Bayelsa State Governor the Honourable Seriake Dickson over the weekend flayed the political class for their inability to identify with the people they seek to govern in times of need.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei quoted the Governor as having made the remark at the commendation service and burial of literary icon and international Poet, Dr. Gabriel Imomotimi Okara in Yenagoa on Friday.
The Governor expressed displeasure that such group of Bayelsans are only interested in imposing themselves on the people rather than identify with them particularly the passage of such a great literary icon who God used to bless the Ijaw nation.
Governor Dickson noted that honouring both the living and the dead has been an essential component of his restoration government since 2012, expressing regret that they have failed to learn the lessons inherent in the virtues behind this philosophy.
According to the Governor, “Today we are burying and honouring this great man that God gave to us and you will not see them.
“The only time you see them is when they want to impose themselves on you and I. And they never learn the lesson that in the last 7 years we have been teaching; which is that a society that does not recognise and honour its best, a society that is in perpetual strife and looking for who to blame, pull down and destroy and not upholding and respecting what is good is a doomed society.”
Governor Dickson also announced a donation of N25 million on behalf of the state government to the Dr. Gabriel Okara Foundation towards upholding the legacies of the distinguished literary icon.
His words:”The Bayelsa State government will work and partner with you to see how we can be talking about his timeless works and the lessons he taught the world. We will support the foundation so that our stories that Dr. Okara told the world will continue from now til the end of time.”
While expressing gratitude to people from all walks of life who attended the burial, the Governor particularly appreciated Prof. Brenda Marie-Osbey who came from the United States to be part of the final burial rites.
Eulogising the late Dr. Okara, a renowned historian, Prof. Ebiegberi Alagoa described him as an elder brother from whom he learnt a great deal.
Also paying tribute on behalf the bereaved family, the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Kemela Okara thanked the governor for organizing a state burial, in honour òf the literary giant.
He described it as an exceptional farewell to the literay legend.
In his remarks, President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Mr. Denja Abudullahi, said rather than mourn the passage of Dr Okara people should celebrate his eventful life of prodigious contributions to humanity through literature and public service.
Other prominent personalities that graced the event were the Deputy Governor, Rear Adm. Gboribiogha John Jonah, Prof. John Pepper Clark, a Poet of note, Prof. Ebiegberi Alagoa, a renowned historian, Prof. Kimse Okoko, former President, Ijaw National Congress, Prof. Lawrence Ekpebu and Prof. Godini Darah of the University of Africa, Toru Orua.
Former Minister of Police Affairs, Broderick Bozimo and his spouse, Mrs Elechi Amadi, former and serving national as well as state legislators, traditional rulers and well wishers paid their last respect to the departed literary hero.
Dr.Okara’s remains have been laid to rest in his home town, Bomoundi, in Yenagoa local government area.