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Buhari, others mourn as Gen Aguiyi-Ironsi’s wife dies

Born on 21st November 1923, Lady Ironsi was the second First Lady of Nigeria from January 17

Lady Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi, the wife of Nigeria’s first Military Head of State, Gen. Thompson Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi, is dead.

A family source said Lady Ironsi died at 4am on Monday at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia, Abia State, where she was admitted a few days ago, after a prolonged battle with mild stroke.

Born on 21st November 1923, Lady Ironsi was the second First Lady of Nigeria from January 17, 1966, to July 29, 1966.

Lady Victoria’s death is coming less than 24 hours after Lady Adanma Okpara, wife of former Premier of Eastern Region, Sir Michael Okpara died.

Mrs Okpara died in her country home, Umuekwu Okpuala Afuguri, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, on Sunday.

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the Aguiyi-Ironsi family, government and people of Abia State over her death.

In a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari said Lady Victoria’s incredible strength and exceptional courage during one of the darkest moments in the nation’s history put her as a mother of the nation and a foremost woman of valour.

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, condoled with the families of Ironsi and Okpara over the deaths of their matriarchs.

Also, Senate Minority Leader Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said the deaths of the two great women marked a sad end of a glorious era.

Abaribe, in a statement by his media adviser, Uchenna Awom, said both women represented the best and were indeed a true testament of the noble role of women in nation-building and as the moral conscience of society.

A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, also commiserated with the family of Okpara on the death of its matriarch, Lady Adanma Michael Okpara.

Atiku, in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, said the death of Lady Adanma Okpara at this period of serious national challenges was also a sad reminder of the lost opportunities of our country’s greatness as represented by the political and development prowess of her late husband, Dr Michael Okpara and his generation during Nigeria’s First Republic.

By Linus Effiong (Umuahia), Muideen Olaniyi, Abdullateef Salau & Idowu Isamotu (Abuja)