Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday paid tributes to the late former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, saying he meant well for the people of Bayelsa and South-South in general.
Speaking when he paid a condolence visit to the deceased family at Opolo in Yenagoa, Mr. Jonathan assured that the state government would give the departed Ijaw leader a befitting state burial.
The former president, who is scheduled to travel to Tanzania, where he is expected to spend about 12 days, promised to be fully involved in the burial arrangements when he returns to the country.
Mr. Jonathan said the deceased Ijaw leader stood firmly for Bayelsa, the Ijaw people and the South-South geo-political region generally.
He assured the Alamieyeseighas, especially the widow and children, of his continued support.
Mr. Jonathan acknowledged that without the role the late former governor played in his life, he would not have risen to become President of Nigeria.
The former president traced his relationship with late Alamieyeseigha to the days of the United Nigeria Congress Party, UNCP.
“I knew Alamieyeseigha during the UNCP days, when we were working for him. I never knew I was going to be his deputy governor because that was not my interest then.
“From that time, the political evolution in the country and the state brought me to run with him. From 1999, we’ve been together.
“He always took me as his younger brother. Our relationship was not that of a governor and his deputy but that of an elder and a younger brother.
“Alamieyeseigha meant well for Bayelsans; stood very firmly for the Ijaw people and wanted to advance the South-South [cause]. He’s somebody we’ve collectively missed,” he lamented.
Mr. Jonathan, who was accompanied by Governor Seriake Dickson, his deputy, Gboribiogha Jonah, and other dignitaries, said he received the death of Mr. Alamieyeseigha with a rude shock.