The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, urged the Ijaws everywhere to stop trivializing the death of former governor DSP Alamieyeseigha, who died last Saturday in Port Harcourt, urging them to maintain law and order.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said Mr. Dickson condemned the controversies surrounding Alamieyeseigha’s death.
The governor condemned the “propaganda and orchestrated harassment” that led to the untimely death of Alamieyeseigha, whom he described as a man of peace.
"To us as a people at this trying time, this sad incident should serve to unite us and to rededicate ourselves to the ideals that he stood for. We acknowledge the anger, disappointment and the sense of outrage felt by our people at home and in the diaspora, well-meaning Nigerians and others around the world for the way and manner he was harassed and forced to abandon his treatment abroad.
“However, this is not a time for recriminations and divisions but rather a time for sober reflections. I therefore call for all and sundry, particularly the youths to remain calm and maintain the peace as we mourn our departed leader."
According to the statement, “The state government is determined to accord him a befitting state burial. In this regard, a high-powered burial committee led by the Deputy Governor has been constituted. This committee will work out details of the program with the family and other relevant stakeholders.”
Mr. Iworiso-Markson stated that the scheduled kick-off of the governorship campaign was placed on hold as a mark of honor for the late former Governor.
In 2005, Mr. Alamieyeseigha became the first Nigerian governor to be impeached for corruption. Arrested at Heathrow Airport in London in September 2005 by the Metropolitan Police, he jumped bail in November, dressed as a woman, although the former policeman always denied that report.
He was arrested in Bayelsa, where he had held sway for six years, and appeared in court in Lagos on many counts of corruption and money laundering. The former governor was subsequently convicted of stealing millions of dollars.
South Africa also seized expensive property from him, including a $1.7 million waterfront mansion in Cape Town. According to the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative of the World Bank, the United States also obtained default judgments against a home in Maryland, valued at over $700,000, and in Massachusetts, as well as against approximately $400,000 in a Fidelity Investment Account, belonging to Alamieyeseigha. Both were forfeited to the United States after the government of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan was notified but refused to claim them.
In 2013, President Jonathan, who had been Deputy Governor to Alamieyeseigha in Bayelsa, granted pardon to his former boss, in one of the many unpopular decisions that, critics said, doomed him to the 2015 electoral loss of his presidency.
According to the Bayelsa Government, Alamieyeseigha “died of complications arising from high blood pressure and diabetes, which affected his kidney.”