Atiku mourns Mrs Aguiyi-Ironsi, Lady Adanma Okpara
By Sunday Elom N
Former Vice President of Nigeria and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar has commiserated with the families of the 1966 Head of State, Late General Johnson Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi and the First Republic Premier of the defunct Eastern Region, Late Dr Michael Okpara, on the demise of their wives, former First Lady Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi and Lady Adanma Michael Okpara who died at the age of 97 and 96 respectively.
Atiku who conveyed his condolences in a statement signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said that even though the news of the deaths of the two women on the same day comes with some surprise and shock, they shared a common story of providing strength to their respective families by being the curators of the legacies their husbands left behind years after they had passed away.
The former Vice President was quoted in the statement as saying, “I received the news of the deaths of these two influential women with mixed feelings. It is usually a saddening moment for me at the news of the demise of anyone at all; even though these ones are at a very ripe old age. Death naturally diminishes humanity and the loss of one’s mother is very painful at any time.”
The Waziri of Adamawa noted that the death of the former First Ladies at this period of serious national challenges is also a sad reminder of the lost opportunities of Nigeria’s greatness as represented by the political and development prowess of their late husbands and their generation during the country’s First Republic.
Atiku therefore paid tribute to their lives of courage, service and integrity, noting that “These were attributes that had been associated with the great development strides of their late husbands.”
He expresses his deepest condolences to the Aguiyi-Ironsi family of Ibeku Umuahia and Michael Okpara family of Ohuhu Umuahia; the federal government; the people and government of Abia State; the people and governments of the South East states and Nigerians at large.