Last week's disengagement of the immediate past secretary to the government of Bayelsa State, HRH Serena Dokubo-Spiff has been greeted with praises and knocks. His critics expressed dissatisfaction for his resolve to quit the dignified office of SSG only to accept an offer to serve in the same office as head of the state development and investment company.
Some of those who criticized him said the governor had humiliated him by the action. Victor Tamarapreye, an indigene, for example said in an online post, that “The SSG is just a name, no way for him to even act like one, fail administration, fail restoration.”
Another respondent, Ala Mathias however described the development as a humiliation of the former SSG. But a traditional ruler in the state, HRH Okpoitari Diongoli differed. In his comments, Diongoli described the lawyer as a “gentleman with refined qualities and was exceptional in the discharge of his duties. May the Lord continue to imbued you with same candour, humane disposition and presence of mind as you resume your traditional role as Ada of Ada-ama.
“Am proud of you for a glorious service and the rare courage to depart the scene when the ovation is loudest. Your skillful and well-worded message of appreciation is a true reflection of who you truly are. You are a man of letters, legal luminary, an administrator per excellence, passionate father and loving husband and orator.
“Above all, a man with a sanguine spirit. Indeed you are a complete package delivered by God Almighty to redefine standards of service especially by public office holders but in particular leadership at whatever level and shape our common humanity. I celebrate you.”
Most people in the state however feel there may be a crack in the administration of Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson with the resignation last week of the secretary to the state government, HRH Serena Dokubo-Spiff.
Though Government House, Yenagoa sources stated that the lawyer threw in the towel in order to attend to matters arising from his traditional institution in Ada-Ama in Brass Local Government Area of the state, TNN checks reveal there was more to his sudden exit from the office.
Dokubo-Spiff became the secretary to the state government in 2016 following persistent pressure from Dickson to join hands with him to move the state forward.
According to a reliable source close to the former SSG Dokubo-Spiff as a reputable legal practitioner was surrounded by an array of national and international clients particularly in the oil and gas industry, and needed time to face his professional practice.
Dokubo-Spiff, in his valedictory speech had said: “Yes indeed, this phase of my life of service to my people and country, draws to a close. I give thanks to The Lord Almighty, for seeing me through sometimes most difficult times. I pay glowing tribute to my political father, leader and mentor, His Excellency Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, who has showcased me to the world and embellished my profile ; I give thanks also to the First Lady of Bayelsa State, Her Excellency, Dr Mrs Rachel Dickson for being there for us all. My Special thanks go to His Excellency Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, whose enormous sense of discipline, duty, absolute loyalty to the Governor, inspired and guided me well in my work. The Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly and the untiring leadership of the House,
“The Honourable, The Chief Judge of Bayelsa State , President of The Customary Court of Appeal and the entire Judiciary, The Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, Heads and personnel of all security outfits in the state, the clergy, staff of government house, the Governor's office, and the office of the SSG,
“My gratitude goes to all the wonderful people I have had to interact with in course of my work.. Hon. Commissioners, Special Advisers and other members of Council, political appointees, Civil Servants, The Palace Boys, Traditional Rulers and numerous others.
I extend my profound appreciation to my good people of Ada Ama ( Spiff Town ) and of the entire Town Brass Kingdom for granting me express permission to serve in this capacity. My great in laws of Okpo Ama Kingdom and of Egwema, o nua !
“To my one and only Angel... Inine, who has always stood by me all the way through thick and thin, amidst deprivation of all description... I say to you, ' now you have your husband back ' Finally, to my last child Miller Owanaemi Nabo Serena-Dokubo, ( 10 ) who said to me upon being told of my disengagement ' Daddy, now you can drop me off at school and pick me ' , I say, "I surely will " !
“Let me seize this opportunity to reiterate my forgiveness of all those persons who, directly or indirectly participated in the savage attack on me on governorship Election Day , the 5th of December, 2015. I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you ! Even the young lad who put a dagger to my face but did not press, I say " thank you for not pressing, and " I forgive you " .. and to the one who was the first recipient of my scholarship in Spiff Town to become a lawyer, who, nevertheless led the team, into my house to attack, I forgive you too ! Also forgiven is the master of them all, my erstwhile friend, who accompanied the marauding crowd to my compound on that day, may you never be rewarded with the kind of terror you dispensed to others. I call on you all to abandon violence and join hands with the government to advance the interest of our people.”