Alamieyeseigha: I Have Lost My Elder Brother – Jonathan | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Alamieyeseigha: I Have Lost My Elder Brother – Jonathan

Posted: Oct 16, 2015 at 10:05 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma,Yenagoa

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday lamented the death of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the first civilian governor of Bayelsa State, saying he had lost an elder brother.

Jonathan, who served as Alamieyeseigha’s deputy from 1999 to 2005, said he was saddened by the sudden death of his former boss.

He said their relationship was not that of a governor and a deputy governor but that of an elder brother and a younger brother.

Jonathan was speaking in an emotion-laden voice when he paid a condolence visit to the Alamieyeseigha family at their residence in Opolo, Yenagoa, on Friday.

He said, “It is sad. I directly worked as a deputy governor to Alamieyeseigha. I knew Alamieyeseigha during the UNCP days when we were working for him.
“I never knew I was going to be his deputy because that was not my interest then. From that time,the political evolution in the country and the state brought me to work with him.
“And from 1999, we have been together. He always took me as his younger brother. Our relationship was not that of a governor and a deputy but it was that of a younger brother and an elder brother”.
Jonathan was accompanied by Governor Seriake Dickson, his deputy, John Jonah, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Edmund Allison-Oguru and other officials of government and elder statesmen.
Alamieyeseigha’s widow, Margaret, broke down in tears and wept uncontrollably as Jonathan walked into the cosy sitting room in the palatial residence with those on his entourage.
Jonathan, who admitted that “it was only God that stopped tears from rolling down my cheek” when he saw her wailing, said he considers the Alamieyeseigha as his family.
Jonathan noted that without the Alamieyeseigha family nobody would have known him in the world.
He recalled that it was his late former boss who made him to begin to celebrate his birthdays as he never did so until about three years into their first tenure.
He explained that he decided to visit the bereaved family on Friday because he would be away to Tanzania next week where he would spend about 12 days.
He stated that Alamieyeseigha’s demise was a rude shock not only to his immediate family but to Bayelsans and the Ijaw nation.
Jonathan eulogized Alamieyeseigha, stressing that he was a courageous man who had a good heart for Bayelsa, Ijaw land and the South South region.
“Alamieyeseigha meant well for Bayelsa. He stood very firmly for the Ijaw people. Alamieyeseigha wanted to advance the South South. His somebody we had collective love for”, he said.
Jonathan encouraged Mrs. Alamieyeseigha, members of the nucleus family and his admirers not to cry anymore because God was in control.
“So, mommy, I have lost my elder brother. I’m your son. God will see us through.  Be courageous so that the younger ones will have the strength to bear it.
“If you break down, it will be very very catastrophic for everybody. We are all with you. God is with us. God who took him away from you at this critical time that we needed him most will surely open other windows for the family and for us”, he said.
He assured the family that upon his return from Tanzania he would join hands with Dickson, the state government and elders of the state to ensure that the departed ‘Governor-General of Ijaw Nation’ was given a befitting burial.
Earlier, a member of the family and Commissioner for Transport, Akpoebide Alamieyeseigha, had on behalf of the family welcomed Jonathan and members of his entourage.
He said the bereavement was the most difficult time for the family and called on well-meaning individuals, Bayelsans and the people of Ijaw land to pray fervently for the family.