Former President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has paid tribute to the late Professor Lawrence Baraebibai Ekpebu who died aged 86 years.
In a condolence letter he signed, Dr Jonathan described late Ekpebu as an illustrious academic and diplomat who distinguished himself in service to the nation.
“I condole with the Ekpebu family and the Bayelsa State Government over the demise of Professor Lawrence Baraebibai Ekpebu. He was an academic and diplomat renowned for his excellence and contributions to peace and development in Nigeria.
“Prof. Ekpebu was an outstanding academic who worked as a lecturer at the University of Ibadan and rose to the pinnacle of his career.
The deceased also served as a Commissioner of Finance in the Old Rivers State under the administration of the first Military Governor, King Alfred Diete -Spiff.
“He was a symbol of honour and pride, not just to his ethnic group, the Ijaw nation, but to Nigeria at large for his outstanding academic records and diplomatic astuteness, especially during his time as Nigeria’s ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire.
“Ekpebu will be greatly missed by many across Nigeria, as he was a man of selfless service and love for his country and people.
“I pray that God will grant his family, friends and associates the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. I urge them to take solace in the legacies of the departed statesman, who lived a life of accomplishment to the glory of God and humanity.”