Death of Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Strategy, Research and Documentation, Mr. Oronto Douglas, has thrown Bayelsa state into a mourning mood. T
Douglas, an environmentalist and former Commissioner for Information, hailed from Ogbia local government area of the state.
Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Eric Omare expressed sorrow over his demise.
“The IYC and indeed the Ijaw Nation is in shock over the news of the demise of Oronto Natel Douglas, who until his death was the Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Research and Documentation.
“His death is shocking and a big blow to the Ijaw Nation, the Niger-Delta and Nigeria in general.
“As a founding member of the IYC and member of the collegiate leadership, Oronto was central to the conceptualisation of the historic Kaiama Declaration and formation of the IYC in 1998.
“As an environmentalist, Oronto’s efforts, together with other Niger-Delta Delta activists, brought the deplorable condition and degradation of the Niger-Delta environment to the attention of the international community.
“Oronto died at this critical time when the Ijaw nation needed his services most. This is truly a very testing time for the Ijaw people. We commiserate with the Oronto family, the Government and people of Bayelsa State and President Jonathan on the demise of Oronto. Indeed, we are in pains!,” the IYC stated.
Also, Mr Benson Ekio, Special Assistant to Bayelsa Governor on Radio Communications, said Oronto’s demise is a great loss to the state. He described him as a reliable friend and patriotic Bayelsa and Niger Delta indigene.
“I have known him for over a decade and he takes the affairs of Bayelsa very seriously, even during his health challenges, he will be greatly missed by many.
“He was a very diligent person and brought that to bear on his job as the former Commissioner of Information; he had wonderful relationship with media practitioners in the state till his death,” Ekio said.
Mr Nathan Egba, a former Commissioner for Information in Bayelsa, described Oronto as a man of impeccable integrity.
“Oh Oronto was a man of many parts, he succeeded me as Commissioner for Information and he did that job to the best of his ability, he will be remembered for his commitment and the many spheres of life.
“He is an intellectual with a difference and he left memories in the state before he joined the Presidency, in the legal field he was also outstanding, he was also an activist of note, his death is a big loss to us and the world at large because he also operated at the international level as an activist,” Egba said.
Dr Godwin Ojo, Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), described Oronto as a committed and selfless activist.
“The demise of Oronto is shocking to me as a co-founder of ERA in 1993, along with Nnimmo Bassey and myself, he was very hardworking, dedicated and selfless, the human rights community, the government and Nigerians will miss him,” Ojo said.
According to the family source, arrangements were underway to bring the remains of Douglas home to Bayelsa.

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