Late Human Rights and environmental rights activist and special adviser to the President on Research and Documentation, Oronto Natei Douglas was laid to in Bayelsa State over the May 1, 2015, weekend.
Speaking at the funeral service held at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Yenagoa in honour of the late Oronto Douglas, President Goodluck Jonathan said that the human rights activist died at a point he (President) needed his wise counsel most as his (President) administration winds up on May 29. He described Oronto Douglas as a unique personality who was worth more than silver and gold, “Oronto Douglas left at a time when his wise and useful counsel were most needed.”
According to the President, the Niger Delta owed it to the late Oronto Douglas for introducing intellectual activism to their struggle for economic inclusiveness while noting that he was articulate, an academic icon, idealist, proactive, strategist, courageous, exclusively humanitarian and never retracting once committed to a cause he believed in.
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 very eventful life on earth and would continue to be remembered by all who knew him, “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.”
The Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, in his remarks announced that the state has awarded scholarships to the two children of late Oronto Douglas up to the 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 found 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.
Also ministering were the pupils of the Chief Edwin Clark Preparatory School, Okoroba, founded by late Oronto Douglas in songs and special renditions in tribute to the late human rights activist.