The Ijaw Diaspora Community, Saturday April 10, 2021 held a Virtual Celebration party & Send Forth ceremony in honor of their illustrious son, Ambassador Benaoyagha Okoyen.
Ambassador Okoyen is moving from being Consul General of Nigeria in New York, United States of America (US) to resume as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cuba with concurrent accreditation to Bahamas, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The program, which featured a Keynote Address by a prominent Ijaw Career Diplomat, retired Federal Permanent Secretary and award-winning writer, Ambassador (Dr.) Godknows Boladei Igali (OON)on the theme – “The Ijaw Footprint and Development of Nigeria’s Diplomacy: What the Ijaw Diaspora Must Know,” kicked off with Opening Remarks by Professor Mondy Selle Gold, President of the Ijaw Diaspora Council.
The fully loaded event was moderated by Deborah Abbey, Public Relations Officer, Ijaw Women of America and Tonye Barakumo Fawei, an On Air Personality (OAP) with Bayelsa Radio Corporation.
There were Tributes by prominent Ijaw personalities such as Engr. Charles Ambaiowei, former Acting President, Ijaw National Congress (INC), His Royal Majesty, King Bubaraye Dakolo, Agada IV, the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, Ambassador Ekpebike Steve Agbana, Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, and Ambassador Philip K. Ikurusi, Ambassador to Argentina with concurrent accreditation to Peru, Chile and Uruguay.
Others that paid Tributes to Ambassador Okoyen were Barrister (Hon) Oweilaemi Roland Pereotubo, former President of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Annikio Briggs, a Niger Delta activist, convener of the Niger Delta Self-Determination Movement (NDSM) and spokesperson, Ijaw Republican Assembly, Prof. Ebi R. Amakoromo of the Faculty of Science, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ebitimitula Nicholas Etebu, Vice Chancellor, Bayelsa Medical University and Apostle Zilly Okpowai “King David” Aggrey, the founder and presiding Apostle of the Royal House of Grace International Church and former President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter.
Gifts were presented to Ambassador Okoyen by Chief Nelson Tukoroa, Board Member and Coordinator, Ijaw Diaspora Council, Europe, Engr. Hermon J. Alamene, Chairman BoDs, Ijaw International Alliance, USA (IIA), Hon. Eunice Apreala, President, Ijaw Women of America and Mrs. Gesiere Brisibe-Dourgu, Vice President, Ijaw Diaspora Council.
The program was spiced up with a live musical performance by a young Nigerian hip hop recording artist from Ayakoromo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria, Lisbon Awiki, commonly known by his stage name Lizberg.
There was also music interludes by Smart Kusimi, stage name DJ Skay and live performance from Bayelsa organized by Tonye Barakumo Fawei.
Ambassador Benaoyagha Okoyen, in his response to the overflow of tributes and commendations, thanked everyone who honored him by their presence during the program and assured that he will not let Ijaws and Nigeria down in his new assignment.
The vote of thanks and closing remarks were given by Hon. Eunice Apreala, President Ijaw Women of America to bring the exciting program to a glorious end.