The Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma on 13th February, 2011, clocked 55 years. In a thanksgiving service commemorating his birthday, Dr. Ayakoroma expressed gratitude to the Almighty God who kept him alive to add another year to his age. He remarked that among the blessings of God in his life within the past one year is his elevation to the post of Executive Secretary of NICO. The Executive Secretary thanked God for installing peace in NICO where he is Chief Executive. He further thanked God for his love, protection and prosperity upon his family.

The officiating Minister Rev. Patterson Kikile of the Royal House of Grace International Church, Greenland Parish, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, where the thanksgiving service took place, described Ayakoroma as an exemplary Christian whose dedication and practice of Christianity is worth emulating, nothing that his love and service to humanity distinguished him for God’s blessings. He urged Christians to borrow a leaf from the lifestyle of the Executive Secretary.

Staff of NICO South-South Zone turned up en mass to grace the occasion. Delivering a speech at the ceremony, Head South-South zonal office of NICO, Mr. Mike Ekoko, applauded Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma for his visionary leadership style which has established functional zonal offices in the six geo-political zones to attract Federal Government’s cultural objectives to the grassroots.

He explained that Dress Nigerian Day which today has been captured in the National grid is a brain child of Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma. In his words, “I want to remark here that Dr. Barclays is celebrated today not only in NICO but by Nigerians for his contributions in the Federal Civil Service, for his transformations and achievements and we wish him many more years of service to humanity”.

The ceremony was attended by the Ayakoroma family, in-laws, friends, neighbours, staff of the Bayelsa State Council for Arts and Culture and the Traditional Ruler from his community, HH Kings Adueze (JP), the Amananaowei of Angiama.

Goodwill messages were also delivered at the occasion by those who had closely related with him. Among them were: Professor Femi Shaka of the University of Port Harcourt, His father-in-law Engr. Iwolisi D. Rex-Ogbuku, Brother-in-law Barr. Jude Rex-Ogbuku, Chief Walson, Dr. Amagbe, the Mayor of Yenagoa City Council, Hon. Mike Ogbolosingha, Pastor Purkins and Comrade Solomon Diepreye.

In his remarks Prof. Femi Shaka described Dr. Ayakoroma as the most hard working culture administrator and he was not surprised to see Ayakoroma’s good works manifesting at the National level.

Engr. Iwolisi D. Rex-Ogbuku Dr. Ayakoroma’s father-in-law expressed joy for having a wonderful and reputable son-in-law like Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma. He therefore encouraged the Executive Secretary to continue with his good works.

Mrs. Letty Ayakoroma, wife of Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma gave the vote of thanks. Going down memory lane, she recalled how she met “her Mr. right” years back. Mrs. Ayakoroma who was filled with joy appreciated God for giving her a loving, caring and understanding husband. She thanked the guests for joining the family to honour her husband.

The ceremony climaxed with the cutting of the birthday cake and a dance by the celebrant and his wife, Mrs. Letty Ayakoroma. The occasion was compered by award winning comedian/singer, Gift Zibima a.k.a Geebonz, and music was supplied by Kofi Enis and Kuroyefa Ayaowei of the Bayelsa State Council for Arts and Culture.

Clifford Ugwu O.
South-South Zonal Office