The people of Bayelsa State and their Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, have been thrown into mourning following the death of the state’s first Military Administrator, Navy Capt. Philip Ayeni.
Dickson in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, condoled with the immediate family, the Government and people of Ekiti State over Ayeni’s death.
The late Ayeni, who was the pioneer Military Administrator when Bayelsa was created by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha in October, 1996, reportedly died last Thursday, after a protracted illness.
Dickson described Ayeni’s death as untimely, painful and devastating, saying it happened at a time, the state was beginning to reap the benefits of the policies he initiated as the administrator.
He said though, the tenure of Ayeni was cut short by his health challenges, he meant well for the state and had genuine intentions to put the Bayelsa on a sound, progressive and worthy pedestal.
Dickson said successive administrations had continued to build on the plans, policies and programmes of Ayeni to give Bayelsa its pride of place.
He recalled that, in appreciation of his pacesetting roles and sacrifices, the state government recently built, furnished and presented a befitting residential apartment to Ayeni at his country home in Ekiti.
He said: “To us in Bayelsa State, Retired Navy Captain Philip Ayeni remains one of our heroes, because it takes a lot of courage, sacrifice, commitment and genuine love for a people, to be able do the little, he did at the time.
“And from the available facts and records, he would have done a lot more, but for the health challenges that abruptly ended his tenure and clearly his good intentions too for our state.
“So, for a such a leader and personality, my government and indeed, the people of Bayelsa State will stand shoulder to shoulder with his family and the government and the people of Ekiti State”
He pointed out that, the beautiful and wonderful story of Bayelsa State would never be complete, without the pioneering legacies and efforts of Ayeni, adding that, the Government and people of the state would remain ever grateful to him.
Dickson assured the government and people of Ekiti of the continued support of Bayelsans and prayed for God’s grace to guide, protect and strengthen the deceased family.