Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, on Saturday extolled the virtues of King Christian Atani Okpofaa Otobotekere, the late Amananaowei (king) of Tombia community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Diri who spoke during the monarch’s funeral service at Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Tombia- Ekpetiama, said he not only impacted his family, but also his community, clan, state and the country.
The late king, who died at 98 years, is father of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Dame Didi Walson-Jack. A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying that life was so ephemeral that “98 years of our father looked like a few years ago.”
“If it were our wish, we would have loved this poet, author, traditional ruler and father to stay longer. But we are just mortals.
“We celebrate the life and times of a man who has not only impacted his family but also his community, clan, state and this country.
“In all his experiences in life and work, he was a man of character and integrity.
“So, for the time we have here on earth, let us encourage that bond of unity and love that has brought us together as humans and as a state.
“On behalf of the government and people of Bayelsa State, I convey our heartfelt condolences to the Otobotekere family, the Tombia community and Ekpetiama Kingdom. We pray God to give you the fortitude to bear this loss.”
Dignitaries at the funeral included Acting Chief Judge of Bayelsa State, Justice Matilda Ayemieye, former Deputy Governors of the state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd) and Rt. Hon. Werinipre Seibarugu.
Also in attendance were House of Representatives members from the state – Fred Agbedi (Sagbama-Ekeremor Federal Constituency), Oforji Oboku (Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency), Mitema Obodor (Ogbia Federal Constituency), Rodney Ambaiowei (Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency) and immediate past member representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency, Prof. Steve Azaiki.
Other guests were state legislators, including Waikumo Amakoromo representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Ayibanegiyefa Egba, representing Yenagoa Constituency 1 and immediate past Chief Whip of the state assembly, Mrs. Ebiuwou Koku-Obiyai.