Jonathan: Why Nigerians should pray for my mother

Ex -President Jonathan at a funeral service for sister

Ex- President Goodluck Jonathan, wife at funeral service for sister, Obebhatein.

By Shedrack Frank

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday encouraged Nigerians to pray for his mother, Eunice Jonathan, who, according to him, has been badly traumatised by the death of her eldest child, Obebhatein.

The former President made the appeal on Friday during the funeral service of his elder sister, Obebhatein Jonathan, at the Dame Patience Jonathan Square, Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

The former said with the death of his sister, his mother has lost eight of her children and he is now the only surviving child.

He said, “Death, as they say, is something that we all pass through. But the time it comes also matters; yes, we all will die someday but the time matters.

“My elder sister died at a time that we can gather these celebrities to celebrate her, but that our mother is to mourn her is the nasty aspect of the whole thing.

“My mother has lost her first child that ought to mourn her when God calls her. I have to sincerely thank the Bayelsa State First Lady and other women who came around her because I was then in London.

“If you knew what she used to be and what she is now, you would know that she is still traumatized. So continue to pray for my mum. God will see us through. I thank you.”

He thanked Nigerians who came for the burial.

On his part, Dogood Qkpufu, second son of the deceased, urged women to emulate his mother.

He recalled that his mother was determined to be a graduate and achieved that which qualified her to be a teacher.

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Mrs Omonibele Azibanyeluan, daughter of the Obebhatein, on her part, said that her mother lived a simple life and was very generous.

“She was a good woman, peaceful, patient and God-fearing,” she said.

Also speaking at the burial ceremony, Governor Douye Diri who was represented by his deputy extend the consolation of the state government to the Jonathan family, especially his nonagenarian mother, Mama Eunice Jonathan.

The Governor asked youths to emulate the deceased’s enterprising spirit of determination and courage to continue with her education from primary school at the age of 23 after giving birth to three children and eventually, earning a Bachelor of Education (B. Ed) degree.

“Our hearts are heavy with the Jonathan family, especially our mother. It’s appointed unto us to die, although we don’t choose when to die.

“Your elder sister lived well and attained 70 years, yet had much more to offer her family and society.

“From her biography, it’s clear she went back to complete primary education at the age of 23, and went on to obtain her B.Ed. Meaning that she didn’t allow her humble background to put her back on the ground. There are lots of lessons to learn from her life.”

In his sermon at the funeral ceremony titled, “Encourage One Another”, the Bishop of Northern Izon Diocese, Anglican Communion, Right Revd Funkuro Amgbari, exhorted believers to use the Word of God to comfort one another at trying moments including death.

Bishop Amgbari called on the Christian faithful to use their time diligently in serving God and humanity while alive and stressed the need for them to be in right standing with God at all times as no one knows where, when and how he or she will die.

Obebhatein died on Jan. 11 after a brief illness. She was aged 70.

Taraba State Governor, aAgbu Kefas, former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, the Senator representing Bayelsa West, Chief Seriake Dickson, Minister of Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim were among the dignitaries present at the ceremony.

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