Bayelsa APC Mourns as Sylva’s Campaign Director Falls, Dies


Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been thrown into mourning after a chieftain of the party in the state, Chief Lionel Jonathan-Omo, reportedly fell from the balcony of his country home in Nembe Local Government and died from injuries he sustained from the accident.

Jonathan-Omo was the Deputy Campaign Director of ex-Governor Timipre Sylva’s campaign organisation during the 2015-2016 governorship election, a one-time state Commissioner for Environment and running mate to Chief Francis Doukpola during the 1999 governorship campaign on the platform of the All Peoples Party (APP).

One of the most respected large-scale commercial farmers in Bayelsa, he was said to have been relaxing on his balcony at Beleu-pogo in Ogbolomabiri when he suddenly felt dizzy before falling off the two-storey building.

He broke his limbs after the fall and was rushed to a private hospital in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for the treatment of the injuries he sustained, but never survived the surgery conducted by a team of doctors.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the APC Thursday eulogised the late law lecturer at the Rivers State University of Science.

A statement by Doifie Buokoribo, the party’s spokesman in Bayelsa noted that the party hierarchy had hoped that “Jonathan-Omo would recover from his injuries and get on with his life, particularly, at this time of intense political activities in our state and country when his experience and wisdom are seriously needed”.

The late Chairman of Achievers Farms Group, the party said, was a forthright politician, and an illustrious son of Bayelsa State and the Ijaw nation who partook of popular activities to better the lives of his people.

“We do this tribute with great sadness over the indescribable loss of our leader, political mentor, and friend, Chief Lionel Jonathan-Omo.

“Lionel Jonathan-Omo who is from Nembe trained as a lawyer, and taught law for several years. A former Commissioner in Bayelsa State, he was also a delegate representing the state at the 2005 National Political Reform Conference (NPRC).

“Jonathan-Omo was a wonderful party man, a great Bayelsan, and an illustrious Ijaw son. He was at the forefront of every popular activity – politically, economically, and socially – to better the lives of people in his state and nation.

“He believed in truth and fought for it with every resource and avenue at his disposal.

“A democrat to the core, he always believed in dialogue and was always ready to listen to others. Lionel-Jonathan never judged or forced his opinion on anyone.

“He characteristically gave room for the ventilation of opinions, even from his fiercest opponents. His valuable and truthful counsels are some of the things we will surely miss.

“Jonathan-Omo was focused and intelligent, a man of magically brilliant political ideas. The remarkable thing about his ideas is that they were always meant to help and better society,” the APC said.