Niger Delta kings mourn passage of King Okpoitari Diongoli
King Okpoitari Diongoli was 53 years old, when he joined his ancestors on November 21, 2018. He was the Opuo-Kun the IV of Kolokuma-Opokuma Kingdom in Bayelsa State.
During their meeting on November 30, 2018 in Yenagoa, the Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers of Bayelsa observed a minute silence in honour of the departed member.
His Royal Majesty King Bubaraye Dakolo, Agada IV, Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, who was on a two-week holiday in the United States with the late king, said in his tribute: “throughout our stay in the U.S., king Dinogoli never showed any sign of ill health. He arrived in the U.S a week after me and left before me.
He passage of king Diongoli is a great personal loss to me, because we were the youngest traditional rulers in the Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers in Bayelsa State.
“Aside age, we also had so many things in common, as we had already mapped out plans on what we wanted done to improve the lot of our people in our kingdoms. We had medium and long-term plans on what we wanted to do, not only to revolutionise the way traditional rulers see and do things in Bayelsa State, but the way traditional rulers see things and handle matters that concern their domains across the country.
“While in the U.S, we attended the 5th International Conference on Ethno-Religious Mediation, which held in New York. At that conference, I was elected Interim-Chairman of the World Elders Forum of the Ethno-Religious Mediation body. The essence of that body was to help give voice to voiceless indigenous peoples of the world, and see how we could help bring the much-required attention to the age-long problems of deprivation, neglect and exclusion from access to the abundant oil and gas resources that are usually found in the backyards of indigenous people all over the world.
“In his contribution at the conference, King Diongoli re-emphasised need for the world to celebrate its common humanity based on love, peace, human dignity and equality. According to him, when this is done, it would ease the ethnic, political and socio-economic tensions all over the world.”
“King Dakolo regretted that Nigeria was irredeemably broken along ethnic, tribal, religious, linguistic and political lines, with little or no hope for generations unborn seeing the country as their own. He, therefore, called for urgent actions to help Nigeria get out of this quagmire. That was how passionate the late King Diongoli was about the future of Nigeria.”
Expressing great shock at the sudden passage of King Diongoli, His Royal Majesty, Charles Ayami-Botu, the paramount ruler of ancient Seimbiri Kingdom in Delta State, said: “Although King Diongoli was relatively young compared to my age and experience on the throne, one thing nobody can take away from him was his uprightness and principles on every issue.
In so many areas during his lifetime, we had interactions on so many things and issues. Once King Diongoli took a stand, he never wavered, no matter the inducement, pressures or blackmail. He knew what he wanted in every issue and he never shifted once he gets to that point.
“For his forthrightness, he will be missed. For his love and care for the entire Ijaw people of Niger Delta region, he will be missed. For his boldness and ability to tell the truth to the power that be at any given time, he will be greatly missed. Sleep well my brother king.”
His Royal Majesty, Pere S.P. Luke Kalanama VIII, said: “It is sad and painful that we lost such a cerebral king at such a young age. On several occasions before his passage, I met and interacted with king Diongoli.
He was always calm and patient. He was such a good listener, who took time to contribute to any discussion.
He believed strongly in the traditional institutions, and made deliberate efforts whenever the opportunity provided itself to make the institution better than he met it.
“The unity of Nigeria and betterment of the Niger Delta Region were some of his major concerns. We are surely going to miss him. We were so close that immediately he joined his ancestors, I was the very first king in the Niger Delta Region that was contacted by his brother, to find out what to do. He lived a very short life, but left a lot of footprints for which he will be remembered for a long time to come. May God grant his immediate family and his kingdom, the fortitude to bear this loss. Rest well, my friend.”