Apex Ijaw body, Ijaw National Congress, INC, yesterday declared 7 days of mourning in all Ijaw communities for the former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who died on Saturday.
This came as All Progressives Congress, APC; Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; former Vice President, Atiku Abubarkar, former governors including Chief James Ibori, among others, continued to mourn Alamieyeseigha’s demise, extolling his leadership qualities.
INC, in a statement by its president, Boma Obuoforibo, said flags would fly at half mast in all Ijaw communities.
It lamented the death of the former governor, describing it as a tragedy and commiserated with his widow, Mrs Margaret Alamieyeseigha and other members of the family.
The statement reads: “The Ijaw nation was thrown into grief by the death of Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the Governor General of the Ijaw nation, on October 10, at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, following a cardiac arrest. On behalf of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, Worldwide, we commiserate with his widow, Mrs Margaret Alamieyeseigha, the entire Alamieyeiseigha family of Amassoma, the Ogboin Clan, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and the government and people of Bayelsa State on this great tragedy that has befallen the Ijaw Nation.”
APC mourns Alamieyeseigha
Meanwhile, more tributes have been pouring in for the late former governor with, APC commiserating with the family and friends of the former Bayelsa State governor, Chief Alamieyeseigha.
In a statement in Abuja on yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also condoled with the Bayelsa State Government over the death of its former governor.
It said it received the news of the former governor’s demise with great shock, considering that he was not publicly reported to have been gravely ill.
APC prayed that the family would find comfort in their moment of sadness, as well as the strength to bear the loss of their loved one.
An outstanding party man – PDP
Similarly, PDP described late Alamieyeseigha as an outstanding party-man despite his travails.
In a statement by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party described his death as shocking and deeply saddening.
Metuh said: “The Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, on behalf of the National Executive Committee, NEC, and the PDP family nationwide mourns the death of former Governor of Bayelsa state, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.”
Alamieyeseigha was an astute Ijaw leader – Atiku
On his part, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, described him as an astute politician who firmly protected the interest of the Ijaw people.
The former Vice President, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, yesterday, said he was shocked when the news of the former governor’s death reached him.
He further described the deceased as a worthy ambassador of the Ijaw nation, who contributed his quota in the service of the nation, and the development of democratic governance in the country.
We’ve lost a political colossus – Akpabio
Similarly, former governor of Akwa Ibom State and Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, described the demise of Alamieyeseigha as the loss of a political colossus, not only to the people of Bayelsa, but to the Niger Delta region and Nigeria.
In a release by his media aide, Jackson Udom, Akpabio said: “The sudden death of DSP Alamieyeseigha has robbed the Niger Delta region of a committed and dedicated indigene, who was always in the forefront of the struggle for the emancipation and development of the Niger Delta region.”
An astute Politician, Says Mark
Also reacting, former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, described him as an astute politician.
In a message of condolence to the government and people of Bayelsa State by his media assistant, Paul Mumeh, Mark described Alamieyesiegha’s death as untimely, lamenting that he was a founding member of the PDP.
Senator Mark noted that though Alamieyeseigha had not too rosy a political career judging from his travails, he nonetheless left an indelible mark as a political colossus.
Uncommon resource control warrior – Ibori
In the same vein, former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, said the news of the death of Chief Alamieyeseigha hit him like a sledge hammer.
He said that though the man had been ailing for a long time, hunted here and there by forces motivated by crass politics and personal vendetta, the man had looked as if he would be able to rise above the persecution and allow peace to pervade his life.
Unfortunately, said Ibori, in a statement by Tony Eluemunor, his Media Assistant, on Saturday, Chief Alamieyeseigha went the way of all mortals.
On his part, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Eni Akinola, in Akure, condoled with the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson and the people of the state over the death of the former governor of the state, DSP Alamieyeseigha
Mimiko prayed God to give the governor, the people of the state and family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Fayose blames FG
Meanwhile, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, blamed the APC-led Federal Government for Alamieyeseigha’s death, describing the death as painful and unfortunate.
Fayose, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said the governor commiserated with the deceased’s family, former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan as well as the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson and the entire people of the state.
Gloom envelops Amassoma
Meanwhile, Amassaoma, the home town of the late former governor, has been moody since the news of his death filtered in on Saturday.
Most indigenes of the community including the Paramount Ruler, Chief Sharp Sogo, have expressed sadness over his sudden demise.
A visit to Amassoma, which is also the host to the Niger Delta University, an institution established by the deceased, was a far cry from the usual hustle and bustle the community is known for as the length and breadth of the community was quiet.
Also, the late former governor’s residence was unusually quiet when newsmen visited, except for few of his relations seen coming and going out of the compound.
Mrs Margaret Alamieyeseigha, his widow and other children, were still at their Port Harcourt residence.
The security guard at the expansive compound of the Alameiseigha’s confirmed that nobody was at home and that all the immediate family members of his boss were in Port Harcourt.
“You cannot go in because there is nobody in the compound. Madam and others are in Port Harcourt. Oga died there,” he said as tears dripped from his eyes.
At the home of Alamieyeseigha’s step mother, children were seen playing at the compound while the step-mother and other elderly women were at the parlour grieving over their loss.
Speaking on the demise of their son, the paramount ruler of the community, Chief Sharp Sogo, said the indigenes were shocked by the death of a man he said was like a god to them.
“When the sad news filtered into this community, nobody was happy. Boys, girls, men and women cried. He was one of the best leaders we had in this community. He was just like a father and grandfather to everybody,” he said.
According to him, Alamieyesiegha’s last outing in the community was when he came home with his political associates and community leaders to re-strategize for the December 5 governorship election.
He said the late former governor was a rallying point and a voice of the PDP, which relied on him to win the election.
“We can’t count the values he added to this community. They are too numerous to mention. Without him, there couldn’t have been Amasomma. He brought the university and constructed all the roads. Everybody took him like a god,” he added.