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Speech by His Royal Highness, King Shine A. Apre

on the Occasion of the Foundation Laying/Fundraising Ceremony of the Proposed Odi Ecovillage/Green City Project at Odi, Bayelsa State, Nigeria on November 30th, 2004.

Your Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
The Honorable Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Turner T. Isoun.
Your Royal Majesty, King Joshua Igbagara, the Ibenanaowei of Oyakiri Kingdom (PEN, TRM, OON, JP), the Chairman of Bayelsa State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Royal Father of the Day.
The Chairman of the Occasion, Dr. Sami Ebiye.
Top Government Functionaries here present.
The Chairman, Odi Local Government Council.
My Lords Spiritual and Temporal.
My Esteemed Visitors from the USA, Scotland, Australia and Mali.

May I on behalf of the Odi Council of Chiefs and the entire good people of Odi Town welcome you all to this epoch-making ceremony. My joy knows no bound seeing today such respected and revered dignitaries converge here to identify with my peoplešs yearning for development. It has been five years since Odi was totally destroyed by Federal Soldiers. The experience was truly a traumatic experience which today has entered the annals of history.

My people are a resilient people, determined to forge ahead in spite of the immense challenges they faced.

In every dark cloud, there is a silver lining they say, and so we have chosen to see our destruction as a solid foundation for future growth. I have a vision of Odi transforming from its strategic state into a new Green City model that ensures a healthy economic, peaceful, environmental and social community for all. I am particularly happy that many of our illustrious sons and daughters also share this vision.

When my sons and daughters in this Odi Ecovillage movement came to me with this concept of development which has worked wonders in such countries as Senegal, Ghana, South Africa and other parts of the world, my ancestral spirits confirmed to me of the viability of such a project and I gave them my blessings.

Life is all about ideas and we live in a global village and I look forward to this project blossoming into a dimension where strangers from across the world would come to Odi to enjoy the natural ambiance and hospitality of my people. In closing, I want to say the Almighty God will surely reward you as you support our efforts of sustainable development.

Long Live Nigeria.
Long Live Bayelsa State,
Long Live Odi Local Government,
Long Live Odi Green City.

Thank you and God Bless.