What my late mother meant to me — Governor Dickson


Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has paid glowing tributes to his late mother, Goldcoast Dickson, whom he described as an integral part of his journey in life.

Governor Dickson, in his brief remarks on Monday night during a service organised by the state government at the Governor’s Lodge in Yenagoa to commiserate with him, said his mum popularly known as Mama Gogo was more than just a mother.

“My mother has been an integral part of my journey. She was not just my mother. She was my elder sister. She was my rock, my counselor, my guardian angel. And because of her subtle style, people might not know the level of her influence.”

He explained that his mother complained of pain in the leg in January, which was later diagnosed at the Bayelsa Diagnostic Centre to be cancer.

He thanked the state for the outpouring of grief and called for prayers for the family, especially during this period.

Governor Dickson in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, equally expressed appreciation and gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former Nigerian leaders who called to commiserate with him and his family.

“Let me on behalf of my family and government of Bayelsa State express our deep appreciation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, who took time off his vacation in the United Kingdom to personally call to condole with me and offer prayers for my mother and family.

“Similarly, I thank the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who also called me to commiserate with us in our moment of grief.

“My profound appreciation also goes to all former Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and Dr Goodluck Jonathan for personally calling and writing formal condolence letters to condole with us.

“I was humbled by the outpour of concern and love shown to me by my colleagues and brother Governors who spared precious time out of their busy schedules to commiserate with my family and I.

“I am also grateful to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for identifying with us in our most trying period.

“I specially thank the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, the Deputy Senate President, Professor Ike Ekweremadu, the entire leadership of the National Assembly and indeed all federal lawmakers and former leadership of the National Assembly for commiserating with us.

“The entire leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and particularly the National Working Committee (NWC) ably led by Prince Uche Secondus mourned with us, for which we are immensely appreciative.

“I equally appreciate the concern, prayers and support of many former governors, deputy governors, friends and political associates who continue to stand by us in this trying period.

“I want to sincerely thank the leadership of other political parties for setting aside partisan affiliations and interest to identify with us in our hour of grief.

“I cannot forget in a hurry the outpour of condolences and support of all presidential aspirants of our great party who stood by the Dickson family. In the light of this, let me thank the following aspirants: former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, former Governor of Kaduna State and Caretaker Committee Chairman of PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, former Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, former Kano State Governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau and former Minister of Special Duties, Barr. Saminu Turaki.

“I am not oblivious of the support, care and prayers of the government and people of Bayelsa State, monarchs and senior citizens of the Ijaw nation for the Dickson family. To this end, let me thank the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), the Rt. Honourable Speaker, Konbowei Benson and entire members of the House of Assembly, the State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri and the entire judicial arm of government, members of the state executive arm, government functionaries, the state bureaucracy, leaders and elders of Bayelsa State, the Bayelsa State Elders Caucus led by Chief Francis Duokpola, Bayelsa State National Assembly Caucus led by Senator Foster Ogola, foremost Ijaw leader, Pa Edwin Clark and the leadership of PANDEF, the Ieadership of the Ijaw National Congress INC and the Ijaw Youth Congress (INC).

“I cannot end the appreciation without thanking captains of industry, corporate Nigeria, civil society, the media, the Nigeria Bar Association, churches and faith-based organisations for their support and prayers.

“Our appreciation also goes to the medical practitioners who did their best in the circumstance to give support, care and treatment to our mother before her passing. We thank the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas in the United States of America for treating and taking good care of Mama.

“We also appreciate the management and staff of the Bayelsa State Diagnostic Centre, Yenagoa where Mama Gogo was first diagnosed of cancer and for giving care to her before she was referred abroad for further treatment and management.”

Mrs Gold Coast Dickson died on August 8, 2018 at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, Texas, in the United States of America.

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