The death of Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha, otherwise known as Alams came as a rude shock to all and sundry. His death was announced in the early hours of October 15, 2015, after a protracted illness at the age of 64. His passage has no doubt robbed the Ijaws and the Niger Deltans, within and in the Diaspora, as well as the nation of one of the most glamorous, humane, humble and forthright leaders.
Born on November 16, 1952 in Amassoma, Ogboin North Local Government Area of Bayelsa State into a devout Christian family, he attended St Stephen’s Primary School, Amassoma, and later proceeded to Bishop Dimeari Grammer School, Yenagoa, for his post-primary education which he completed in 1972.
Diepreye Alamieyeseigha later worked briefly as an accounts clerk in the Rivers State Civil Service, before proceeding to the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna where he enlisted into the 15th Regular Combatant Course as a Cadet Officer in 1974, and opted to join the Nigerian Air Force, NAF.
As an Air force officer, he was in charge of the critical and strategic department of Logistics and Supply. His first extended project work was Cost Reduction Approach to Weapons Logistics Management in the Nigerian Air Force. While in NAF, Alamieyeseigha, also served in several commands and staff positions such as Officer Commanding Supply Squadron NAF Station, Enugu; Commanding Officer 3 Supply Depot, Markurdi; Supply Instructor, Technical Training Group, Kaduna; Commanding Officer Data & Inventory Control Centre, Equipment Supply Depot NAF, Ikeja; Staff Officer 1 Supply, HQ NAF (MOD), Military Assistant to a one-time Military Governor of Rivers State; Depot Supply Officer; Equipment Supply Depot, and Commanding Officer 27 Technical Supply Wing ATG NAF, Ikeja.
Because of his outstanding career in the military, Alamieyeseigha was duly decorated with the Forces Service Star, FSS, General Service Medal, and the National Service Medal. It is also on record that Chief Alamieyeseigha made history as the first commissioned Nigerian Air force Officer to receive the Nigerian Air force ensign of regimental colours from the then Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo, a military ceremony which gave the Air Force its legitimacy and integrity as an arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces. In 1992, Chief Alamieyesigha voluntarily resigned from the Air Force as a Squadron Leader.
Out of regimentation, Chief Alamieyesigha took up various appointments such as the Sole Administrator of Pabod Supplies, Port Harcourt and later, Head of Budget, Planning, Research and Development, of the National Fertiliser Company, NAFCON. In 1993, Chief Alamieyeseigha served as Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister of Information. At the end of that national assignment, he was recalled to NAFCON as Plant Services Manager.
In 1995, he was appointed Chairman Board of Directors of the Port Harcourt Flour Mills Limited. He was later to combine that engagement with being the Corporate Administrative Manager of IPCO Nigeria/Ambico Sendiram Nigeria Limited in 1996.
Chief Alamieyeseigha was elected as the first Executive Governor of Bayelsa State in May 1999on the platform of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, the first son of Izon land to serve in that exalted capacity.
It is worthy to note that his administration laid the foundation for the rigorous development agenda of Bayelsa State which has so far dictated the steady growth of the State. Among the giant strides achieved by Alamieyeseigha’s administration as the Executive Governor of Bayelsa state was the establishment of the Niger Delta University, provision of a good health care scheme, and establishment of a worthwhile housing programme, effective road network, good water supply system, and a sustained local electricity power supply in the state notwithstanding the absence of national grid connection. Due to his achievements, the people of Bayelsa State without hesitation offered him a fresh mandate to pilot the affairs of the state. Chief Alamieyeseigha was on May 29, 2003 sworn in for a second term.
In 2002, Chief Alamieyeseigha bagged a doctorate degree in Strategic Management from the University of Northern Washington, USA. In addition, he is an honorary Professor of the Institute of Economics and Advanced Technologies, Ukraine. Also, he was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Law degree (Honoris Causa) by the University of Port Harcourt.
Others include various academic laurels he won such as the First Aluminum Company Nigeria Limited Prize for best graduating student in Management at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt. He also won the Dean’s Prize for best graduating student in the Faculty of Management Sciences. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management, and an MBA from Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt.
He also received various honorary awards such as the Award of Distinction by the Civil Service Union at its 48th anniversary ceremony, National Media Merit Award for enviable achievement in the area of housing and infrastructural development, Fellow of the journalism profession, an honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Education, and a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and honorary fellowship of the Nigerian Computer Society. He was also conferred with the award of the Best Governor on Security under the auspices of Security Watch in association with the Africa Independent Television, AIT, and the Nigeria Police.
Dr. Alamieyeseigha popularly known as the Governor- General of the Izon Nation, equally earned titles like Amaebi Dou-Owei 1 of Amassoma, OgbofiniOwei 1 of Wilber force Island, Izonebi Dou- Owei of Izonland and the Eze Ndigbo I of Afaruku Community, Abia State.
Unarguably, he was a mercurial and flamboyant politician, who did everything to uplift the Ijaw tradition and it is on record that during his life time, he showcased and left the traces of Ijaw tradition anywhere he visited.
The late Alamieyeseigha, no doubt left an enviable track-record which will be difficult to equal in this era, particularly, his fatherly role in ensuring that long lasting peace reigned not only in his domain, but in the entire Niger Delta land, and Nigeria at large. And despite his fame and honour, he was widely acknowledged to be humble, and known for his friendliness, camaraderie, sense of judgment and magnificence within and outside Niger Delta. Aside this, he’s being reputed for his openness, non-partisan posture and frankness in dealing with issues and his subjects.
We join the civilised world in sending condolence to his family, the Ijaw people, the government and people of Bayelsa state and particularly to all Nigerians and Ijaws in the Diaspora. We are certain that his enduring legacies will built on the foundation of peace and tranquility be emulated. That we believe will be the best tribute to pay the late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, the Governor-General. We pray that God will grant his gentile soul succour. (Amen).