Alabo Graham-Douglas Goes Home In A Blaze Of Glory
The reception ground was grandiose, decorated with large format pictures of the late legend.
That reception ground, a mini stadium in Abonnema was where the Ancient Orubibi Douglas Independent War Canoe House Family hosted the crème-de-crème of Nigeria who came to pay their last respects to their late son, HRH Alabo T. O. Graham-Douglas who was buried on Saturday September 11, at his compound in Abonnema, Akuku Totu Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The roll call of dignitaries included, the governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri who came with a coterie of top government functionaries, Odien Ajumogobia, former Attorney-General of Rivers State and Minister and others.
The executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was however conspicuously absent.
The imperial burial was preceded on Friday September 9 with a Christian wake keep which had prominent ministers of God, including Apostle Zilly Aggrey of the Royal House of Grace. At the wake keep, soul embalming Christian hymns were rendered for the repose of the late legend’s soul.
Late Alabo Graham-Douglas according to his biography was born on 8th May 1939 to Chief Graham-Douglas and his wife Botoba Benkinwari Graham-Douglas. He attended University of Lagos from where he bagged a degree in Zoology and Botany, returning to Port Harcourt in 1969 where he began his career with the Nigerian Petroleum Refining Company while also teaching Science at the Harbour Girls Secondary School and Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girls School, Elelenwo.
He was a former commissioner of youths, sports and culture in Rivers State and was credited with establishing the Rivers State Sports Institute at Isaka and hosted the 6th All Nigeria Sports Festival as well as completed the Civic Centre Sports Complex and the Liberation Stadium in Rivers State.
At the national politics, the late Alabo was appointed Federal Minister of Social Development, Youths and Sports during Babangida’s regime. It was during his tenure that the National Youth Service Corp was overhauled. It was also during his regime that Mr Clemence Westerhiff was recruited as technical manager of the Nigerian national football team through whom they recorded more successes.
Besides other achievements, he contested the governorship primaries in Rivers State in 1982 when he challenged the then incumbent-Governor, Late Chief Melford Okilo. He equally contested and won a senatorial slot for Rivers West Senatorial District but was never sworn-in.
In 1998 he contested the PDP Presidential Primaries in Jos and in business was chairman Chief Executive Officer of several companies.