The Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, is still finding difficult to believe that the Special Adviser on Research, Documentation and Strategy to President Goodluck Jonathan in the person of Mr. Oronto Douglas is dead, even as he said it was a devastating personal loss to him.
In a statement reacting to the death of Oronto after a protracted fight with cancer, Gocvernor Uduaghan,through his Press Secretary, Felix Ofou, remarked: “I can’t believe that Oronto – that’s what we all call him, is gone. I refuse to use the word dead. I’m very disturbed that such a brilliant mind, articulate strategist and friend has been struck down. It is even more painful that this has happened when the nation would have benefited from his vast knowledge and depth of wisdom.”
Governor Uduaghan recalled the patriotic and heroic role of the Presidential Adviser in articulating a broad Niger Delta strategy as well as ensuring a continuous rapprochement between the states in the region and the President.
“I can tell you that he played a major role in ensuring that governors of the Niger Delta region maintained a cordial and close relationship with the Presidency. He was an unrelenting advocate of peace and justice. A bridge builder who wanted the progress of his boss at all times.
“It was a sad day for Delta State, for the Niger Delta and Nigeria. It is a personal loss for me, my family and everyone that has had a close encounter with him. Oronto Douglas will be greatly missed.”