Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri has said that late Chief (Dr) Abraham Ayebakepreye Amba Ambaiowei still lives on because of the indelible footprints he has left on the sands of time.
Speaking on Thursday during a public lecture to herald his burial ceremony, Douye duly represented by the Secretary to Bayelsa State Government, Gideon Ekeowei maintained that the deceased has done well for the Izon Nation and promised that the State Govt will work with the ideals of Dr Amba Ambaiowei to move the Ijaw Nation forward.
He described the deceased as a great man who provided free medical treatment to many people at his hospital which was fondly referred to as Ijaw Hospital.
The governor advised the family and the people of the state to uphold the values he stood for and work in a manner that will advance his ideals.
He said” Dr Amba Ambaiowei still lives on because of the indelible footprints he has left on the sands of time.
“The deceased has done well for the Izon Nation. Bayelsa State Government will work with the ideals of Dr. Amba Ambaiowei to move the Ijaw Nation forward.
Also speaking, the President of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Professor Benjamin Okaba described the deceased as a determined, courageous, and fearless icon, noting that the sacrifices the late Dr Amba Ambaiowei made led to the creation of Bayelsa State.
Disclosing that he lived an impactful life while alive, he urged privileged leaders in government to manage resources accruing to the Ijaw Nation well and avoid the winner-take-it syndrome emphasizing that “We should not allow politics divide us.
The Elders Forum Chairman and former Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah advised the younger generation to learn from the ideals of the late hero.
He warned the Ijaws to desist from writing frivolous petitions and support those that have won elections to develop the state.
He urged the founding fathers to always give direction and advice to those in government to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
The Chairman Bayelsa State Founding Fathers, Chief Benedict Gwambe described Dr. Amba Ambaiowei as an exemplary, focused, courageous, brilliant, and excellent leader that coordinated the struggle for state creation effectively.
The Vice-Chancellor Niger Delta University represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics, Professor Jonah Akekere noted that the University was a major beneficiary of the founding fathers’ struggle.
He promised that the NDU will place the lecture on the school website and expressed commitment to collaborate with the Ambaiowei family to make the lecture an annual series.
Delivering a lecture with the title the role of Sir, Chief, Dr.Abraham, Ayebakepreye Amba Ambaiowei (MFR) JP, the Ebe Dou-Pamowei of Bayelsa State, Dr.Stephen Temegha Olali chronicled the existence of the Ijaws as aborigines of the Niger Delta and the predominant ethnic nationality in the region.
The Guest Lecturer who is the chief historian and archivist of Bayelsa State also gave a background history of the struggle for Ijaw Identity in Nigeria dating back to the colonial era to the creation of Rivers and Bayelsa States.
The Guest Lecturer described Dr. Amba Ambaiowei as an excellent, civilized man with a passion to liberate the Ijaws from all forms of subjugation from external predators as evident in the manner he convened and coordinated meetings, presentation of the memorandum, and the personal sacrifices he made to actualize the Bayelsa State creation.
“Dr Amba Ambaiowei was an Apostle of proper and effective management of the gains of the state created through the building of a virile economy, health facilities, establishment of financial institutions such as insurance companies, mortgage houses, social development in education, health, water infrastructure.
“The late hero established Amba Hospital in Port Harcourt at a time it was rare for an Ijaw man to own a hospital, which became a rallying point for the Ijaws and he provided free treatment to many people who could not afford it.
Dr.Olali urged the state government, the Ijaw nation, and the Ambaiowei family to uphold the ideals of the departed hero to advance the frontiers of the Ijaw self-determination struggle.