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Queen Sussannah Okoya Goes Home In Blaze of Glory .Jonathan, Dickson, SSG, others extol her virtues

The remains of Her Majesty Late Queen Sussannah Okoya have been interred last Saturday at Bumoundi in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

  The matriarch who died at the age of 86 was the wife of the late His Royal Majesty, King E. P. Okoya OFR JP Agada, the III Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom. 

Her Majesty, Late Queen Sussannah Okoya

Her death for many was painful owing to her consummate exemplary character as her selfless services to mankind are most needed. But for others it was a celebration because she has lived a fulfilled live that bequeath enduring legacies worthy of emulation for the present and incoming generations.

  Indeed, her burial has been described as first of its kind since the creation of Bayelsa state considering the calibre of high profile dignitaries from different walks of life that attended the ceremonies.

  As early as 7:30am, just to pay her the last homage, gaily dressed men and women, traditional rulers, government functionaries, youths and different women groups turn out in their large numbers to catch a glimpse of the late Matriarch who brought fame and honour to the community, Yenagoa, the state and the nation at large. Her demise has been described as a carnival taking into consideration of the different activities that took place in her honour.

  Before her corpse arrived Bumoundi from Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, there were different programmes organized in her honour by the youths of the entire Ekpetiama clan. The youths also organized a cross country which commenced at 6am as a mark of last respect for Her Majesty.

  In line with the tradition of the people, her corpse in a motor-cade accompanied with a large convoy of different types of vehicles left NDUTH Okolobiri by 8:30am and arrived the palace of the King  Agada Kingdom and was received by the Ibenanaowei in Council.

  Thereafter, her corpse arrive Bumoundi Ekpetiama and was received by the Chiefs and Elders before her funeral service at St. Peters Anglican Church, Bumoundi Ekpetiama took place with mammoth crowd.

  Her remains was buried at 4pm followed by a Novelty Football Match Between Residents of Ekpetiama Clan in Yenagoa versus those living in the Clan.

  The Matriarch indeed has been given a rare befitting burial. It is enthusiastic to note that at 7pm till down the air was rented as a renowned Ijaw Owigiri musician; Pereama Freetown plays his melodious Owigiri music. Interestingly, men and women, ladies, gentlemen and the youths among dignitaries dance to their satisfaction.

  Earlier, in a chat with journalists at his resident shortly after her interment, one of her renowned, humble, pragmatic, resourceful, visionary and result-oriented son, Arc Reuben Okoya who was a onetime Honourable Commissioner for Special Projects in Bayelsa State and later appointed as Coordinator Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) who served meritoriously while in office, described his lovely mother as a great mother, a role model, a caring mother, and one who pay attention to all her children.

  “I credit what I am today to her and my father, of course is late. She was a woman of great virtue; a woman who fought for the right of her children. We thank God for her life, she died at 86 which is a right age. Today she is gone, we miss her. But in order way we are happy because she live a very successful life”, he said.

On his feelings about his mother’s death, Arc. Okoya said he loved his mother so much, adding that he and his brothers missed her greatly.

   Also, commenting on his mother’s’ role in societal development, Arc. Okoya described his mother as an icon, an exceptional visionary and unrepentant advocate of peace, long marriage and a resourceful private business woman, and indeed an epitome of integrity and humility.   

  Also, in an interview with Journalists at Bumoundi, the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Barrister Kemela Okara described the late Matriarch Queen Sussannah Okoya as a woman of substance who raise up wonderful children who are today men and women of future.

   According to him, the Matriarch has lived a fulfilled life worthy of emulation, adding that there are some fundamental values that don’t change from generation to generation. The values he said are values of righteousness and  integrity which she exemplified all.

   On her immortalization, the SSG said that the best way to immortalize anybody is to live by the principles in which she lived, stressing that by so doing succeeding generations will continue to reproduce people who believe in those ideals.

“That is the best kind of immortalization that anybody can hope for,” SSG said.

   Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan also commiserates with the demise family on the death of Her Majesty Queen Sussannah Okoya (NEE SOBO) which occurred on January 6, 2017.

   He described her as an industrious and God-fearing woman as evidenced by the calibre of children she raised who are currently doing well in their respective callings.

   Extolling her virtues, Dr. Jonathan noted that the demise was a role model who despite being married into wealth and royalty distinguished herself as an accomplished business woman during her lifetime.

  The former added that her enduring legacies in diligence and selflessness in a proud heritage will eternally remain very special to all.

  Also, in his comment as well, the Governor of Bayelsa state, Henry Seriake Dickson on behalf of his family and the good people of the state expressed his heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family over the passing unto glory of Her Majesty, Late Queen Sussannah Okoya.

  According to the Governor the news of her demise was received with shock, pointing out that her outstanding qualities make her death even more painful to all who knew and associated with her.

  “We recognize her role as a loving mother to many, a strong and vibrant pillar of support to Late King Ezekiel Pappah Okoya and the entire Ekpetiama Community of Bayelsa state.

There is no doubt that her exit has left a huge physical and emotional vacuum in the lives of those she left behind. Indeed Bayelsa as a state has lost a great woman.

We are however consoled by her achievements during her lifetime and the legacy she left behind. We pray that the Almighty God in his infinite mercies to comfort the entire Okoya family and give you all strength to bear this irreplaceable and painful loss,” the Governor said.   

Her Biography

   According to her biography presented at her funeral, Her Majesty, Sussannah Okoya was born on 25th November 1931 at Igbedi in Kolokuma Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, to Chief Engule Soba and Mrs. Cecelia Soba (Nee Osadebe) of Aboh, Delta State.

  She was the only child of their union although she had numerous half sisters and a brother. She attended primary school at the famous Rev Proctor Primary School, Kaiama, where she completed Standard Six.

  She married her life partner and soul mate, the late His Royal Majesty, King E. P. Okoya OFR JP Agada, the III Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama in 1949.

  The late Queen dedicated her life to support her husband in his lifetime of achievements. She gave true meaning to the adage, “behind every great man there is a great woman” At every step of her husband’s long and successful career she was there by his side. When he decided he wanted to enter politics she stood by him and supported him, winning election in 1951 to the Eastern Region House of Assembly in the Brass Constituency (now Bayelsa State). He remained a member for fourteen years.

  She stood by him and supported him when he was appointed a Minister in the Old Eastern Region by the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikewe in 1954 and reappointed by Dr. Michael Okpara. A position he held for over twelve years serving in various Ministries.

  She stood by him and supported him when he stood for and won elections as the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, a position he held until his death in 2011.

  After the civil war, her husband retired from politics and it was only at this point that she decided to use her boundless and infectious energy for something else. She became a business woman and delved into various businesses. This included procurement and supply of a variety of materials to local, state and federal governments and she used her determination and fearlessness to apply for and obtain a license to run a Total Petrol Station on station road in Port Harcourt, which she ran until her retirement. She was one of the first women to own and run a petrol station.

  She was dedicated to God and rarely missed a church service at her beloved Christ Church, which she continued to attend until age prevented her from doing so.

  She was married to the Late His Royal Majesty King E. P. Okoya OFR JP Agada III the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama for 61years until death parted them.

  She is survived by 8 children, 17 grand children, great grand children and numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews.

Arc Reuben Okoya & Mrs Natalie Okoya’s Letter to Her Majesty, Late Queen Sussannah Okoya

  Our Most Adorable Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother per excellence! My wife – Natalie and I – on behalf of your two grand children – Tehilla and Kenanya, we stand to honour you and to acknowledge you as the Best Mother anyone could have or hope to have.

   We purpose this letter as record of the fond memories of a great mother and faithful wife that we as family, shall cherish as long as life shall last; and as we struggle to accept the reality of your temporary exit from among us- the battalion you left behind.

  In your very unique way, physically, you were beautiful beyond compare, energetic and most resourceful. Truly a great woman of your generation. Mentally, you were miles ahead of any mother when it came to teaching us your children about diligence, honour, hardwork, integrity and humanity as guiding principles of life; and love, truth and obedience as the badge of our family marriage ethic; and emotionally, a more mature and understanding personality. We shall have far to go to find your match. Your winsome smile was an attraction.

With your exit what do we have except your bewitching smiles captured by photographs that now adorn our rooms to remind us of those glorious days we shared with you as our ever protective “Mother” for as long as we acted within the bounds of responsibility and decorum.

The Memory of the Times we shared together as family – nuclear and extended – in every weather; and the hope you ginger up as Praying Mother, and the better times we enjoyed thereafter, shall forever linger with us. We shall hold the precepts you taught very close to our hearts in remembrance of you.

Adieu. Dearest of Mothers, we commit your Rest into the bosom of GOD the Father Almighty, Creator of the ends of the earth until we meet on the Resurrection Day to part no more.

Reuben & Natalie for the family. 





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