The first military administrator of Bayelsa State, Philip Ayeni, is dead.
Mr. Ayeni, a retired naval officer, died on Thursday after a protracted illness.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has already sondoled with the family of the victims.
Read the statement from Mr. Dickson’s aide below:
The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has condoled with the immediate family, the government and people of Ekiti State over the untimely passing of Retired Navy Captain Philip Oladipo Ayeni.
Retired Navy Captain Ayeni, who was the pioneer Military Administrator, MILAD, of Bayelsa State when it was created by the administration of Late Head of State, General Sani Abacha in October, 1996, died in the early hours of last Thursday, after a protracted illness.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, described Mr. Ayeni’s death as painful and devastating, coming at a time, when the state he laid the foundation for its development, was beginning to reap the benefits of the policies he initiated as the administrator.
According to him, even though, the tenure of Captain Ayeni was cut short by his health challenges, it was clear that he meant well for the state and had genuine intentions to put the state on a sound, progressive and worthy pedestal.
Governor Dickson noted that the pioneer Bayelsa State MILAD initiated most of the plans, policies and programmes, which every successive administration had built upon to give Bayelsa State its pride of place in the comity of States in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Bayelsa State Governor recalled that, it was in appreciation of his pace-setting role and sacrifice that, the State Government recently built, furnished and presented a befitting residential accommodation building to Retired Captain Ayeni at his country home in Ekiti State.
“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 Late Captain Ayeni, stressing that, the Government and people of the State will remain ever grateful to him.
While assuring the family, the Government and people of Ekiti State of the continued support of Bayelsans, Governor Dickson prayed for the peaceful repose of his soul.
He also prayed for God’s grace to continue to guide, protect and strengthen the family as well as the courage to bear the painful loss.