Adieu Our Tireless Leader, Dispassionate Elder, Chief Francis Doukpola – Amb Igali
It all sounded like a hear tale but reality soon dawned that you and your earthly journey had come to an end. Quite unimagined, typifying the Biblical “Day of the Lord” coming like a thief in the night. Yes, no man knows that dreary hour, but it shall surely come. My family and l mourn your quick passing.
Yet we give God praise, worship and adoration for your worthy life of great superlatives and impact. Truly, your 76 years were full of fulfilments and varied activities.
Your top administrative antecedents and acumen, lofty banking and financial footprints and untiring political activism remain easy reminders of your worth and versatile gifts. No less was your imprimatur in the fight for the nasence of Bayelsa, it’s growing up so fast and continued development.
In all spheres, from effective traditional governance in your beloved home town, Agbere to the more sterling, Bayelsa Elders Forum, you left indelible marks. What about the countless committees we served in to further the things that matter most to our dear dear Ijaw nation – peace, development, fight for our environment, struggle for equity, fairness and justice within Nigeria.
Night and day, we coalesced ideas, under PA Edwin Clark to form the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF). You soon became National Deputy President. From there, we worked together, meeting upon meeting, from Yenagoa to Uyo, Warri to PortHarcourt, Benin to Asaba, Abuja to Ibadan, Akwa to Markurdi, Lagos to be Enugu be and so on to form the Leaders and Elders of Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt Forum. I got the no small task, with Prof GG Darah to Co-Chair the South South Rally on Restructuring and develop a position on the topic, you were, as usual, the Chairman of the LOC and reduced our sleepless nights. It turned out great and far reaching.
The chroniclers would definitely be fair to you and adulate more graphically and in finer prints your sterling qualities and personae. Non obtrusive, bridge-building, tireless, forward looking and contentment with the undulating stations of life.
Can we question God? No! But our hearts go to Mrs. Doukpola and the children, all of Bayelsa and Ijaw nation and indeed friends, nationally and worldwide. As we keep praying for you lets all remember the time honoured words of Apostle Paul in First Chorithians 15:55 “Oh death where is your sting”. Of course and truly, no stings and pain because his life had been momentous.
Generations after now will remember Chief Doukpola in dirges of highest pitch and brightest memories of human accomplishment. Olotu keme, Doo, bai oooo!
May his soul rest in peace.
Ambassador Boladei Igali, PhD, OON