Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said former Ijaw National Congress (INC) President, Professor Kimse Okoko, was a rights activist, who despite his class in society never amassed wealth.
Senator Diri also said the late Ijaw leader’s exemplary lifestyle has taught Bayelsans that material wealth always ended in vanity.
The governor stated this on Saturday at Prof. Okoko’s funeral at his country home in Obunagha community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
His spokesman, Mr Daniel Alabrah, in a statement, quoted the governor as eulogising the sterling qualities of the deceased, saying the late scholar paid his dues as an administrator and activist that led the Ijaw struggle successfully.
His words: “Professor Okoko was a socialist; he belonged to the left. He had nothing to do with material wealth and that is why back home, you can hardly find vestiges of capitalism around him.
“On behalf of the government and people of Bayelsa State, I stand here to honour our great son, who has proven to us that material wealth is all about vanity of all vanities.
“Lying in state before us is a man that has led an exemplary life that we all need to copy and follow. As President of the Ijaw National Congress, he became an advocate and a leader that led the Ijaw nation towards addressing all and what the Ijaws had suffered through the years.”
The governor noted that the state mourns the passage of the late professor of Political Science but was celebrating his life and times, and expressed the belief that his memories would inspire other Kimse Okokos out of the state.
“We should copy from the life and times of our late icon and leader. Again, may I on behalf of the government and people of Bayelsa State pay our last tribute and condolences to the late Okoko family, the Obunagha community, the Gbarain Clan, the Yenagoa Local Government Area and the people of the state.”
In his funeral sermon, Pastor Samson Michael said there was a time to be born and a time to die but stressed that in between there was an opportunity to live.
Taking his sermon from Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, the cleric admonished everyone to have a sober reflection on how they lived, pointing out that it is appointed unto man once to die and after death is judgement.
“To plan your life here on earth without making preparations for eternity makes you wise for a season but a fool for eternity,” he said.