons stressing that it was determined to establish a studio at the Bayelsa State Musical School, for the purpose of recording all their songs, including that of late Rex Lawson. He assured that proceeds from the sale of the albums would be made available to their families.
The governor, who described King Ebizimo as “the most gifted and prolific musician in Ijaw land,” expressed regret that “he was not celebrated enough, while alive and that the Ijaw nation would greatly miss him.
“King Robert Ebizimo gave us so much music and a lot to celebrate. Between last year and now, if he had been alive, he would have produced more albums so in that sense, we miss him. When the Bayelsa State School of Music is fully equipped and commissioned, my intention is to have all his songs; from the first to the last one before his death recorded.
“And, I will also direct the gentleman, who will administer the school to get the songs played by late Rex Lawson and others and the studio will wax their songs and sell them from time to time and the proceeds essentially would be given to their families because from generation to generation, we want to preserve their music as part of our heritage,”Dickson said.
Some of the awardees include, Chief Agbeotu Teinbo, General Alaska, Bestman Doupere, Orutugu Fubara, Skido Ozidi, Simple Boys of Okutukutu and White eagles of Sabagreia.
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, explained that the event was organized by the government to honour all those who have contributed, through music, to the preservation of the language and tradition of the Ijaw people.
Dr. Tuodolo, who applauded Governor Dickson for his passion for the Ijaw culture and language, underscored the need to honour people, who have impacted positively on society and served as role models to the younger generation.

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