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Learn from Aguiyi-Ironsi, Adanma Okpara’s death, Ikpeazu’s wife urge women

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Dr. Nkechi Okezie Ikpeazu

Wife of Abia State governor Dr. Nkechi Ikpeazu has said that Nigerian women have a lot to learn from the lives of late former Nigeria’s first lady Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi and former first lady of the defunct eastern region of Nigeria Lady Adanma Okpara.

Both nonagenarians died successively last Saturday and Sunday mornings respectively in Umuahia, 55 and 37 years after their husbands who were Nigeria’s first military Head of State, Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi and first premier of the defunct eastern region of Nigeria, Dr. Michael Okpara, died in 1966 and 1984 respectively.

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Mrs. Ikpeazu who stated this while mourning the demise of the two revered ladies urged women to imbibe their virtues and reflect them in their daily lives and undertakings.

She described the deaths of the two elder stateswomen who were of Abia origin by birth and marriage within two successive days as double losses for Nigeria, especially for women.

Mrs. lkpeazu added that the late amazons whom she disclosed she learned a lot from, “represented an era of self-sacrifice in public service as they were always held up as beacons to women in leadership”.

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According to Mrs. Ikpeazu, she is one of many wives of governors and heads of State who had, over the past five decades, received mentorship from the two women, stressing that enjoyed the privilege of learning a lot about honour, humility, and self-respect from their lifestyles and stewardships.

“Their lives were momentous and though they would be sorely missed, they have left legacies worth introspecting, studying, emulating and replicating”.

Thanking God for granting them longevity, she urged their families to take solace in the beautiful memories and legacies left behind by their matriarchs.

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According to the late Lady Okpara’s second son, Chief Uzodinma Okpara, his late mother, was a great politician who accompanied her late father Dr. Michael Okpara as late eastern region premier between 1959 and 1966 in political campaigns across the country and gave him the support and assistance that enable him to govern the defunct region and turned its economy into one of the acclaimed fastest-growing economies in the world.

He also disclosed that in 1990 during a church service to mark her late mother’s birthday, his mother felt overwhelmed by a large number of attendants and exclaimed, “This is my happiest day since my husband died in 1984. I can see how it will be when I die because I know I will not be here forever”.

According to Chief Okpara, “we (her children) would miss the bond that prevailed between us like it was when our father died. But despite that, death is lamentable at any age, that of our mother at age 99, leaving six children comprising three males and females and numerous grandchildren, calls for both mourning and celebration”.

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