By Shedrack Frank
Yenagoa – An Environmentalist and Head of Environmental Rights Action, Bayelsa Office, Mr Alagoa Morris, has enjoined political leaders in the state to emulate the leadership style of the first civilian governor of the old Rivers, the late Sen. Melford Okilo.
He made the call at the home town of the late Okilo in Emakalakala, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa, on an occasion to mark the 12 years death anniversary of the former governor who died on July 5, 2008.
The anniversary was organised by the youths of the community, involving procession around the community, laying of wreaths at the tomb by the son of the late politician, lectures and tributes.
Morris, who delivered a lecture, described Okilo as “a sage, a political icon and a collosus with unblemished character.
“This anniversary is significant because of the unmatched and unparalleled leadership, particularly the way he served between 1979 and 1983.
“Within four years, he was able to deal with the issues of decentralization of governance.
“Establishment of schools including the first university of science and technology, the first independent power plant in the countrys and shoreline protection of our communitiesa, among others.
In his remarks, one of the sons of Okilo, Chief Enaiya Okilo, expressed appreciation to the youths for marking the death anniversary of his father.
He expressed confidence that the ideals and political ideology enunciated by his late father was gradually being articulated by the youth.
The organiser of the programme and the Youth President of Emakalakala Community, Mr Julius Abaiyabaiya, said that the community youths decided to mark the anniversary to celebrate their hero and a man the community would ever be proud of.
He described the contributions of Okilo to the community and the entire Rivers and Bayelsa as legendary.