The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has described the death of the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, as shocking.
It said the death of the former governor, who was known as “Governor-General of the Ijaw Nation,” as saddening.
The Acting National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, said this in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday.
He said all organs of the party, including members of its National Executive Committee were shocked at the demise of the retired Air Force officer, which occurred on Saturday at University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, in Choba, near Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, who signed the statement, said the party “is still in shock over the news of the sudden death of the former governor, describing the development as deeply saddening.”
The statement said, “The PDP mourns the demise of this great Nigerian, who made immense contributions and sacrifices towards the unity, stability and development of his state and our dear nation both as a military officer and a politician.
“Alamieyeseigha was a true democrat; humble leader, brilliant administrator who had extraordinary love for his people. He was an outstanding party-man, who, despite his travails, remained loyal to the PDP at state and national levels to the very end
“The PDP sincerely commiserates with Governor Seriake Dickson, the Alamieyeseigha family, the Ijaw kingdom and the people of Bayelsa State, and pray God to give them the fortitude to bear this great loss.”
In the same vein, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has condoled the family of former governor of Bayelsa, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
In a statement issued, yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also condoled with the Bayelsa Government on the death of the former governor.
According to the statement, the party received the news of Alamieyeseigha’s demise with great shock, considering that he was not publicly reported to have been gravely ill.
It stated that ‘’APC prays that the family will find comfort in their moment of sadness as well as the strength to bear the loss of their loved one,’’ the statement added.
Also, the Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has commiserated with the Alamieyeseigha family, government and people of Bayelsa State as well as the Ijaw Nation, at large, over the sudden death of the first civilian Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
Okowa, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, described Alamieyeseigha’s exit as shocking and painful.
“The late Alamieyeseigha was loved by the Ijaws who saw him as a rallying point for the reawakening of the spirit of togetherness irrespective of the spread of the Ijaws in all riverine areas of the country. No wonder they nicknamed him ‘Governor General of the Ijaw nation,’” Okowa noted.
Okowa extolled the humility of the late Alamieyeseigha which enabled him to mentor up-coming politicians culminating in his Deputy Governor, Goodluck Jonathan, rising to become Nigeria’s president.
Okowa said may God grant the late Alamieyeseigha eternal rest, and enjoined the family, government of Bayelsa state and the Ijaws in general to immortalize him by ensuring that the Ijaws remain united and speak with one voice, at all times.
Similarly, Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, yesterday issued a tribute in honour of late former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, describing the deceased ex-governor as a great man and lover of his people.
Part of the statement reads: “Alamieyeseigha was my friend. A good man. A great man. A lover of his people. They reverently refer to him as The Governor General of Ijaw Nation. And truly, he was.
“When Goodluck Jonathan’s hope of succeeding the late President Yar’Adua was in jeopardy, I know what he did. I know the burden he bore. I know the struggles and travails he went through.
“He humbled himself He silently and strenuously pleaded with friends and foes from all over the nation.
“Notwithstanding the fact that the resultant effect of his efforts will be to promote his subordinate to a political level that will forever be above him and a height he will never attain himself.
“This is a character trait uncommon among politicians. Many who believe they must be the only star in the firmament.
“Also like a good Christian he openly, publicly and sincerely forgave President Obasanjo who was his jailer.
“Alams, my friend Alams, ‘how indeed are the mighty fallen and the weapons of war perish. Tell this not in Gath, publish this not on the streets of Ashkelon. Lest our Philistines triumph and their sons rejoice.’’’
“DSP you have run a good race and fought a good fight. A sure crown awaits you with our Lord, your Maker.
“As the Crown Prince of the Ijaw Nation bows out, May the God of Almighty who till this day still stands with His people, stand by and bless your people you have left behind,” said Okupe
The Acting Paramount Ruler of Amassoma Kingdom, Bayelsa State, Chief Sharp Nengi Sogo, said yesterday, that the late former governor of the state, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was like a God to his people.
Alamieyeseigha, who died of high blood pressure-related ailment at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State, hailed from Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
The monarch, who spoke with our correspondent in his palace, said the news of Alamiyeseigha’s demise shocked every resident of the town, where the Niger Delta University, is located.
Sogo said, “When we heard the news of the death, every person in the community was shocked and sad. There was wailing and weeping all over the place. Alamieyeseigha was one of the best leaders we have had in Ijaw land. He was like a father and grandfather to the people of Amassoma.
“I cannot enumerate all the things that he did for the community because they are indeed too many. But the landmark projects he attracted to the community are the Niger Delta University, highway from Tombia to Amassoma, construction of many internal roads, health facilities and others.
“For many of us in Amassoma, he was like a God. We will indeed miss him. We pray that God Almighty will give his soul eternal peace.”
The monarch said Alamieyeseigha was hale and hearty two weeks ago when he came to the community with his political associates in connection with the upcoming state’s governorship election.
He said they did not have any inkling that the man they saw bubbling with life a fortnight ago could die just like that.
Sogo added, “He affected many lives in the community positively that the gap created by his exit will be difficult to fill. Without him, Amassoma would have been desolate. To everybody in the community, Alamiyeseigha’s death has dealt a devastating blow to them.
“He had promised when he came last time that he and his political friends were coming this week. We have been waiting for them anxiously, now we have received the shocking news of all time. We are in real pains and anguish.”
Also, Alamiyeseigha’s nephew, Chief Yeritimi Femo, said his uncle’s death had left him devastated since Saturday.
Femo said, “I was devastated when I got the information that my uncle was dead. I was more devastated because I did not hear that he was sick before getting the information that he died.
“I learnt that he was on life support for three days at UPTH before he finally gave up the ghost. He was everything to us. Up till now, I have yet to come to terms that he has died.”
However, reactions by pan-Ijaw groups have continued to trail the sudden death of former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Dieprieye Alamayiesiegha, with a common stand that the Federal Government should be held responsible for the incident.
In their separate statements, yesterday, the groups said the recent extradition notice purportedly issued by Britain on the former governor aggravated his health condition that resulted in his eventual death.
The Ijaw Heritage and Cultural Club based in the United States in its statement said it was shocked beyond words by the news of the sudden death of Alamasieyiegha and regretted the circumstances surrounding it.
It noted in the statement signed by Prof. Julius Eteli, that Alamayiesiegha’s death was curious, given the fact that he regularly received medical treatment abroad, adding that the former Governor General of the Ijaw nation had actually returned from such medical trips in Dubai believed to have been facilitated by the Bayelsa State Government.
Eteli said, “From available reports, the Bayelsa State Government has always been of assistance to him, taking care of his medical bills and upkeep. The question is, how can a man who had just returned from Dubai, having been attended to by experts, die so suddenly?
“Clearly, it must have been the report of his extradition to the UK that must have triggered his health condition for the worse and the sudden death.”
He, therefore, said the federal government should be held responsible for the death of Alamayiesiegha, noting its alleged role by instigating the British authorities to issue an extradition notice.
It would be recalled that the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, died on Saturday at the age of 62.
He was said to have died of high blood pressure.
Alamieyeseigha, who died around 4pm, was earlier rushed to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital from his residence in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday.
He was said to have stayed briefly in Yenagoa last week before he went to Port Harcourt, where his health condition worsened.
It was learnt that the ex-governor later slipped into a coma, and was on life support for two days before his death on Saturday.
His remains, according to a source at the UPTH, were later moved to the mortuary in the hospital.
When contacted, the Chief Medical Director, UPTH, Professor Aaron Ojule, declined to speak on the matter, but rather said that his family was in a better position to comment on the matter.
Often referred to as the ‘Governor-General of the Ijaw Nation,’ Alameiyeseigha had a turbulent political past when he was the governor of Bayelsa State. He was the governor of Bayelsa State from 1999 to 2005.
He was once accused of corruption and allegedly disguised as a woman in London in order to evade arrest over charges of money laundering and was later impeached as a governor.
Alamieyeseigha was a die-hard supporter of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson.
The United Kingdom had in 2013 requested for his extradition to the country to face trial but Jonathan, did not grant the request. The administration then granted him presidential pardon.
The British government, again, sought the support of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to extradite Alamieyeseigha to London for trial on alleged money laundering.
Alamieyeseigha, died a month to his 63rd birthday. Pardoned by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for his conviction on corrupt practices as Governor of Bayelsa, he was recently thrown into a panic state by the request of the British government for his extradition.
The request by the government of United Kingdom has however been a subject of criticism as Ijaw groups and political leaders had described it as suspicious and a political vendetta by the President Buhari Administration.
Alamieyeseigha had in recent times also been a strong advocate of the second term aspiration of the incumbent Governor of the state, Seriake Dickson.
In his last outing as one of the political leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in the state, Alamieyeseigha had been clamouring for the people to vote for the PDP.
He had perceived that the upcoming onslaught of the All Progressives Congress in the state during the forthcoming December 5 governorship poll would not work as the state is solely for the PDP.
The news of the demise of Alamieyeseigha, who until his death was regarded as one of the greatest leaders the state had ever had, hit the residents like a thunderstorm.
In every nook and cranny of the state, particularly in Yenagoa, residents, especially of the Ijaw stock, were seen discussing the death in hush tones.
In his swift reaction, Saturday, Governor Seriake Dickson, described Alamieseigha’s death as a personal loss to him, the government and people of Bayelsa.
He described the deceased political icon as a strong pillar of support to his government, stressing that his demise was a painful and monumental loss to the entire Ijaw nation, which he had always stood firm for in all its ramifications.
Dickson in a statement by his media aide, Daniel Iworiso-Markson said, “The Bayelsa State Government also commiserates with his wife, Margret, his immediate family, the Alamieyeseighas, the entire people of the state. The Ijaw nation has indeed lost a rare gem.”
Rivers’ll Ensure Safe, Secure Environment For Economic Growth -Wike .
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that his administration would continue to support security agencies in the state to ensure a safe and secure environment for the economic prosperity of citizens.
He said the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, the Operation Sting and the revitalised C4i security outfits were set up to help provide security to stimulate growth and prosperity of all in Rivers State.
The governor spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, at the 2021 Conference/Annual General meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Rivers State chapter, in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
“This administration has embarked on aggressive infrastructural development and a very deliberate urban renewal efforts around the capital to attract local and foreign investors to stimulate our economy.
“We have also opened up local governments through quality road networks. Upgrade of various social and recreational facilities in various local government areas,” he said.
He commended the state chapter of the NIPR for the choice of the theme of the conference: “Nigeria’s Security Situation: A Factor in Reputation and National Development”, adding that stakeholders must begin to act in a very different, drastic and positive strategy to remedy the already battered reputation of Nigeria.
He urged the NIPR to use its expertise and experience to thrive to galvanise and stimulate the populace and government at various levels for the resuscitation of citizens sense of pride and responsibility of whatever was left of the nation’s image and reputation.
“All hands must be on deck, especially reputation managers to call on government at all levels to begin to act in ways and manner that will help to revive the battered image of this country,” he added.
Welcoming guests and participants to the conference, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, who is also the state chairman of NIPR, commended the cordial relationship existing between the institute and the state government under the leadership of Governor Wike who is a honorary fellow of the institute.
“Governor Wike has been very supportive of all the activities of the Institute. That is what you also get from a visionary leader who has changed the landscape of Rivers State with infrastructure, with various developmental projects that touch the lives of the ordinary man,” he said.
Nsirim said the state chapter of NIPR was proud to associate with Governor Wike for the giant strides he has recorded and would continue to record until the end of his tenure in 2023.
“As a chapter that is responsive to the development of Nigeria, we have chosen the theme for this year’s conference as our own way of contributing to the national discourse,” he said.
He said the conference would produce a blueprint that would guide national discourse and urged participants to contribute robustly to the conversation.
“It is expected that the fallout of the conference will re-engineer national security and national development with the aim to put our country on the path of rapid growth,” he said.
In his speech, the President and Chairman of Governing Council of NIPR, Malam Mukhtar Sirajo, emphasised on the need for all Nigerians to collaborate to fight insecurity currently confronting the country’s economic and political stability.
He welcomed the theme of the conference, saying that it was coming at the time the institute had gotten sufficient worry about national security, peace and economic development.
In his keynote address, Dr. Ike Neliaku, chronicled the increasing violent crimes that had claimed thousands of lives in the various parts of Nigeria, and submitted that the rising insecurity situation in the country had impacted and would continue to impact negatively on corporate and national reputation.
He said the worrisome development would have concomitant consequence on individual and national development.
Chairman of the conference, Chief Felix Otuwarikpo, said the conference was put together to dissect the current carnage affecting the Nigerian nation.
“As an institute, we will leverage on the conference to proffer solutions to the security challenges affecting the nation,” he said.
The conference also featured the presentation of awards for good public relations and community development to some distinguished members and organisations.
Church Of Nigeria Honours Wike, Sanwo-Olu, Akeredolu, Others
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has bestowed awards for exemplary leadership qualities in a challenging economy and dedication in the service of God and humanity on the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and Ogun State Governor, Adedapo Abiodun.
Also honoured is the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Emmanuel Abayomi, with an award for quality and equitable healthcare delivery.
The awardees were honoured at the standing committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria, at the Diocese of Lagos, Archbishop Adebola and Oluranti Ademowo Resource Centre, Faith Plaza, Bariga, Lagos State.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, who conferred the awards on the recipients, said the political leaders were considered for the award for their outstanding role, courageous leadership, and standing firm in defense of Nigerians against insecurity, provision of basic infrastructure to the citizenry and the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the congregation on the state of the nation and the role of the church, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, admonished the leadership of the church to encourage its members to be part of the governance process in the country.
The governor noted that a situation whereby Christians leave governance for politicians alone is no longer obtainable.
According to Wike, the effect of bad leadership will also affect the church if they remain passive to the issue of governance.
“You must be part of choosing leadership. Don’t say you have no role, you have a role. When you don’t participate, bad leaders will emerge and when bad leadership emerges, you are part of it.
“You must encourage your people to be part of leadership. I didn’t go to any school to study leadership.
“So, nobody should say that as a Christian you cannot be a governor, no. The head of SUBEB in my state is a priest and you can see the leadership he has given to that agency today. You will feel proud about it. That used to be the most corrupt agency, but today it is headed by a priest and you can see the difference.”
Wike decried the inherent injustice that has characterised the Nigerian State, and urged the church to speak against socio-political issues adversely affecting the progress of the country.
“We say we are all one Nigeria. We went to World Bank to borrow money to do specific projects. One of the states that make up Nigeria I hear is Rivers State. And I also know in paying this money back to World Bank, money that comes from the resources of my state will be used in paying back this money. But my state was denied to have projects from that loan.”
The Rivers State governor said a situation where states depend on the Federal Government to survive can no longer be tenable, and insisted that states must be allowed to collect revenues such as Value Added Tax (VAT) to enable them improve the welfare of their people.
“You have gone to take loan and I am one of those states that will pay back those loan and you deny me to benefit from the projects that that money will be used for. I have no problem with that.
“Allow me the one (VAT) the Constitution says I am entitled to, let me collect that one and develop my state.”
He regretted that some governors in Nigeria have refused to think out of the box on how to boost economic activities in their states.
“There is flood in my state, it requires N200millon, I will go to Abuja to beg. Even as a governor, I will knee down before a DG of an agency of government. You will knee down for a director just because of N300million. That is the status of some of the governors of some states.”
In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended the church for its support, and announced the waiver of N2billion for land acquired by the Church of Nigeria in Lagos State.
The governor stated that Nigeria and the rest of the world are going through difficult times amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, and used the occasion to canvass for mass vaccination of the citizens.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, while speaking on the theme of the conference: “Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in an Unstable World”, lamented that Nigeria was fast becoming a land flowing with tears and blood because of the impact of terror, banditry, herdsman attacks on communities and kidnapping.
He said a situation in which communities that are predominantly Christians are targeted one after another in some parts of Kaduna State and North-Central of Nigeria was unacceptable.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to brand the bandits and herders attackers as terrorists and let them be treated as such.”
The Primate urged Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity 2023 general election offer to exercise their right to choose new leaders.
He appealed to the Federal Government to urgently address the free fall in the value of the country’s currency because of the attendant impact on the store of value and confidence of investors.
Rivers Begins Process To Check Flooding
The Rivers State Government has said that it was working with relevant agencies to roll out the process that would check perennial flooding in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Nsirim, therefore, called on those living and doing business in the state to play their part in line with the programme that would be executed by government to address the problem of flooding.
He frowned at the situation where residents of Port Harcourt had turned the drainage systems into refuse bins, and warned that “that is not what it should be.
“The present administration under Governor Nyesom Wike is desirous to make Rivers State a destination of choice and that is why the government has embarked on massive infrastructural development in line with its urban renewal programme.
“So, what is expected of those living and doing business in Rivers State now, is to co-operate with government to ensure that the urban renewal programme and the plan by government to make this state a destination of choice is realised,” he said.
He noted that the state government could not do it alone as it required the support of corporate organisations, civil society groups, religious organisations and the media to enlighten their publics on the need to behave as responsible citizens.
He called on the media to embark on massive enlightenment programmes along the line of the roles of citizens in checking flooding in the state.
“We believe that if the citizens cooperate with government, as government is out to ensure that everyone living and doing business in the state does so in a healthy environment, we believe that in the next few days or weeks we will find a solution to this (flooding),” he said.
Nsirim also announced the names of entrants selected for the essay competition on the title, “Our State Our Responsibility” introduced under the second phase of the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign of the ministry launched at the beginning of this month.
He said those shortlisted were expected to be at the conference room of the ministry by 11am on Monday, September 27, 2021, for a physical test to ascertain their original ownership.
Those shortlisted are: Jessica Hart, Samuel William, Amarachi Chimezie, Jasper Dorcas, Jaja Tamunoimiegba Christian, Sophia Oyibo, Blessing Pepple, Anyiam kelechukwu, Deborah Adegbami, Gift Samuel, Okiche Golden, Okiche Miracle, Orovwigwo Deborah, Otuka Goodluck and Ziga Paago.
By: Beemene Taneh
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