Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, yesterday commiserated with the family of the first military Head of State, the late Maj.-Gen. Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, on the death of their matriarch, Mrs. Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi.
Mrs. Aguiyi-Ironsi was the First Lady of Nigeria between January 16, 1966 and July 29, 1966, when her husband was assassinated in a counter-military coup.
She died on August 23, 2021 at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Umuahia, the Abia State capital. She was 97.
Gowon, who is the Founder and Chairman of Nigeria Prays, described the late Mrs. Aguiyi-Ironsi as a true mother of the nation.
The ex-Head of State, who was represented by the Abia Coordinator of Nigeria Prays, Rev. Dr. Chuks Alozie, said he was at the family house in Umuahia to commiserate with them over the death of their wife, mother and grandmother.
He described the late Gen. Aguiyi-Ironsi as a very close associate who shared in his belief in keeping the bound of unity in Nigeria.
Gowon said the contributions of the late Mrs. Aguiyi-Ironsi towards nation-building, motherly role in mediating for peace, human capacity building, and mobilising the Nigerian soldiers’ wives for greater role would be missed greatly.
He also consoled with Umuana Ndume Ibeku people, especially the traditional ruler of the Ibeku clan in Umuahia North Local Government Area, the government and people of Abia State on the loss of a rare mother-figure. He prayed for the family for God to console and comfort them and all their relations in this moment of grief and pledged to stand by them in this difficult time.
The head of the family and one-time Nigeria’s Ambassador to Republic of Togo, Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi Jnr., expressed gratitude to Gen. Gowon for his comforting words for the family.
He requested for ceaseless prayers from the Nigeria Prays group for the family and informed the delegation that the burial of his late mother had been fixed for November 4 and November 5, 2021 in Umuahia.
The delegation, led by Alozie, offered a special prayer for the family.
The group had paid a condolence visit to Prof. Anthony Agbazuare, the Chief of Staff to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, on the loss of his wife, Onyinyechi.