Abia Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has expressed profound sadness over the death of yet another iconic Abia woman and a former First Lady of Nigeria, Lady Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi, at the age of 97 years.
In a statement signed by Sir Onyebuchi Omemanka, his Chief Press Secretary, Gov Ikpeazu noted that late Lady Aguiyi Ironsi was married to Nigeria’s First Military Head of State and Nigeria’s first indigenous Army General, late General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi.
According to him, Aguiyi Ironsi was a great son of Abia State who took up the leadership of the country at an extremely challenging time and paid the supreme price in a bid to foster the unity of this country.
His word: “The now late Noble Lady Aguiyi Ironsi, bore with great equanimity and strength, the death of her dear husband at the height of his career, after just six months in office as Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in July 1966 and has since then remained strong and committed to the ideals of an egalitarian society.
“Here in Abia, Lady Aguiyi Ironsi became a personification of the finest ideals of public service and a permanent resource person to successive First Ladies in our state. Till death, she carried herself with great dignity and charisma.”
The governor noted with pride that Noble Lady Aguiyi Ironsi was undeterred by the tragic death of her husband and managed to groom her children to become great and responsible members of society who also imbibed the finest ideals of public service, especially her first son, a successful career diplomat, His Excellency, Ambassador Tom Aguiyi Ironsi, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Togo and a former Honorable Minister of State, Defence.
Said Omemanka: “The governor is grateful to God for keeping Noble Lady Aguiyi Ironsi to live up to 97 years at a time when life expectancy in Nigeria is on the decline.
Governor Ikpeazu adds further that the death of this woman has robbed our state of one of her greatest political and historical icons, noting that her place in contemporary history is assured”.
According to Ikpeazu’s image maker, the death of Noble Lady Aguiyi Ironsi, 24 hours after the death of Lady Adanma Okpara bears some philosophical significance, adding. “the death, in quick succession, of these two iconic Abia women is very significant. They were both great historical icons. They were both First Ladies. They were both from Umuahia, our state capital.”