King Alfred Papapereye Diete-Spiff – First Governor of Old Rivers State (1967 – 1975)

King Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff is a monarch, administrator, mediator, arbitrator, military commander, industrialist, educationist, environmentalist, philanthropist, air pilot, marine navigator, diver, sportsman extra-ordinary and consultant.

He was the first Military Governor of old Rivers State (now Rivers and Bayelsa States), after it was carved out of the old Eastern Region. He held office from May 1967 until July 1975 during the military administration of General Yakubu Gowon. He was also a member of the Supreme Military Council.

He is currently the Amayanabo (King) of Twon-Brass, Bayelsa State. King Diete-Spiff was born on July 30, 1942. He was educated at St. Joseph’s College, Western Cameroon and Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, England. He joined the Nigerian Navy and was commissioned as ships diving officer in 1964. He was the youngest of the 12 governors appointed by the Yakubu Gowon administration to the newly created states in 1967, as the civil war in the country gathered steam. He was then a Naval Lieutenant Commander and was aged of 25.

In 1973, he became notorious when he publicly shaved and had caned (with 24 lashes) a correspondent of the Nigerian Observer wrote an article about an impending teacher’s strike, which was published on Diete-Spiff’s birthday. Diete-Spiff perceived the article as a deliberate insult and an attempt to ruin the pleasure of his birthday.

He was in the 2005 Confab and served in the Committee on Models and Structure of Government and also at the 2014 National Conference on the platform of traditional rulers. He can be rightly classed among the country’s elder statesmen. He is the Group Chairman and Managing Director of BZB Group; was Chairman Port Harcourt Chambers Of Commerce, Industry, Mines And Agriculture (PHCIMMA)  (1988 – 1991); a Master Mariner (1967); President Golf Union Of Nigeria (GUN) (1984) and National Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Auctioneers (2009).

He has been honoured with an LL.D (Honouris Causa) degree by UNITECH (1986) and LL.D (Honouris Causa) by the University of Port Harcourt (2001).

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