Former President Goodluck Jonathan and Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, have challenged the Ijaws to pray for God to raise another leader that would fill the vacuum created by the death of their Governor-General, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Daniel Markson-Iworison, said Messrs Jonathan and Dickson threw the challenge during the thanksgiving service in honour of the first civilian governor of the state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha at the St. Peters Anglican Church, Yenagoa.
Governor Dickson said a major void was created following the passage of the former governor and stressed the need for leaders to do more by emulating the ideals of Mr. Alamieyeseigha.
The governor noted that although the departed leader had some adversaries, it was a general belief that Mr. Alamieyeseigha was large-hearted and fought for the common interest of the Ijaws.
Expressing gratitude to those who attended his funeral ceremonies, the governor said irrespective of differences; the major concern should be the interest of the people.
He said for the state to make progress, its people needed to imbibe the culture of respect for constituted authority and shun the pull-hi -down syndrome for leaders, adding that the state government was institutionalising support and honour for deserving leaders of the state and the Ijaw nation.
While eulogising the qualities of the former governor, Mr. Jonathan described Alamieyeseigha as a visionary leader, whose lifestyle reflected his names, Solomon and Peter depicting peace and the rock, noting that whoever takes over the baton of leadership for the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta should not be discriminatory, but engender social transformation.
Highlighting the attributes of a true leader, the former president said it requires commitment and sacrifice at all times, attributes he said Mr. Alamieyeseigha displayed in his lifetime to the detriment of his own life.
He also described the departed leader as God-fearing, which he said was evident in the building of the St. Peters Anglican Church as a befitting place of worship and adopting it as the state church, as well as initiating the idea of dedicating Bayelsa to God annually.
In a sermon with the theme, “He That Has An Ear, Let Him Hear What The Spirit Of God Is Saying To The Churches,” Bishop of the Niger Delta West Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Emmanuel Oko-Jaja, extolled the character of Mr. Alamieyeseigha, pointing out that, the former governor toiled and bequeathed worthy legacies to the world.
While advising the people of the state to live their lives according to the dictates of God, Right Reverend Oko-Jaja prayed God to grant the Alamieyeseigha family and the Ijaw nation the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Dignitaries at the service included the wife of the former President, Patience Jonathan, Wife of the state Governor, Rachel Dickson; Margaret Alamieyeseigha and family; Deputy Governor, retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah; Speaker, Konbowei Benson; Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri; Chairman Traditional Rulers Council, Alfred Diete-Spiff as well as former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara.
In September 2005, the former governor was arrested and tried in London for money laundering. He jumped bail and fled to Nigeria.
But on arrival in Nigeria, he was impeached by the Bayelsa House of Assembly, prosecuted and jailed.
On March 13, 2013, Mr. Jonathan gave Mr. Alamieyeseigha presidential pardon, detaching the ex-convict tag from his name.
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