YENAGOA the Bayelsa State capital yesterday stood still as former President Goodluck Jonathan led prominent Nigerians to pay their respects to the first civilian governor of Bayelsa State and governor general of Ijaw Nation, late Chief Diepreye Alamieye-seigha at a special executive valedictory session held at the Government House Banquet Hall. Alamieyeseigha died at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital on October 15 last year over complication from kidney related ailment.
Shops and businesses premises were shut as Bayelsans and residents trooped out in their thousands to pay their respects to their fallen hero. Many fought back tears as the casket draped in the state colours was driven to the Banquet Hall in a motorcade. Among dignitaries at valedictory sessions were former present Jonathan and wife Patience, widow of Alamieye-seigha, Dr Mrs. Magreat Alamieyeseigha, Governor Seriake Dickson and wife Dr Mrs. Rachael, deputy governor John Jonah, chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council and former Military Administrator of Old Rivers State, His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diette-Spiff, the state Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri and members of the state executive.
Others include all former members of the State Executive Council from 1999 and members of the State House of Assembly from 1999 to date, chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP across the country, founding fathers of Bayelsa State, political associates and friends of the late former governor. In his tributes, Jonathan described as sad the death of Alamieyeseigha who he referred to as his boss and ally, regretting that it is unfortunate Alamieyeseigha did not live longer.
He eulogized the former governor for his significant contribution to the human resources and infrastructure development of Bayelsa and Ijaw nation. Jonathan said, “When I was a deputy governor, Alamieyeseigha I was responsible to run the affairs of government in his absence, he took me as his ally and I did not abused the privilege , he trusted me.”
To immortalize the late Alamieyeseigha, Governor Dickson named the Government House Banquet Hall, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall and the road linking Yenagoa to Alamieyeseigha’s home town Amassoma as Chief DSP Alamieyesigha Road. Dickson disclosed that the state government will construct a symbolic mausoleum in honour of the late Alamieyesigha at the Ijaw Hero’s Park in the state capital and also commissioned a group of scholars to document the life and times of the late Alamieyeseigha for the Ijaw history project.
In his tribute, Dickson who described Alamieyeseigha as a great leader and a major voice of Ijaw people regretted that he passed on at a time his companionship and services were most needed and noted that the Ijaw nation is united in grief and celebration of a life well lived. The valedictory session also featured tributes from former secretary to the state government Professor Steve Azaiki, close political associates, past members of the state executive council, and traditional rulers.
The remains of the late Alamieyeseigha would be interred today (Saturday) in his country home Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.