Diri made the call on Saturday, March 5, 2022, in Yenagoa to mark the 25th anniversary of the late monarch of Kolokuma, King Geoffrey Aganaba.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by former Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd.), and the Monarch of Twon-Brass, Alfred Diette Spiff, were among the dignitaries who celebrated the late monarch.
Governor Diri, in his speech, said the Ijaw ethnic group deserves more than one state in the Nigerian federation.
Diri said the Ijaw are the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria, adding that the founding father of the ethnic group had called for three states, but former head of state General Sani Abacha created only Bayelsa.
The governor said, “The creation of Bayelsa state is not the end, it is just the beginning.
“We still have two other states that we have proposed that are yet to be created and we must make it clear to the Nigerian government that the Ijaws are still asking for the creation of two more homogeneous Ijaw states.
“Today, most of us – governors, former and myself, state secretaries, service chiefs, speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, members of the State House of Assembly, commissioners – enjoy the sweat of people like Geoffery Filinti Aganaba. We cannot but honor and recognize our heroes of the past.”
Jonah, who spoke on behalf of the former president, appealed to the Ijaw people to support each other to build a better state.
“We all have a duty to make sure that this state gets to the point where subsequent generations will come and judge us by far higher standards than we have now. Things are changing, it’s a computer age; they’re going to put us under the microscope. But when they do, can you stand out?
Bayelsa was established in October 1996 under the military government of General Sani Abacha.