By BLISS BLESSING CHUKWUMA
Hon. Adonye Kelly Diri was born on the 14th of November 1967; a time where details of the Nigerian civil war were frequently being aired, when the news of his birth filtered in from a missionary hospital in Anua which is now present day Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. He was born into the family of late Amaopusenibo Francis Johnson Diri and Mrs. Comfort Ilanye Diri as the fourth and last child of the family.
After his primary education at the St. Thomas Primary School, Port Harcourt, Hon. Adonye proceeded to Stella Maris College to continue his secondary education and finished in the year 1982. He was later offered admission into University of Port Harcourt to study Sociology, after which he went for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), before joining NOBSAM (NIG) Ltd: a company that specialized in importation of oil well drilling chemicals and allied products, before establishing his own company ILAN INVESTMENT (NIG) Ltd which he ran until his last day.
Hon. Adonye was a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) serving as the Party Leader in Opobo, a two-time Local Government Council Caretaker Committee Chairman, and was later elected to represent the people of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area in the Rivers State House of Assembly, spanning through eight years from 2015 to May 2023. During his tenure he built markets in Nkoro, Kalaibiama, Queens Town, renovated the Opobo Town Main Market, built the water treatment plant of Iwoma and Olom Nkoro, built the NYSC hostels in Kalaibiama town, and also bought a gigantic power generating set.
Hon. Adonye Kelly Diri was a fully registered member of the Christ Church (Interdenominational), Forces Avenue, Port Harcourt. He was a lover of God and demonstrated his love for God in the house of God by assisting in building the children church section of the St. Mark’s Anglican Church Kalaibiama, Opobo, Rivers State. Hon. Adonye was happily married to Mrs. Ukamaka Adonye Diri and their union was blessed with two lovely children. Honorable Adonye Kelly Diri passed on sadly at the age of 56 years on the 19th of August, 2023 whilst receiving treatment in London.
His family, friends, esteemed political figures, and members of the Port Harcourt City One Love Family gathered to bid their heartfelt farewell to Hon. Adonye. The funeral service which was held on the 14th of October, 2023 at Kalaibiama Opobo, Rivers State, will forever be etched in the memories of those who had the privilege to know and work with him.
Honourable Adonye was a man of the people, known for his unwavering dedication to serving his constituents and the state of Rivers. His charismatic leadership and exceptional allies endeared him to people from all walks of life. Throughout his political career, Hon. Adonye exemplified the qualities of a true public servant, making positive impacts on the lives of many.
Amongst the dignitaries present to pay their respects was the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara. The Governor, accompanied by other prominent political figures, conveyed his condolences to the family of Hon. Adonye. This gesture highlighted the immense respect and admiration held for the late lawmaker within his political community. The funeral service was also attended by the Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ehie Edison MHA, as well as other members of the House of Assembly, both past and present, and esteemed guests from diverse backgrounds. The presence of these individuals showed the profound influence the late Honorable had on the political landscape of Rivers State.
One notable attendee was the revered King of Opobo Kingdom HRH King (Dr) Dandeson Douglas JAJA CFR, DSSRS, the Jeki V, treaty king, Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler-of Opobo Kingdom and former Chairman Rivers State council of Traditional Rulers, in company of his beloved wife. Their presence was a testament to the strong bond shared between Honorable Adonye and the Opobo Community. Hon. Adonye’s commitment earned him the respect and admiration of communities across the state.
Also in attendance were members of the The Port Harcourt City One Love Family, a group conceived many years ago in what will be regarded as a means of sustaining one love, peace, and unity in the hearts of those who were either born, schooled, resided, or worked in Port Harcourt through the 50s to the 80s. In their numbers, members commiserated with the family of Late Hon. Adonye Kelly Diri. The entourage of the Port Harcourt City One Love Family had Engr. Adokiye Tombomieye the Vice President of the Nigerian Petroleum Corporation Ltd (NNPCL); Eze Kingsley Chukwunyere Ogundu(Jp) the OYO VIII of Azumini Isiokpo; Eze Ibrahim Mark; HRH Chief Henry Micah; Hon. Dienma Iyalla the Immediate past Commissioner for Special Duties, Rivers State; The President of the Port Harcourt Club 1928, Hon. Soberekon Dikibo; Hon. Tonye Oniyide Briggs, former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Rivers State; Mr Ben-Jamin Owuapu Willie, the Managing Director of Graeme Polo Technical Services Ltd and owner of Buckles Menswear; Light & Style and CEO OS Benjamin. Sir Kingsley Wenenda Wali; Sir Eugene Abels; Mr Tambere Ibisiki; Mr Nyimejira Mbie Osarollor;
High Chief Kate Stanley, CEO Cheers Bar, Port Harcourt; Madam Hilda Dokubo; Emeka Wigwe; Sir Chinedu Ile KSA representing the spiritual leader of the Port Harcourt City One Love, Engr Idaere-Gogo Ogan, Chairman Board of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority; Warisenibo Dakuku Peterside; Chiefs; Captains of industries and other very notable personalities.
Hon. Adonye’s commitment earned him the respect and admiration of communities across the state.
As the solemn funeral service proceedings unfolded, speeches were delivered that reflected the remarkable legacy left by Honourable Adonye Kelly Diri. His dedication to his constituents, his family, his friends, associates, counterparts and his vision for a better Rivers State were highlighted, reminding everyone present of the indelible mark he left on diverse spheres. The passing of Honorable Adonye Kelly Diri is a great loss for Rivers State and the entire nation. However, the memory of his selfless service and tireless efforts will continue to inspire future generations of leaders in Rivers State and beyond.
In paying their final respects, those present at the funeral service committed themselves to carrying forward Hon. Adonye’s vision, ensuring that his contributions are never forgotten. The legacy of this remarkable leader will continue to resonate within the hearts of those who had the privilege to know him.
At the conclusion of the funeral service, the late lawmaker was laid to rest, surrounded by the love and reverence of those who cherished him. Though his physical presence will be deeply missed, Hon. Adonye Kelly Diri’s spirit continues to live on; forever etched in the hearts of the people he served with dedication and compassion.