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Indigenous Canoe Carving Technology A Tool Of Sovereignty From Colonial Masters And Resilience Of Ijaws – Bayelsa SSA On Tourism

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo has described the indigenous canoe carving technology of the Ijaws of the Niger Delta region as a symbol and tool of sovereignty from the colonialists, resurgence, and resilience for indigenous peoples. 

Mr. Kiyaramo who stated this when he paid a visit to the south south representative on the national board of the Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation, Alabo (Chief) Nengi James in office in Yenagoa, said: “Today indigenous nations are reclaiming the canoe through canoe-building and paddling their ancestral trails as part of aquatic recreational tourism activities. 

He added: “These reclamation efforts are integral to strengthening indigenous peoples’ connection with their ancestral waterways, and ways of being, informing that outdoor recreation participants in US spend about $86 billion annually on watersports, such as kayaking, stand-up paddling, rafting, canoeing, and motorized boating”.

The governor’s aide pointed out that canoeing and kayaking which are low impact activities can improve one’s aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility, just as he enumerated other health benefits to include, improved cardiovascular fitness and increased muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest, from moving the paddle. 

Kiyaramo reiterated: “there nothing like exercise in the fresh air to make you feel good about yourself. Even if you are just taking part in a gentle paddle, being outside and close to nature can lower your stress levels, help you sleep better and make you a happier person overall”.

He said the prosperity administration of Senator Douye Diri was poised to exploring indigenous technologies such as canoe carving, sculpting, weaving, arts and crafts,  among others to boost the local economy through promotion of community based tourism activities.

According to Mr Kiyaramo, popularly known as “Mr Tourism”, the state government made provision to accommodate the Yenagoa Boat Club at the Oxbow Lake Pavilion, Swali-Yenagoa with a view to strenthenìng outdoor aquatic recreational activities in the state. 

Responding, the South South Zonal Representative of the Nigeria Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation, Alabo (Chief) Nengi James expressed the willingness of the federation to partner with the state government to revive outdoor aquatic recreational activities through the hosting of competitions in aquatic sporting events from time to time at the Oxbow Lake Pavilion. 

While commending the state governor for various ongoing infrastructural development projects, Chief James, who also is the second vice president of the Ijaw National  Congress (INC) lauded the Miracle Governor for his visionary leadership style with particular reference to youth and sports development.

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