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Former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, said on Sunday that news of the death of the first civilian governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter (DSP) Alamieyesiegha, hit him like a sledgehammer.

Former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, said on Sunday that news of the death of the first civilian governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter (DSP) Alamieyesiegha, hit him like a sledgehammer.

Alamieyesiegha, 63, died on Saturday from a cardiac arrest at a Port Harcourt hospital following an ailment. Ibori, 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 deceased politician 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 signed by his Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, “on Saturday 9th October 2015, Chief Alamieyesiegha went the way of all mortals.” Alamieyesiegha was pardoned by President Goodluck Jonathan following his conviction for graft.
Ibori said: “Alamieyesiegha was my friend, brother, and co-fighter on the Resource Control and fiscal federalism front. We were not just colleagues in the Governors Forum from 1999, in the man I found a boundless and dependable warrior in the battle for the cause of the Niger Delta. He was fearless, forthright, outspoken and dedicated his life to the causes he believed would benefit his people. “In fact, he was consumed by the cause of the Ijaw people, the degradation of their environment and collective psyche. He was in a hurry to see that the injustice under which they laboured be redressed; and he was ready to bear any pain, pay any price, to see that their day of liberation arrived fast.”
Ibori who is also serving the last few months of his prison sentence in London following his guilty plea and subsequent conviction in a multi-count graft and money laundering case, further said: “Alamieyesiegha became the victim of great hypocrisy masquerading as nationalism and anti-corruption fight. “Alamieyesigha was lied against, as heaps upon heaps of untruths were piled on him, and national hysteria replaced public discourse whenever the subject was Alamieyesiegha. Otherwise respected newspapers made up stories about how he returned from London. Though the man told his own story that he was put on an aircraft and taken out from London to the Ivory Coast, his story was never investigated to even find out if he was lying. It was unconscionable journalism. He was plotted against by those who swore they were fighting on the side of good even though they had taken high seats in the devil's court.
How many people would believe that Alamieyesiegha had only one house? And that is in his village, Amassoma!
“Rest in peace great Ijaw leader, rest in peace, the Governor General of the Ijaw nation. May God grant your family and the Ijaw people the grace to bear this monumental loss. One day, no matter how long the delay, Alamieyesigha's real story would be told, the truth about him would be unearthed and the world would know the kind of virulent politics he was victim of.” In another development, the immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark and the governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Sunday, joined other notable Nigerians in condoling with the government and people of Bayelsa State over the demise of the pioneer civilian governor of the state, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, who died Saturday at 63. Senator Mark in a condolence message signed by his special assistant, Paul Mummey, lamented the untimely death of Alamieyeseigha whom he described as an astute politician who was a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The immediate past Senate President noted that though Alamieyeseigha had not too rosy political career judging from his travails, he nonetheless left an indelible mark as a political colossus.
According to Mark” DSP Alamieyeseigha was a man who identified with his people. He was in more than equal proportion loved by his people. No wonder he was crowned as the Governor- General of Ijaw nation”. He deeply sympathised with the immediate family, people of Bayelsa state, the Ijaw nation and Nigerians at large for the sad loss, saying “he played his part with great passion and commitment”. Senator Mark noted that although Alamieyeseigha had a brief stint as a governor, his legacies cannot be diminished; pointing out that he laid the foundation upon which succeessive administrations in the state built on.
On his part, Delta State Governor, Okowa, 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. Governor 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 spot 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 what he called the humility of the late Alamieyeseigha which enabled him to mentor up-coming politicians culminating in his Deputy Governor, Goodluck Jonathan, rising to become a former Nigeria's president. While praying God to grant the late Alamieyeseigha eternal rest, Okowa enjoined the family, government of Bayelsa state and the Ijaws in general to immortalise his memory by ensuring that the Ijaws remain united and speak with one voice, at all times.

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