THE pioneer civilian governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieye-seigha, is dead.
Fondly called DSP and Governor General of Ijaw Nation, when he held sway at Creek Haven, the Bayelsa seat of power, Alamieyeseigha was reported to have died after a brief illness at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
According to family sources, the former governor, though diabetic, developed an unexplained ailment at his hometown, Amassoma, in Southern Ijaw council area of Bayelsa State, and was rushed to the teaching hospital where he was on life support machine but lost the will to live between 4.30 and 5pm yesterday.
While some said he died of kidney related ailment, others blamed his death on cardiac arrest.
Aged 62, Alamieyeseigha was granted presidential pardon by his erstwhile deputy, former President Goodluck, over his conviction for corrupt practices as governor of Bayelsa.
A family source, who spoke anonymously, told Sunday Vanguard the alleged recent request for his extradition by the UK may have triggered blood pressure believed to be the cause of death.
His remains, according to the source, had been deposited at the morgue of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
The alleged request by the UK for his extradition has been a subject debate in recent times with many Ijaw groups describing it as a political vendetta by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The former governor has been a strong advocate of Governor Seriake Dickson second term aspiration.
Bayelsa State government, last night, confirmed Alamieyeseigha’s death. The State Commissioner for Information, Esueme Dan-Kikile, said a full statement would be issued later on the demise.
Meanwhile, a source at the Bayelsa State Government House said the death was a personal loss to Dickson.
Reacting to the death, the National Coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group and former Publicity Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress, Comrade Joseph Evah, said the Ijaw nation would never forget the former governor, particularly his commitment to the Ijaw struggle. “He was the spirit of the Ijaw struggle and a true Ijaw man to the core. Chief Alamieyeseigha laid the foundation for the growth of Bayelsa State. He was loved by the Ijaws for his boldness and patriotism. We are aware that he was misled in some areas when he was our governor”, Evah said.
He continued: “Nobody is perfect and Alamco, as we fondly called him, was not exceptional, but as a person, Alamieyseigha loved his people and was prepared to make any sacrifice for them. The Ijaw nation will give him a befitting burial as our fallen hero”.
Also reacting, the founder of the Ijaw Council for Human Rights ICHR, Patterson Ogon, said: “Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha’s death is very unfortunate and saddening. He was a man who saw it all. Good and bad times, his humility and large heart, his ability to see the frailties of the human heart and forgive even his most detestable adversaries marks him out.
“He is one person the Ijaw nation will find and not see in a long time. The Ijaw Council for Human Rights ICHR had several engagements with him when he was Governor.
He was one who would listen and be swayed by the logic of your argument. His passion in what he believes is demonstrated in good measure. We the ICHR mourn a man of many traditions.” A former National Youth Leader of the Alliance Congress of Nigeria ACN, Comrade Ebikibina Miriki, described the demise of Alamieyeseigha as a big blow to the Ijaw nation.
He said, “The death of Chief Alamieyeseigha at this critical moment of building a virile and Restoration state is sad, painful and a great loss not only to the state, people and communities in the Southern ljaw LGA, but to the Niger Delta region and Nigeria as a nation.
“No doubt, late Alamieyeseigha, is a truly a proud ljaw man, who stood for the truth, defend the rights of his people and the down trodden, fearless, down to earth and have a lion heart to accommodate all, despite the conspiracy and betrayal of many who conspired with the federal might, to silence his rising political profile. Bayelsa had lost a rare gem and a true ljaw son.”
The death of Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha is a great blow to the Ijaw people particularly the youths. Speaking on the death, President of the Ijaw Youths Development Association, IYDA, Comrade Fiyebi Eperetei., said with the death the former governor, the Ijaw nation had lost the soul of its struggle. “Ijaw youths will hold the government of Nigeria and the United Kingdom, (UK) responsible for the death of Alamieyeseigha. It is obvious that Nigeria and the UK that plotted an extradition of the Ijaw leader that aggravated his illness and led to his sudden death. This death is a colossal disaster to our nation”, Eperetei said
Ex-Bayelsa gov. Alamieye-seigha, dies at 62
Reviewed by James chibueze