President Goodluck Jonathan has acknowledged the pivotal role Late Environmental and Human Rights Activist, Oronto Natei Douglas played in the sustenance of the Niger Delta struggle for resource control and environmental restoration.
President Jonathan made the acknowledgement at the weekend during the funeral service in honour of late Oronto Douglas at the St Peter's Anglican Church in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital.
According to him, late Oronto Douglas introduced intellectual activism to the Niger Delta struggle for economic inclusiveness, noting that, he was articulate, an academic icon, idealist, proactive, strategic, courageous, exclusively humanitarian and never retracts, once committed to a cause he believes in.
Eulogizing the late Environmental and Human rights advocate, the President described him as a unique personality, who was worth more than silver and gold, stressing that, Oronto Douglas was leaving at a time when his wise and useful counsel were most needed.
He remarked that, Douglas impacted positively in so many ways on the people of Bayelsa State, the Niger Delta and the entire country, within his short, but eventful life on earth and would continue to be remembered by all who knew him.
In his words:"By his contributions, he is worth more that silver and gold and he is leaving at a time he is most needed as he has impacted positively on the people of the State, the Niger Delta and the entire country within the short period of his life on earth."
In his remarks, Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson announced the award of scholarships to the two children of late Oronto Douglas to university level, in appreciation of his selfless contributions to the development of humanity and the Niger Delta environment.
The Governor also directed the immediate employment of all the teachers of the Chief Edwin Clark Preparatory school in Okoroba, founded by the late human rights lawyer as well as support for his foundation and other legal projects initiated by the icon.
“The State government will give every necessary support to the children to have their education to university level, the government will support all his dreams and what he lived for", Dickson said.
In his sermon at the service, the Anglican Bishop of the Niger Delta – West, Diocese, the Right Reverend Emmanuel Oko-Jaja, who also officiated at the service, described death as the last enemy of mankind that will be defeated on the last day by Jesus Christ.
He admonished everyone to fear God, in whichever position they find themselves and always eschew evil, as God will only receive the righteous into his kingdom, where there will be no sorrow, pain, hunger or death for those who die in Christ.
Pupils of the Chief Edwin Clark Preparatory School, Okoroba, founded by late Oronto Douglas, also ministered in songs, with a special renditions, in tribute to the late human rights activist.