THE Rivers State Police Command on Tuesday confirmed the death of the adopted mother of the wife of the President, Patience Jonathan, Mrs. Charity Oba, in an auto crash on Monday. Oba was on her way to Bayelsa State when the vehicle conveying her, a Toyota Corolla saloon car, got involved in an accident along Isiokpo-Elele road in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
State Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Angela Agabe, who confirmed the incident while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, said the accident occurred at 4pm near Isiokpo Bridge along Port Harcourt-Owerri road.
Agabe said apart from Patience Jonathan’s mother, a 12-year old girl, known as Favour, and a relative of the deceased, also lost their lives in the crash.
According to her, two persons, including the driver of the vehicle, were immediately rushed to a hospital in the state capital.
The state police spokesperson explained that the corpse of Oba, popularly known as ‘Sisi’, and that of the 12-year old girl had been deposited in Kpaima Mortuary in Port Harcourt.
Earlier, the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission in the state, Dr. Kayode Olagunju, had said though the FRSC could not immediately ascertain the cause of the accident, it had begun investigation to unravel the cause of the accident that killed the President’s wife’s mother.
“What I can only tell you now is that we cannot say what caused the accident. We are still investigating and will definitely let you know the cause when we conclude the investigation,” Olagunju added.
It was, however, gathered that the vehicle conveying Oba to Bayelsa had veered off the road and somersaulted several times due to overspeeding.
Meanwhile, Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, has, on behalf of the government and people of the state, expressed deep shock and regret over the sudden death of the mother of the First Lady.
In a condolence message to the first family, Dickson described the death of madam Oba as “a great blow and an irreparable loss” to her immediate family and the nation as a whole.
He said her motherly and wise counsel would be greatly missed by all who knew her.
He urged the First lady, the family and the Oba family of Okrika in Rivers State to accept the unfortunate incident as the will of God and take it with philosophical calmness.
Also, Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, expressed shock at the death of Oba.
In a condolence message by Uduaghan’s Press Secretary, Mr. Felix Ofou, the governor said the news of the death of the First Lady’s mother was a big blow, not only to President Goodluck Jonathan, but to the entire South-South and Nigeria at large.
“Mama was not only a huge asset to the First Family, she was a mother to the South South. This is definitely a big blow to all of us,” he stated.
Uduaghan said the people and government of Delta State shared in the grief caused by the death, and prayed God to grant the First Lady, Jonathan and the nation the fortitude to bear the loss.
“Our earnest prayer is that such a disaster will not visit the First Family again. We also pray for long life and good health for the mother of the nation, Mrs. Jonathan,” he added.
Similarly, Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke commiserated with the President and his wife on the death of the mother of the First Lady.
Imoke described Oba’s death as painful and unfortunate.
In a statement on Tuesday, the governor said the incident was tragic and saddening.
“It is with a sense of shock and loss that I received the sad news,” he said.
He urged the First Family to find consolation in the fact that “she lived an exemplary worthy of emulation.”