Atiku, Obi Meet At Gov Diri Father’s Burial
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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the February 25 presidential election and his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, met on Saturday at the burial of the father of the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri.
The duo got talking at the funeral held at Sampou community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state in what appears to be their first public meeting after the general elections.
Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, former and several prominent Nigerian leaders, also bid farewell to Pa Abraham Joseph Michael Diri.
Others in attendance include former first lady, Dame Patience, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu, state governors, including Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, (Delta), Senator Ademola Adeleke (Osun), Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and his wife, Betty, Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Darius Ishiaku (Taraba).
The governors-elect of Akwa Ibom, Plateau, Taraba and Niger states were also in attendance.
Speaking during the funeral, Osinbajo described Pa Diri as an exemplary teacher and community leader, who gave his children proper upbringing.
He said, “We are here to celebrate the life and times of Pa Diri. The array of personalities here is an indication that Pa Diri brought up and nurtured the aspirations of so many children.”
He noted that the late Diri’s reward as a teacher came not just through his son, but attracted so many notable Nigerians to Sampou.
“He could not have imagined that an array of personalities would come here to honour him. According to the book of Proverbs 14:23, “in all labour, there is profit.”
Former President Jonathan, in his remarks, said he was with the bereaved Diri family to appreciate Obasanjo, Osinbajo and all those who came to honour the family and the people of the state.
He recalled that Pa Diri died on a day that the present administration in the state was marking its third anniversary and prayed God to strengthen Diri and his family.
Also, former Vice President Atiku said: “There is a special relationship between me and the people of Bayelsa State. l am with you as a family and that is why l am physically here.”
Responding, Governor Diri said he and his family as well as the entire state were humbled by the large turnout of high profile dignitaries in his community to bid his father farewell.
He said: “We are indeed overwhelmed. There can be no love more than that. I would not have thought even in the wildest of my imaginations that there would be a large number of high profile Nigerians here to celebrate my father.”
Diri, who described his father as a disciplinarian, noted that he impacted positively on all who crossed his path and they all shared his positive attributes.
Other dignitaries who graced the event were one-time Bayelsa military administrator, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), wife of former governor, Mrs Margaret Alamieyeseigha, Managing Director and Country Chair of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr Osagie Okunbor, Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Barry Ndiomu (retd), Senators Uche Ekwunife and Ben Murray-Bruce as well as the PDP governorship candidate in Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye.