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Bayelsa SSG's wife, 19 others die in crash after visit to Dame Jonathan, as Patience, Dickson mourn

By The Citizen
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The wife of the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Elizabeth Oguru, was among the 20 persons who died on Saturday night after a visit to the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. The accident occurred in Ahoada on the East-West Road in Rivers State. Others who died included Consider Amadi, a former Woman Leader in Ogbia; Clara Abila,  a grassroots politician; Immaculate Amasimua, a former Commissioner in the Bayelsa State Civil Service Commission; Zimbra Goma, a former Commissioner for Women Affairs in Bayelsa State; and Hon. Ruby Benjamin, a former member of the House of Assembly representing Brass Constituency 1 of Bayelsa State. They were said to be returning from Port Harcourt in Rivers State where they had gone on a visit to Dame Jonathan. The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission in Bayelsa State, Vincent Jack, confirmed the development. Jack spoke with newsmen on the telephone on Sunday. He, however, said only nine persons died in the fire that engulfed the vehicle in which the victims were travelling. The accident occurred when the tyre of an oncoming Toyota Sienna van exploded and the car rammed into the bus carrying the women. The bus burst into flame immediately. The coaster bus in which the women were travelling bore the inscription: 'Women For Change Initiative', a Non Governmental Organisation promoted by Dame Jonathan.

Wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, on Sunday mourned the women. A two-paragraph statement by her spokesman, Ayo Adewuyi, said, 'The First Lady, Dame Dr. Patience Faka Jonathan wishes to commiserate with the Government and people of Bayelsa State, over the death of some prominent Bayelsa women in a motor accident around Elele in Rivers State, on their way to Bayelsa.

'The First Lady prays the Almighty God to grant the souls of the deceased eternal rest and the families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.'

Also, the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson on Sunday mourned the death of prominent Bayelsa women, including commissioners, in a motor  accident in Rivers state on St. Valentine’s Day.

In a statement signed by his chief press secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Dickson described the incident as tragic, as well as a monumental and painful loss to the State, stressing that, the women that lost their lives in the accident were mothers and sisters of the citizens.

The Governor prayed God to grant the bereaved families the courage and strength to bear the very painful and irreparable losses.