Port Harcourt - Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers has described the death of Tonye Harry, former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, as shocking and a big loss.
At the family house of the late speaker in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Amaechi said he was shocked when he received the news.
The governor recalled that as Speaker from 1999 to 2007, Harry as his deputy, worked hard to ensure good that laws were passed in the state.
"Tonye’s death was a huge shock for me. When I was informed about his ill-health that night, I honestly thought it was a joke. I rushed to Braithwaite Memorial hospital.
"I got there and spent nearly an hour there waiting for him to come and it was later they informed me that they diverted to the Kelsey Harrisson Hospital at Emenike Street.
"I rushed to the hospital and was there for about three hours.’’
Amaechi said that he remained speechless when news of the death of the former Speaker reached him.
According to him, the late ex-Speaker was a kind and generous man, and also was a wonderful Deputy Speaker.
“We were quite friendly, he was a wonderful deputy speaker and I guess he was also a wonderful Speaker”, Amaechi said.
Amaechi added that Government would give the late Speaker a state burial and assist his family.
Spokesman for the family, Tein Harry thanked the governor and his entourage for sympathising with them.
Tonye Harry, 50, was Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly from 2007 to 2011 and Deputy Speaker from 1999 to 2007 when Amaechi was Speaker of the House.
He died on Monday October, 7 in a flight heading to France from Algeria after after suffering cardiac arrest.