Late Gen. Abacha
Abacha, who hailed from Kanuri in Borno State but was born and brought up in Kano, served as the Military Head of State from 1993 until his death on June 8, 1998.
Speaking to us, on the anniversary of his death, some of the residents said he will always be fondly remembered for creating Bayelsa State, the only heterogeneous Ijaw state.
They said the late maximum ruler may have had his own shortcomings but the fact that he yielded to the demands of the leaders and created the state made him carve a place in their hearts and lives.
An indigene of the state, Mercy John stated that Abacha’s move to create the state was a laudable one as the state has become a home for Ijaws all over the country, popularly referred to as the Jerusalem of the Ijaw land.
She said although his regime was marked by human right violations, it was a thing of pride that Ijaws have a place to call their own, which has given them a hold in the national scheme of things.
A legal practitioner, David Edu said Ijaws would have been greatly marginalized if not for his pro-activeness in giving them a place and a voice.
He added that the contributions of Gen. Abacha to the Ijaw nation is something to be cherished forever and lauded former Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson for immortalizing his legacy by naming important places in the state after him.
During the 16th anniversary of the creation of the state in 2012, Dickson named a 150-unit housing estate, the main auditorium of the Ijaw House and a road in the state capital, after the late Abacha.
Dickson said the state and the Ijaw Nation at large will continue to honour the late Abacha because of the bold step he took in creating Bayelsa State, which has given the Ijaw man a sense of belonging and opened up Ijaw-land.
He also honoured Mohammed, son of Gen. Abacha, with the highest title in Ijaw land, the “Ebidou-owei of Ijawland”, which means “One who seeks the good of Ijawland”.
Mohammed was also presented with the flags of the Ijaw Nation with Dickson saying he is now an indigene of the state and urged him to build a family house in the state.
Abacha created Bayelsa State out of the old Rivers State on October 1, 1996.The name Bayelsa, is a combination of the first few letters of the major local government areas within its confines: Brass LGA (BALGA), Yenagoa LGA (YELGA), and Sagbama LGA (SALGA).