All Progressives Congress chieftain in Bayelsa State and former Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Col. Sam Inokoba (rtd), is dead.
Inokoba, who on Saturday, August 15, 2015, led other PDP heavyweights and faithful to defect to the APC, died in the early hours of Wednesday.
It was learnt that the APC leader died at the age of 66, a month to his 67th birthday, at the Military Cantonment Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos State.
He was said to have gone to Lagos on a private visit to see his family when he slumped and died.
But a source very close to the retired Colonel, told our correspondent in confidence that Inokoba died of suspected food poisoning. The source, who did not want his name mentioned, however, did not indicate where Inokoba could have taken the poisoned food.
Before his demise, Inokoba’s health had been generating some concerns as he was alleged to have slumped on some occasions at public functions.
It would be recalled that Inokoba had slumped during the last PDP Presidential rally held in Yenagoa. He was also reported to have slumped after eating a wrong food during a town hall meeting of the APC in Nembe area of Bayelsa and vomited.
Inokoba was said to have procured his Expression of Intent and Nomination Forms at the APC secretariat in Abuja to contest the governorship election primaries of the party.
His son, Waripamowei, while confirming the death of his father, said he slumped about 2 am on Wednesday.
He said Inokoba was confirmed dead before he was taken to the hospital, adding that some of the family members had already gone to Lagos to bring back his corpse.
The Inokoba family, in a statement signed by the deceased’s elder brother, Clee Inokoba and first son, Waripamowei Inokoba, confirmed the incident.
Many sympathisers, particularly his political associates, have already thronged the deceased’s home in Yenagoa.
One of the early sympathisers to the house, a former member of the State House of Assembly, Indutimi Komonibo, in his condolence message in a register opened at the home of the deceased said, “Inokoba is a great loss to us. Hard to believe. But no one can question God.”
Also in his condolence message, a former Guardian newspaper employee and former Special Adviser on Media during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan in the state, Dickson Ageda, described the death of the former PDP Chairman as “shocking and a painful exit. God knows best. May your soul rest in peace.”
The Bayelsa State Government has however expressed shock over the demise of Inokoba.
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the government said the death of Inokoba was sad and a painful loss to the state.
Iworiso-Markson said, “He will greatly be missed by his family and close associates, especially the political class. We pray that God grant the family the fortitude with which to bear the irreparable loss as well as grant his soul eternal rest.
“We assure the family of the government’s preparedness to support and participate in the rites of passage for the late Col. Sam Inokoba.”
Reacting to the development, a former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, described the late Inokoba as a great community leader and an intelligent politician whose contributions to society would be missed by the whole Bayelsa and, indeed, Nigeria.
In a statement issued via e-mail by his Media Adviser, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, Sylva said Wednesday’s death of Inokoba had left a vacuum that would be impossible to fill.
Sylva, who is also the state’s APC leader, said, “The news of the death of Col. Sam Inokoba (rtd) was a terrible shock to me, my family, and the entire All Progressives Congress family both in Bayelsa State and Nigeria, in general. We share the grief of his family and friends.
“Inokoba was not only close to me, personally, but as a new convert to the current change agenda in Bayelsa State, we shared dreams of a better state, thoughts about the challenges ahead, and regrets about the condition of things in our state.

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