Former governor of Bayelsa State and governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, Chief Timipre Sylva, has described the death of ex-Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha as a huge loss to the state and the country at a time his contributions to democracy were greatly needed.
Sylva said Alamieyeseigha was a mature and conscientious politician whose experience was critical in the efforts to nurture the democracy he had helped to build.
Alamieyeseigha, the first Fourth Republic governor of the state, died on Saturday at a hospital in Port Harcourt after an illness.
In a statement in Abuja, Sylva said, “The news of the death of Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was a very bad shock to me. I share the grief of his family and friends.
“Chief Alamieyeseigha was an illustrious member of the political class and a political father with whom I shared common interest in the development of Bayelsa State and the Ijaw nation.
“He was a mature politician, a lover of his people, and a reliable community leader who made sacrifices for the Ijaw nation, the Niger Delta, and Nigeria, generally.
“Alamieyeseigha was a pillar of democracy, and he set the tone for the Fourth Republic democracy in Bayelsa State. He has painfully died at a time when his hindsight and foresight were greatly needed in the march of progress in the politics of Bayelsa State and Nigeria.
“We mourn the passing of his wise counsel, simple lifestyle, and moderate views. We mourn for the loss of his experience and political sagacity, which had, no doubt, helped to maintain the stability needed to grow our democracy.
“Alamieyeseigha will be missed by all the people of Bayelsa State, the Ijaw nation, and Nigeria, in general.
“But we take solace in the foundations he has laid. His memory will continue to be an inspiration to all of us who knew him.”