Encomiums as late literary giant, Okara is buried in Bayelsa


…Gov Dickson blasts corrupt politicians

Late famous literary icon, Dr. Gabriel Okara, was on Saturday buried in at Bomoudi, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

At the burial of the poet, the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, flayed some office-seeking politicians in the state for their failures to identify with the people.

The governor in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media Relation, Fidelis Soriwei, expressed displeasure that such group of Bayelsans were only interested in imposing themselves on the people instead of identifying with them.

Dickson spoke following his observation that most of the governorship aspirants failed to identify with all activities mapped out for the burial of Okara.

But the governor noted that honouring both the living and the dead had been an essential component of his restoration government since 2012

He expressed regret that such politicians could not learn the lessons inherent in the virtues behind his philosophy.

He said: “Today we are burying and honouring this great man that God gave to us and you will not see them.

“The only time you see them is when they want to impose themselves on you and I. And they never learn the lesson that in the last seven years we have been teaching; which is that a society that does not recognise and honour its best, a society that is in perpetual strife and looking for who to blame, pull down and destroy and not upholding and respecting what is good is a doomed society.”

Dickson also announced a donation of N25million on behalf of the state government to the Dr. Gabriel Okara Foundation towards upholding the legacies of the distinguished literary icon.

UBA Wise savers

He said: “The Bayelsa State government will work and partner with you to see how we can be talking about his timeless works and the lessons he taught the world. We will support the foundation so that our stories that Dr. Okara told the world will continue from now til the end of time.”

He expressed gratitude to people from all walks of life who attended the burial and  particularly appreciated Prof. Brenda Marie-Osbey who came from the United States to be part of the final burial rites.

Eulogising the late Dr. Okara, a renowned historian, Prof. Ebiegberi Alagoa described him as an elder brother from whom he learnt a great deal.

Also paying tribute on behalf the bereaved family, the Secretary to the State Government, Kemela Okara thanked the governor for organizing a state burial, in honour of the literary giant.

He described the gesture of the governor as an exceptional farewell to the literary legend.

In his remarks, President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Mr. Denja Abudullahi, said rather than mourn the passage of Dr Okara people should celebrate his eventful life of prodigious contributions to humanity through literature and public service.

Other prominent personalities that graced the event were the Deputy Governor, Rear Adm. Gboribiogha John Jonah, Prof. John Pepper Clark, a Poet of note, Prof. Ebiegberi Alagoa, a renowned historian, Prof. Kimse Okoko, former President, Ijaw National Congress, Prof. Lawrence Ekpebu and Prof. Godini Darah of the University of Africa, Toru Orua.

Former Minister of Police Affairs, Broderick Bozimo and his spouse, Mrs Elechi Amadi, former and serving national as well as state legislators, traditional rulers and well-wishers paid their last respect to the departed literary hero.

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