The wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan, on Monday paid a condolence visit to the bereaved families of 11 female politicians from Bayelsa State who died Saturday in a motor accident along East-West Road in Rivers State.
The women were political associates of the First Lady, and died while returning from a two-day visit to her in Okirika, Rivers State.
Dressed in black, and accompanied by prominent members of her Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Women for Change Initiative, Mrs. Jonathan met with respective families of the lost women.
On her entourage were the wife of the state’s former governor, Margaret Alamieyeseigha, and a former Transport Commissioner in the state, Marie Ebikake.
At the home of one of the deceased and wife of a staff at the Bayelsa Radio Corporation, Ayakpo Otolo, Mrs. Jonathan condoled the family, sobbing intermittently.
She prayed to God to be with the family in the 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.
She 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, Ruby Benjamin.
Mrs. Jonathan was also at the residences of a former Commissioner for Women Affairs under the administration of Governor Timipre Sylva, Gimbra Panowei; Secretary to the State Government, Allison Oguru; and a woman leader from Otuoke Community in Ogbia Local Government, Consider Amadi.
She also visited the homes of a retired Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Pere Kalama and Clara Abila.
Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youths Council has expressed shock and disbelief over the death of the 11 women.
The group, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Eric Omare, sympathized with the families of those who lost their loved ones in the accident.
It prayed that the almighty God grant them the fortitude to bear the loss, even as they also sympathized with the Governor of Bayelsa, Seriake Dickson, the government and people of Bayelsa 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”, the group said.