By Kola Oredipe
It is yet another season of thanksgiving for Bayelsa State and every corner is feeling the spiritual engagement.
But really, are there truly some Bayelsans still asking why the need to thank God? Do not forget that this is a Christian state and the people cherish and honour God. Even God appreciates grateful heart.
Let us drop the bitterness and partisanship at least for this solemn period, if you truly profess Christ.
Do you all remember the story of Bayelsa creation? If you do, you will drop your political affiliations or your grievances and join in this annual thanksgiving.
Could it be that you do not believe that there is a better and greater tomorrow for Bayelsa State?
A state with ONLY Eight Local Government Areas as against the minimum requirement of ten constitutionally to be called a State and now you don’t still understand that Bayelsa State is a product of grace and a blessed land.
That gradually by the reason of the creation alone, Bayelsa State has put the Ijaw Nation on the global scene and claimed her right of place in Nigeria.
Will it be too much to thank God for the lives of all the heroes and leaders of Ijaw Nation, think again?
Even, arguably the most influential country of the world, the United States of America and her people hold on strongly to God and for several years mark an annual Thanksgiving Day as a public holiday.
Hear one American writer, Adam Wittenberg, “We are blessed as a nation to have a day set aside to be thankful. This has served us well for many years, as we recall all that God has done to bless and preserve the United States”.
Similarly, in Canada and United Kingdom, the government and people have long set aside a day of Thanksgiving.
In this State of Bayelsa too, Thanksgiving comes once a year, but for Christians, giving thanks is certainly part of their daily lifestyle as the scripture commands us to thank and praise the Lord, and promises great blessings—including health and strength—to those who do.
So, why will any Christian in this state be against the Thanksgiving Day?
Are we not blessed as a State to do this annually for the joy that the state has enjoyed a measure of development since 1996? The development pace might be short of your expectations, “we are certainly not where we were 24 years ago”.
And that is why God said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, that “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”.
At the return to democracy in 1999 with Late DSP Alamieyeseigha as Governor to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to Chief Timipre Sylva to Chief Seriake Dickson, and now, Senator Douye Diri, Bayelsa State is progressing with huge promises for a brighter tomorrow.
Do we even realize that the development here started from the scratch as a brand new state?
The key projects were fresh covering roads, hospitals, housing schemes, hotels, other infrastructure, schools including Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Africa University, Toru-Orua, Federal University, Otueke, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa, Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, Bayelsa State Polytechnic, Aleibiri, College of Education, Sagbama, College of Health Technology and the list goes on.
Bayelsa State, the smallest and youngest became the first state in the South South geo-political zone to produce a President for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, raised high the flag of the Ijaw Nation and somebody somewhere still says there is no reason to thank God!
Former US President, George Bush on November 24th, 2008 in his Thanksgiving Proclamation speech, said, “Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather together and express gratitude for all that we have been given, the freedoms we enjoy, and the loved ones who enrich our lives. We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God”.
Also, at the very beginning in the US, first American President, George Washington, remembered the place of God in the affairs of a nation when he stated in the first Thanksgiving proclamation that “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
So, why will the State not reference God every now and then for all He has done and all we pray for daily in the affairs of Bayelsa State?
Interestingly, the current Prosperity Government under Senator Douye Diri, is a product of grace and miracle.
The less than 24- hours miracle of February 13th 2020 culminating in the eventual swearing-in of Senator Diri as Governor on February 14th, 2020, as the 5th Civilian Governor of Bayelsa State is still fresh. And if you were the Governor today with the miraculous turn of events, will you not continually thank God?
More so, the Bayelsa State Annual Thanksgiving Day is a Law properly enacted for the state and has to be honoured.
God takes thanksgiving very seriously and demands of us to do it all the time. So, those opposed to the Thanksgiving should thread carefully not to incur the wrath of God because their stance might just be an open confrontation against God’s commandments.
People need to realise that Thanksgiving helps keep a nation while ungratefulness brings it into judgment, like it happened with ancient Israel. So, harken to the instructions of God and do not live in ignorance and blindness to what heart of thanksgiving can bring to a people.
The God-fearing Miracle Governor, Senator Douye Diri, is not in office by accident but grace found him to fulfill a mission for Bayelsa State. A new Bayelsa is possible under Douye Diri, the chosen leader at this material time. His emergence is beyond human comprehension. And when God wants to bless a people, He sends a God-fearing one as the leader. That is the case with Governor Douye Diri.
The best we can do for the State is to continue to support the prosperity government even at this trying times, hence the need to celebrate this 9th Annual Thanksgiving Day, on Monday, November 2nd, 2020.
As the state hosts the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye and the General Overseer of Royal House of Grace International, Apostle David Zilly Aggrey, to this thanksgiving, the people are urged to begin to cultivate an attitude of gratitude to the Almighty God in the quest for a prosperous Bayelsa.
Let love, kindness, peace and unity dwell among the people of the State.
Happy 9th Annual Bayelsa Thanksgiving Day Celebration in the presence of God.
Kola Oredipe, is Director/Coordinator, Bayelsa Governor’s New Media