By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has said his late mother, Madam Gold Coast, was only diagnosed with cancer on her leg in January this year.
Dickson described his mother as his rock and a source of inspiration, adding that when she complained of a pain in the leg, she was immediately taken to the Bayelsa Diagnostics Centre, where the ailment was first detected.
“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 counsellor, and because of her subtle style, people might not know the level of her influence,’’ he said.
He spoke during a church service held in memory of the septuagenarian at the Governor’s Lodge, Yenagoa, organised by the State Government.
“My mother complained of some pain in the leg in January which was later discovered by medical experts at the Bayelsa Diagnostic Centre, Yenagoa, to be cancer in January”, he added.
He thanked the state for the “enormous outpouring of genuine grief” and called for prayers for the family, especially during this period of mourning.
Speaking earlier, the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd), described the death of the governor’s mother as a general loss to the state, stressing that Bayelsa State would be by the governor and the family throughout the period of grief.
“Like Shakespeare said in his book, Julius Caeser, ‘no one bears sorrow better.’ The loss is everybody’s; whatever happens to the leader happens to all. It is in the collective interest that the leader is not worried. What happened was inevitable. The state is with you, and will continue to be with you throughout this period,” he said.
Meanwhile, members of the National Assembly representing the state have paid the governor a condolence visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Francis Agbo quoted Dickson as telling the lawmakers that the vacuum created by her death would be difficult to fill, as she always prayed for him and for his administration to succeed.
“My mum was my rock. She was not just my mother, she was my elder sister; she had me very early; she was my friend and my biggest supporter in any thing I wanted to do.
“And she was always praying and encouraging me. Today, for the first time since her death, as we finished the morning devotion, I didn’t have my mother to hug me because every morning after devotion, she would hug me.
“After every morning’s devotion, she would bless me and pronounce strength and God’s guidance and she did that til the very end. Even on her hospital bed, she was praying and blessing all her children so this is one vacuum that will be very difficult to fill.”
The Governor, who said the Dickson family was going through a trying period, noted that his late mother would be greatly missed and expressed appreciation to all sympathisers, who have in one way or the other identified with them in their movement of grief.