By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
The burial ceremony of late Mrs. Paulina Zuokumor, mother of Retired Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) under the Administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan has been slated for March 24.
A statement by the family said that the burial ceremony will take place at Agbuze Quarters of Esama town in Ojobo, Bomadi Local Government Area.
The late Mrs. Paulina’s death occurred recently after a protracted illness.
She was also survived by other children including Lucky Boboye Zuokumor(f),Grace Zyuokumor-Adesanya (f),Hon. Frank Ekiomi Zuokuomor (m) Tito Warebi Zuokumor(m) and Peikumor Zuokumor(m-SP),twenty nine great grand children and three great great children.
The late Mrs. Paulina Zuokumor was born in the early part of the year 1933 into the family of Mr. Areprekumor Nikoro of Agbuze Quarters of Esama town in Bomadi Local Government Area.
She specifically was born without silver spoon in the midst of a “sunny weather” mixed with “light rain” at Esama town.
Her birth in the midst of drizzle during a sunny weather to the Ijaws signifies ‘‘Prosperity” or “Affluence’’.
Her children carved silver spoons for themselves as she had millionaire children who are pillars in their various chosen fields in Nigeria before her demise.
A virtuous woman and mother to all children. A woman who believes strongly in the theory of dignity of labour. The light of Ojobo community. A trailblazer. She was a source of prayer point for young women in Ijaw to be like her in their future matrimonial homes.
She was the 3rd child from her mother and other siblings, including other half siblings as her father was into polygamy.
As a result of the early demise of her father, Mama spent her childhood days with her mother and relatives at Esama, Beinmo Ojobo in Delta and Azuzuma in Bayelsa state, assisting them in traditional chores of fishing, farming and firewood fetching.
She attempted the basic standard school education at the local authority school, now Zuokumor primary school, Ojobo in Delta state. However, she did not accomplish her dream of completing a standard school certificate pursuit at the time following the exit of her father.
As a young lady, she was introduced to the local gin (Ogogoro) trade. Paulina’s entrepreneurial skills came to the fore and coupled with her charming beauty and elegance. She was at the eyes of many suitors who asked her hand in marriage. She was not prepared to listen to any of these suitors because she saw her present business as a lifeline.
As it was in the good old days, brides were sometimes taken by force or trick to marriage. One of the many suitors stood out, so promising handsome young man who was a great Ijaw traditional wrestler, a footballer of the time with a high profile of survival instincts and blossom friend of Mama’s elder brother. These sterling qualities which this suitor exhibited became admiration of Mama’s elder brother, Wariasuode.
So, Mama’s elder brother, Wariasuode and his wife Fou, after making arrangement with this friend Akemeyai Zuokumor, the suitor and with the understanding of the larger Okodizimor family decided to trick Mama by sending her on an errand to Pa. Ebiotu Zuokumor’s house, an elder brother of the suitor. On getting there Mama was restrained and celebration of arrival of a bride began.
Mama’s mother and her elder sister Diotu refused and resisted the whole action perpetuated by her elder brother and vowed Mama returned home. It was indeed not by accident or a co-incidence rather it was the will of the Holy Spirit. Mama’s resistance was weak, meaning that she too accepted the whole arrangement in good faith. Mama and Akemeyai Zuokumor became husband and wife.
During her life time, she too confided that among the many suitors ‘Akambo’ as he was fondly called by his contemporaries stood out among the equals. Mama remained grateful and faithful to her new found love, a man whose central philosophy in life was education. All the 32 children of her husband had including all her children.
While combining her Ogogoro trade and marital status, Mama was a successful business woman and happily lived on till 1974 when another opportunity knocked on her door. Mama was employed as a cook in the prestigious Gbesa Grammar School,GGS Ojobo by the then principal Mr. V.C.M Isiaye and retired in 1984. During this period, students and pupils referred to her as the mother of all because of her love, openness care for the students. She believed that needed were children that needed care and compassion and would go out of boarding rules to ensure that students who needed care must be attended to.
This informed a number of unwritten or oral queries issued by the head cook for flouting the rules. Mama understood the dynamics of polygamous family setting. Mama had always advised her children to and other siblings of her husband to never mind the intrigues and politics of the polygamous family arrangement but to remained focus to their education pursuit, a pursuit she was denied of because certain circumstances beyond her control as she was growing up. This feat was demonstrated in the name she personally gave to her last born ‘‘Peikumor’’ meaning ‘’Never mind or do not worry’’ She was indeed a mother for all siblings within the family unit.