Shops, social activities and all forms of businesses were Friday, shut down in different parts of Bayelsa State as the heroic state burial for the late former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, entered day two.
Commercial institutions, government agencies, and parastatals were shut especially in Yenagoa, as the state stood still in honour of the Ijaw hero, who was referred to as the Governor-General of the Niger Delta.
At about 12noon, an ambulance carrying a shiny white casket bearing the remains of the late Ijaw icon touched the soil of Bayelsa.
The ambulance was accompanied by a convoy of vehicles of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide, led by its President, Mr Udengs Eradiri, who added colour to the solemn ceremony.
The youths led by Eradiri followed the ambulance from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Rivers State, to Yenagoa.
The youths who bore banners and emblems of Ijaw struggle sang and danced as the white casket draped in Ijaw flag and decorated with bouquets of flowers arrived the Executive Chambers of the Banquet Hall, Yenagoa.
It was taken to a podium at the centre of the hall where Governor Seriake Dickson held a valedictory session in the honour of the late Ijaw icon.
Though there was no lying in state for the late hero, his remains were expected to be taken to his expansive compound in his community in Amassoma where a wake had been arranged before his final burial on Saturday.
In Amasoma, business and commercial activities were also completely shut down. Even commercial motorcyclists and buses have been out of the road since Thursday.
The town was agog as residents and students of the Niger Delta University (NDU), Alamieyeseigha’s significant achievements prepared to receive the remains of their hero.
The quiet town became boisterous with the gridlock of vehicles in some roads in the community.
On Thursday night avalanche of tributes was poured on late Ijaw leader by other Ijaw living heroes including former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Jonathan, who narrated how the late Alamieyeseigha brought him to political limelight, said the late hero believed in the oneness of the Ijaw nation.
Referring to him as his boss, Jonathan said the man famously called Alamco left the stage when the ovation was the loudest.
The president said the late former governor would be missed by not only the Ijaw nation but the entire Niger Delta.
Also, the leaders of various levels of IYC led by Eradiri gathered at Ijaw House to reflect on the ideals and virtues of the late Ijaw hero and seized the opportunity to take a collective position on national issues affecting the Ijaw nation.
Eradiri said that the council would henceforth organise public lecture every year to immortalise Alamieyeseigha.
He said the public lecture would centre on true federalism and resource control which was some of the ideologies Alamieyeseigha promoted.
Eradiri said: “We will be holding an annual public lecture on true federalism and fiscal federal as a mark of honour to immortalising Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
“Every year, on the date he died, we will organise annual public lecture to look at issues concerning resource control and true federalism.”
Eradiri, who was flanked by the IYC, Spokesman, Eric Omare, and other executive members of the council, noted that the late governor-general was a victim of political prosecution and victimisation.