Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has extolled the virtues of a past president of foremost pan-Ijaw socio-cultural organisation, Ijaw National Congress (INC), the late Prof. Kimse Okoko.
Governor Diri said the departed Professor of Political Science was an elder statesman that not only live an exemplary lifestyle but also impacted positively on lives of most Bayelsans as an academician, father figure, administrator and an activist that defended the rights of his people.
His spokesman, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor when the late Ijaw leader’s family visited him in Government House, Yenagoa, as saying: “Professor Kimse Okoko’s death is not only a loss to the Okoko family but also to the Gbarain Kingdom, Yenagoa Local Government Area, to Bayelsa State and indeed to Nigeria.
“He departed at a point we needed his wealth of experience. However, who are we to question God, particularly happening at a time when he had lost one of his illustrious sons, Keniebi Okoko?
“On behalf of the government and people of Bayelsa, I condole with your family. You came to formally inform me about our late leader’s passage even though in these days of social media, some people do not respect culture and tradition but had gone ahead to announce the death of an elder statesman like Professor Okoko. So I commend you for that.”
While assuring of the state government’s support during the funeral, Senator Diri said the deceased contributed to the development of his people and also earned the state honour in death as a former national president of the INC.
Speaking earlier, son of the deceased, Mr. Deinye Okoko, described his father’s death as a celebration of life, having lived as a great man.
The Bayelsa helmsman also received the family of late Dr. Michael Ogbolosingha.
He expressed sadness over the passing of the former comedian, who was a Special Adviser to former Governor Seriake Dickson.
According to Diri, “the news of the death of the former Mayor of Yenagoa local government council came to him as a rude shock. His sudden, unexpected demise left a yawning gap in the Ogbolosingha family, the Okordia/Zarama area and the entire state.”
He said the late Ogbolosingha was a key member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that worked hard to ensure the success of the party in his ward and local government.
The governor announced an award of scholarship to university level for the children of the deceased.
The younger brother of the former Special Adviser, Mr. Oyindeinyefa Ogbolosingha, thanked Senator Diri for his administration’s support to their family, especially in their moment of grief.