The wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan, was on Sunday in tears during a condolence visit to the bereaved families of the eleven female Bayelsa politicians who died in a ghastly motor accident near the Old Ahoada Market road along the East-West road of Rivers State, this past Saturday.
The First Lady, who arrived early into Yenagoa, was dressed in black attire and accompanied on the condolence visits by prominent members of her Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) known as Women for Change Initiatives including the wife of the First Executive Governor of the State, Margaret Alameisegha and Former Bayelsa Transport Commissioner, Marie Ebikake.
The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, at the home of one of the deceased and wife of a staff at the Bayelsa Radio Corporation, Mrs. Ayakpo Otolo, condoled the family in a tear laden voice, hiding her tears under a white handkerchief.
Dame Patience Jonathan prayed with the family for God to be with them in the time of grief, and asked God to give everyone including herself the fortitude to bear the loss. She described the women as her friends and sisters.
Dame 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, a Former Commissioner for Women Affairs under the administration of Gov. Timipre Sylva, Hon. Gimbra Panowei, the 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 the First Lady were the 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 about eleven Ijaw women of Bayelsa extraction in a ghastly motor accident, ‘It is shocking to lose about 11 women to the cold hands of death in one swoop”.
The IYC, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Comrade Eric Omare, sympathize with the families of those who lost their loved ones and pray that may the almighty God grant them the fortitude to bear the loss. We also sympathize with the Governor of Bayelsa State, His Excellency, 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”.