Former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has condoled with the family of Opu-Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, the government and people of Rivers State over the passing of the former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture who died on Monday at the age of 82 years.
Similarly, Dr. Jonathan also extended his commiserations to the government and people of Imo State, family members and loved ones of victims of the deadly illegal refinery fire in the State that claimed several lives.
The former President described the late Graham-Douglas as an elder statesman who diligently served his country and the people of Rivers state to the best of his abilities.
In a condolence letter to the Graham-Douglas family, Dr. Jonathan stated: “He was a successful entrepreneur, principled politician and democrat who made considerable contributions to the deepening of our democracy and the development of our nation.
“His records in the ministries of Aviation, Tourism and Labour and Productivity as well as Youth, Sports and Culture where he served variously as minister are eloquent testimonies of his patriotism and commitment to our national goals.
“Late Graham-Douglas was also an accomplished crusader for equity, justice and fairness and a dependable voice for the rights of the minorities, especially people of the Niger Delta.”
The former President also commiserated with Governor Hope Uzodimma and the people of Imo State over the explosion that killed scores of people at an illegal refinery site in the state.
The National Emergency Management Agency in the state on Monday confirmed that 110 bodies had been recovered from the site of the illegal refinery located in a forest in Abaezi community in the Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of the state.
In a letter of condolence to Governor Uzodimma, Dr. Jonathan expressed sadness over the deadly explosion, describing it as a monumental tragedy.
“I am deeply distressed by this extremely sad event which claimed the lives of scores of our fellow citizens. My heart goes out to the injured and the members of the families of the deceased.
“The authorities concerned should take proactive measures to ensure that such avoidable tragedies do not reoccur in any part of the country.”
The former President appealed to those engaged in illegal oil refining operations to stop, stressing that such unpatriotic acts pose great danger to lives, the environment and the economy.
SA to H.E. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan