In May 1967, HRM King Alfred Diete-Spiff was a 24-year old Nigerian Navy Commander on a Nigerian Navy Ship when leaders in the River State recommended him by consensus to the then Head of State General Yakubu Gowon who appointed him Governor of the Rivers State. In his capacity as Governor, His Excellency Alfred Diete-Spiff as he was then called, designed and instituted a scholarship Scheme that provided access to both secondary and tertiary education for hundreds of indigenes of Rivers State that endured the sustained presence of a competent middle class in Rivers and Bayelsa States to this day. Since then, in 1996 Bayelsa State was created out of Rivers State. Hence the reference to the River State of that era as Old Rivers State.