17th February, 2015
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The wife of the president, Patience Jonathan arrived Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital on Monday and paid a condolence visit to the bereaved families of 11 female Bayelsa politicians that died in last Saturday’s ghastly motor accident near the Old Ahoada Market road along the East-West road of Rivers State.
Jonathan who donned a black attire was accompanied by Mrs Margaret Alameisegha, wife of the first governor of Bayelsa; Mrs Msrie Ebikake, immediate past Commissioner for Transport and other prominent members of her non governmental organization, Women for Change Initiatives.
At the home of one of a staff of the Bayelsa Radio Corporation, Mrs. Ayakpo Otolo, she condoled the family as she sobbed intermittently using a white handkerchief to wipe her tears.
She prayed with the family that God to be with them in their time of grief and asked God to give everyone, including herself the fortitude to bear the loss, describing the women as her friends and sisters.
Jonathan also visited the homes of a former member of the State House of Assembly from Brass Local Government and Special Adviser to Governor Seriake Dickson, Mrs. Ruby Benjamin; former Commissioner for Women Affairs during Gov. Timipre Sylva’s administration, Hon. Gimbra Panowei; wife of the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Elizabeth Allison-Oguru and a woman leader from Otuoke Community in Ogbia local government, Madam Consider Amadi.
Also visited by Patience were homes of a retired Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Pere Kalama and Mrs. Clara Abila
Meanwhile, the umbrella body of the Ijaw Youths worldwide, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has expressed shock and disbelief over the death of the eleven Ijaw women, saying, “It is shocking to lose about 11 women to the cold hands of death in one swoop”.
The IYC spokesman, Comrade Eric Omare, in a statement he endorsed on behalf of the Ijaw youths sympathized with the families of those who lost their loved ones and prayed that God should grant them the fortitude to bear the loss, even as they also sympathize with the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, the government and people of Bayelsa state over this unfortunate incident.
“These women were not only leading Ijaw female politicians and leaders, but were responsible mothers of Ijaw Youths. Their adventure into the male dominated world of politics provided and would continue to provide the leverage for more Ijaw women to participate in politics towards the development of Ijaw people. Hence, their families should take solace in the fact that they died working towards the development of the Ijaw nation”.
Governor Dickson has in honour of the dead suspended all official engagements for three days.