By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Bayelsa Ministry of Water Resources and the Government House, Wednessday, wore a gloomy look following the death of the Permanent Secretary in charge of the ministry, Mr. Tonbra Okalai, and his driver in a tragic road accident along Calabar highway.
Okalai and his driver were returning to Yenagoa after attending a workshop in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, Tuesday, when their vehicle collided with a truck and was badly mangled.
The deceased permanent secretary, a native of Okpoama and kinsman of Governor Timipre Sylva from Brass local government area, was said to have died instantly after the fatal crash with his driver.
Loved by his colleagues and subordinates because of his friendly disposition, the ever smiling and boyish looking Okalai, it was learnt, was recently deployed in the Ministry of Water Resources as its new Permanent Secretary.
The news of his death Tuesday night raised dust among his friends and admirers, including members of his church.
Members of Okalaiâ€™s Mark of Overcomers Church at Amarata suburb of Yenagoa prayed fervently for several hours to revive the deceased.
Described as a major financier of the church, Okalai was said to have touched the lives of several members of the congregation.
Women, youths and the congregation wailed uncontrollable over his sudden demise.
The news of the permanent secretaryâ€™s death was the subject of discussions in virtually all the ministries in the state capital.
Workers at the state Ministry of Water Resources were sighted discussing the tragic demise of the perm sec who was described as â€œa listening and caring boss.â€
In another development, a policeman was Tuesday night killed in Yenagoa, the state capital, by suspected cultists following a violent clash.
The rampaging cultists embarked on shooting spree which forced several residents of Amarata-Onopa axis of the capital city indoors.
No fewer than 20 suspects, it was learnt, were arrested by the police authorities in connection with the disturbance.
Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Solomon Omoemin ASP, confirmed the civil disturbance and the arrest of some suspects.
Omoemin said the suspects would be prosecuted accordingly, even as he confirmed the killing of the officer by the mobs.