Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has described late King Richardford Orukarebai Koroye of Tarakiri Kingdom as a father and thoroughbred professional whose reign brought about peace, stability and development to the clan, which cuts across Bayelsa and Delta states.
Senator Diri stated this on Saturday during the late king’s funeral at Toru Orua in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The governor noted that the Tarakiri people were not only mourning the passage of their king, who died at 85, but also celebrating his remarkable achievements.
A statement by his Chif Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying that the late monarch upheld and promoted the culture and traditional values of the Ijaw people.
“Truly, we have lost a father, brother, a thoroughbred professional and king. I pray that more King Richardford Orukarebai Koroyes are raised in Toru-Orua, Tarakiri Kingdom and Bayelsa State,” he said.
The governor applauded the Tarakiri people for cherishing and practicing their culture, which he said was on display during the three-day funeral rites of the monarch and urged them to sustain it.
According to the governor, “we are here to mourn and celebrate the beautiful times of our late king. As Ijaw people, we have embraced civilisation and its culture to the detriment of our own.
“Today, we saw a ceremonial Ijaw war boat and other traditional displays. I want to encourage our people to keep practicing the traditions and culture that our forefathers bequeathed to us.
“When the late king was on the throne and when the mantle of office was handed to me in 2020, l was invited to be honoured and conferred with the title of High Chief of Tarakiri Kingdom.”
In his remarks, the Regent of Tarakiri, High Chief Fidelis Agbiki, said the people were not only celebrating the departure of a hero but also an Izon hero of all times.
High Chief Agbiki, a veteran journalist, noted that during Koroye’s reign, which lasted for 10 years, he resolved many inter-and intra-communal conflicts, stating that he left footprints too big for anyone to fill.
According to the Regent, the late monarch elevated a worthy son of the kingdom, Dr Owoupele Danladi Foubiri, to be the Ebenanaowei of Tarakiri clan in Delta State and member of that state’s traditional rulers council.
He assured that the election to produce the next king will be free, fair and maximally acceptable to all and solicited the support of the people.
In his goodwill message, Senator Seriake Dickson representing Bayelsa West and immediate past governor of the state, Chief Seriake Dickson, on behalf of the Koroye and Kpadia royal families of Toru-Orua and the Tarakiri Kingdom, expressed appreciation to Governor Diri and all who paid their last respects to the king.
Senator Dickson, who hails from Toru-Orua, also prayed God to grant the late king repose of his soul and more development for the kingdom.
In his remarks, the acting chairman of the Tarakiri Council of Chiefs, High Chief Seiyefa Koroye, commended the late octogenarian’s exemplary lifestyle, adding that his outstanding achievements would remain indelible.
Also, the Ebedaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom and chairman, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, King Bubaraye Dakolo, described King Koroye as a peaceful man, who produced two governors from the kingdom in Senators Dickson and Diri.
Dignitaries at the event included Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Solomon Agwana, Secretary to the State Government, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, Head of Service, Mrs Biobelemonye Charles-Onyeama, other top government functionaries as well as the Ebedaowei of Kolokuma, King Mozi Agara among other traditional rulers.