By Samuel Oyadongha
President Goodluck Jonathan, Saturday, said his junior brother, Chief Meni Innocent Jonathan, died of cardiac arrest.
The late Jonathan who, until his death, was the chairman of Otuoke chiefs council, was laid to rest, Saturday, at his Otuoke home town in Ogbia council area of Bayelsa State after a solemn funeral service at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church.
In an emotional laden voice, President Jonathan, clad in a black shirt, who described the death of Meni as very painful, said he died of cardiac arrest.
The president spoke at the church service. According to him, his brother lived a good life, though he was still a young person at his death, his death is particularly too painful to bear.
His words, “I always know that people will surely die. I always believe that people will live to an age where they make their names. Some persons die before they are born, there are a lot of still births. Some others die before they grow up to an age where people recognized them. He (brother) had his two sons fairly grown up; that, at least, will be with us. The circumstances of the death sometimes worries me. What worries me is the he died so suddenly.
”This was a young man I came home on a Friday, he came to my house, nobody carried him, he moved down just from his house across the road. We discussed he was a bit frail.I said follow us so that he could do medical check up.
”He drove himself down to Yenagoa to board the chopper to Abuja. He got to Abuja that Saturday and was admitted in hospital. The following Monday, his breathing changed. I said, ‘let us make arrangement to get him out to let him get treatment outside’. So an arrangement was being made. Unfortunately the following he had cardiac arrest and inflamed heart at the State House Clinic.
”We were making arrangement to move him to National Hospital. It is a very sad thing. He had been covering the home front for us. He has a very humble person. He was a reliable and trustworthy person you could ask to handle things for you. He is dead, there is nothing we can do. I must thank all of you who have come to join the Jonathan family to give us this respect. In some traditions, I’m supposed not to be in church. It is tradition that you don’t bury your younger ones.
Luckily for this community, we don’t have too many of these cultural and traditional things. It is quite sad, it pulled the whole Nigerians to the community to bury my younger brother.”
Present at the church service were Mrs. Eunice Jonathan, mother of the president; Dame Patience Jonathan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; his Deputy, Emeka Ihediora; Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and his wife. Also in attendance were Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan; (Delta); Matin Elechi (Ebonyi), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Theodore Orji (Abia); among others.