Ex-Speaker’s Brother Blames Bureaucracy For His Death

Chief Opakriba Harry yesterday

From Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt

Chief Opakriba Harry, the elder brother to the late former Speaker and House of Assembly Member representing Degema constituency, Late Hon. Tonye Harry, on Wednesday revealed that bureaucracy and due pressure to get things done contributed to the death of his younger brother.

Opakriba who was with Hon. Tonye at the Port Harcourt Polo Club when he slumped on Friday afternoon said, if not for the issue of rigorous due process in arranging things before he could be flown abroad his late brother would still have been alive.

Narrating what transpired before the former speaker died, Chief Opakriba said: “When he collapsed I took him to the family Clinic but when I discovered that the doctor would not be able to do anything about his condition I decided to call Dr. Ogbonna Harry and Dr. Akpan.

“We now agreed to move him out of the family Clinic, so Dr. Harry told Dr. Akpan to call the driver of his ambulance to move him to specialist Hospital located at Emenike Street Port Harcourt. And before we got there Dr. Akpan has already called all the consultants to be with us at the specialist hospital.

“It was there that Governor Amaechi got the information and came, he stayed with us for nearly two hours thinking on what to do to revive his friend and brother.  He ordered Dr. Parker that he should bring evacuator and make arrangement to fly him abroad but it was this issue of bureaucracy and due process that contributed to his death.”

He noted that the community is not taking his death lightly as they are putting their house in order to celebrate his contribution to the community and Degema as a whole.

“He is number one in terms of politics in Degema  and Obuama in particular, because of his contribution to the community the chairman of  Obuama Council of Chiefs have already held a meeting of Chief and Elders, of course, plans are going on to  honour  him as our hero,” he said.

One of the Chief, Fonyama Thompson, who identified himself as a brother said the family was still struggling to believe that Hon. Toye is death.

He said the late Tonye is a philanthropist who has imparted on many lives in his constituency and community, adding that his generosity   has made many people in community to continue to cry for his demise.

Chief Fonyama said: “The community have discussed and agreed to honour him even in death to tell the whole world that we have missed not just a son but a great son.  We are going to immortalize his name as great man; we have agreed to give him a befitting burial.”

He recalled that more than 10 years ago, the community lost a great son, “Late  Dr. Marshall Harry our son died the same way and  today we have  lost another great son we are not happy because the  Irokos of the community are fallen.