Ex-Bayelsa Governor, Alamieyeseigha, Passes On At 62

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From Philip Eke, Yenagoa
The First Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha, has dead at the age of 62.
Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information, Esueme Dan-Kikili, confirmed to journalists that the former governor died of cardiac arrest at the weekend after slipping into coma two days ago and was placed on life support.
Also, s family source said the former governor had developed an “inexplicable” ailment in his hometown in Amassoma community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa and was rushed to Port Harcourt, where he died.
The deceased was also popularly known as The Governor-General of Ijaw Nation.
Alamieyeseigha was elected governor of the state in 1999 but impeached early in his second term, following allegations of corruption on December 9, 2005.
He was earlier arrested in the United Kingdom but escaped to Nigeria. On arrival in Nigeria, he was impeached by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and thereafter arrested, convicted and jailed during the Obasanjo administration.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, a fellow Ijaw man, who was his deputy, granted him presidential pardon on March 13, 2013.
However, the British authorities have of late exhumed the Alamieyeseigha case and filed an extradition request with their Nigerian counterparts.
The chairman of Bayelsa State caucus in the National Assembly, Senator Foster Ogola, the Ijaw Youth Council and the Peoples Democratic Party in the state had strongly condemned the fresh extradition request on Alamieyeseigha, describing it as a witchhunt by the Buhari administration.
The state PDP chairman had accused the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of being the mastermind of the extradition notice.
Alamieyesiegha was a strong supporter of the second term aspiration of the incumbent governor of the state, Hon. Seriake Dickson. He was until his death, chairman of the Elders Council of the PDP in the state.
Alamieyeseigha will, no doubt, be missed by many Bayelsans who still see him as the most outstanding leader the state had produced.
Family source said the former governor, who slumped in his Port Harcourt home, had returned from Dubai few days ago, after undergoing medical check-up.
A Niger Delta right activist, Ms Ann Kio Briggs, described his death as devastating and accused the federal government of conniving with the British government to hound him to death.
The late governor was born on November16, 1952 in Amassoma, Ogboin North Local Government Area of the state and attended the Bishop Dimeari Grammar School, Yenagoa.
He joined the Nigerian Defence Academy as a Cadet Officer in 1974. He enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on graduation, where he served in the department of Logistics and Supply. He held various Air Force positions in Enugu, Makurdi, Kaduna and Ikeja.
Alamieyeseigha retired from the Air Force in 1992, as a Squadron Leader
After leaving the air force he became the Sole Administrator of Pabod Supplies Port Harcourt. Later he became Head of Budget, Planning, Research and Development of the National Fertiliser Company (NAFCON)
Alamieyeseigha was detained in London on charges of money laundering in September 2005. At the time of his arrest, Metropolitan police found about £1 million in cash in his London home. In all, they reportedly found a total of £1.8 million ($3.2 million) in cash and bank accounts.

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