PHOTOS: Goodluck Jonathan, wife, others attend Governor Diri’s father’s service of songs
A service of songs was held on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, as part of activities of the funeral of late Pa Abraham Joseph Michael Diri, father of the Executive Governor of Bayelsa state, Senator Douye Diri.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, Dame Patience, one-time Senate President and Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Senator Adolphus Wabara, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Equitorial Guinea, Steve Akpana, were among prominent personalities at the service of songs for late Pa Abraham Diri.
The event, which took place at the Peace Park in Yenagoa, the state capital, marked the commencement of a week-long funeral rites of Pa Diri.
Inspector General of Police, Alkali Ahmed Baba, represented by the new Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Romokere Ibani, president, Ijaw National Congress, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, elder statesman and Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark represented by Amb. Boladei Igali, retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Michael Zuokumor, retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Francis Tabai, former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Timi Alaibe, were also in attendance.
Pa Diri, who passed on February 12 at 88, was a devout Christian and a Lay Reader in the Anglican Church of Nigeria. He was a retired headmaster.
In his tribute, Senator Adolphus Wabara noted that Pa Diri’s first three names – Abraham, Joseph and Michael – reflected his true Christian background.
He said: “Pa Diri believed in education and groomed his children well, which was why he was referred to as a no-nonsense headmaster.”
Senator Wabara also noted that one of the late octogenarian’s dreams was to become a councillor, which he could not achieve, but must have been fulfilled seeing his son emerge as Bayelsa governor.
Also, chairman of the Bayelsa Elders Council and immediate past deputy governor of the state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), described Pa Diri as a disciplinarian.
He said the late Diri’s sterling qualities reflect in the governance style of his son, Senator Diri, who exudes humility and forthrightness.
“We have all lost a great father. My prayer for the family is that they should continue to cherish his loving and fond memories,” Jonah said.
In a sermon titled, ‘The Undisputable Fate of Man’, Rt. Rev Victor Ebipadei Okporu, praised Pa Diri’s selfless services to his community, particularly in the Anglican Church where he served as a Lay Reader.
“Pa Diri was so humble and committed to the things of God and he was not paid but only given a honorarium,” he noted.
Okporu, who urged the congregation to prepare for life in eternity, said man had only a few days on earth filled with trials and tribulations.
Quoting John 16:33, the guest minister encouraged people to turn to God, saying those that are heavy-laden will have peace of mind.