Gov Diri urges leaders to emulate late Mark Bou’s brand of politics

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… as Ewhrudjakpo, Lokpobiri, Agbedi pay last respect

By Eunice Nnachi, Yenagoa

Political actors in Bayelsa State have been urged to emulate and practice the non-discriminatory politics that distinguished the departed Peretoru-born businessman and philanthropist, Mr. Ebikpolade Mark Bou, to enhance unity and progress in the state.

Governor Douye Diri, made the call at the weekend, at Peretorugbene in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state during the funeral service of the late Mark Bou, popularly known as Otobo 1.

Governor Diri, who spoke at the well-attended ceremony through his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, noted that the Ekeremor council area in particular and Bayelsa in general had lost an illustrious and patriotic son in Mark Bou.

He observed that the deceased’s lifestyle and disposition to politics brought politicians of various political parties together for the common goal of oneness, peace and development.

The Bayelsa Chief Executive said although Mark Bou lived for only 59 years in his earthly sojourn, he made a positive impact in his community, local government and state, lamenting, however, that his passing had thrown his aged mother into deep grief.

Describing him as a man that exemplified a magnanimous, accommodating, reliable and kind-hearted nature, Governor Diri encouraged the Bou family and Peretoru community to preserve the positive legacy of the departed politician.

His words: “I want to call on the political class to take to the politics of no boundaries exemplified by Mark Bou.”

“Let us adopt his brand of politics to forge greater unity and development of our state and country.

“Before the November 11th election last year, we were here at this venue and Mark Bou was very active. But unfortunately, today we are gathered here and he is lying here unable to talk or respond. That is the irony of life.

“For us, it is quite painful, not only because Peretoru and Bayelsa had lost a true son, but because one of the basic duties of responsible children is to bury their aged parents.

“We shouldn’t be crying for Mark Bou because as far as we are concerned he had paid his dues; we are crying because of his aged mother.

“Mark Bou was magnanimous to everybody; friends and enemies alike. He was very accommodating, so the message today to Peretoru Community, Bayelsa State and the Ijaw nation is that we should accommodate one another. It is one of the ways to immortalize Mark Bou,” he added.

In his remarks, the Member representing the Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Chief Frederick Agbedi, described the late Mark Bou as a good target setter and go-getter who touched so many lives positively.

Chief Agbedi lamented that Mr Bou died at a time when his political family least expected it, and encouraged the bereaved family to take solace in the deceased’s good legacy.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, eulogized the deceased as a political institution, emphasizing that the Ijaw nation had lost a true son.

Presenting a 3-page biography, Mr. Perekeme Mark Bou, said his father veered into politics in 2000, and never wavered in supporting his preferred candidates including spending personal resources to ensure their victory in various elections.

He appealed to Governor Diri to reciprocate the father’s unflinching support to the prosperity administration by carrying the children along in terms of assistance.

Preaching from 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, and verses 13 to 17, Reverend Omenoku of the Christ Majestic Gospel Mission, Warri, pointed out that ‘it is only God who has the ability to truly comfort men in their seasons of grief.

The cleric, therefore, encouraged the Mark Bou family to lean on God in this trying moment and seek His comfort and fortitude.

The Amananaowei of Peretorugbene, His Royal Highness Emomotimi Odikeme Okere; the President of the Peretorugbene Welfare Association, Hon Famous Daunemughan; and a representative of the Bou family, Dr. I.B. Egberike also delivered tributes at the funeral service.