Bight Newspaper learnt that Otuoke, the hometown of Dr Goodluck Jonathan was thronged at the weekend as sympathizers including the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, his Taraba counterpart, Agbu Kefas and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, joined the former Nigerian President to bury his elder sister, Madam Obebhatein Jonathan.

Also present at the funeral of late Madam Obebhatein, aged 70, who died on January 11 this year were the Senator representing Bayelsa West, Chief Henry Seriake Dickson, Minister of Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Goodluck Jonathan said he received the devastating news of his elder sister’s death while he was in London, noting that she was the only surviving sibling from his aged mother, Mama Eunice Afeni-Jonathan.

The former Nigerian President, who noted that his sister left at a time a huge gathering of high profile personalities from all over the country could come to Otuoke to pay their respects, said the sad part was that it was her aged mother who is mourning her.

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He therefore called on the clergy and all people of goodwill not to relent in their prayers for his traumatized mother, himself and the entire members of the Jonathan family.

His words: “Death, as they say, is something that we all pass through. But the time it comes also matters; yes, we all will die some day 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 that came around her, because I was then in London.

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

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In his remarks, Governor Douye Diri said his heart and support of the entire state government were with the Jonathan family, especially his nonagenarian mother, Mama Eunice Jonathan.

Governor Diri, who spoke through his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, noted it was appointed unto all men to die, but what is more significant is what follows after death.

While underscoring the fact that the late Madam Obebhatein Jonathan attained the age of 70 before she met her death, the Bayelsa Chief Executive lamented that she would have done a lot more to family and society.

He encouraged the young ones to emulate the deceased’s enterprising spirit of determination and courage to have continued with her education from primary school at the age 23 after giving birth to three children and strived to obtain a Bachelor of Education (B. Ed) degree.

His words, “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.

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“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 funeral sermon, “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.

 

Quoting John Chapter 14 Verse 3 from the Bible, Bishop Amgbari called on 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.

 

 

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