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Funeral rites of Emily Aig-Imoukhuede begin July 13

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The funeral rites of Pastor Pastor Emily Okheren Aig-Imoukhede (nee Ihonde) will commence on Tuesday, July 13, with a Service of Songs at the Cathedral Church of St. John, Sabongida-Ora, Owan West local council of Edo State, at noon.

This will be followed by a Night of Tributes at Habour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Wednesday, July 14 at 5.00 pm. On Thursday, July 15, the funeral ceremonies will continue with another Service of Songs in her honour at the same venue at 5.00 pm.

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Funeral service will hold at noon at Our Saviour’s Church, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, on Friday, July 16 after which her body will be interred. Funeral ceremonies will close with an outing service on Sunday, July 18 at 9.00 am, also at Our Saviour’s Church Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

Born on October 27, 1941, in Sabongida-Ora, the late Pastor Emily died peacefully in her sleep on the night of June 8, 2021, in Surrey, England. Since her death, an avalanche of beautiful eulogies, condolence messages and tributes have been pouring into the Aig-Imoukhuede family, a testament to the beautiful and accomplished life she led for almost 80 years.

Among eminent Nigerians who have eulogised the former National President of National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) were President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and others.

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Buhari, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, noted that Pastor Emily spent the latter part of her years in a deep commitment to evangelical ministry in addition to serving humanity, the vulnerable and the underprivileged through her various charity programmes.

The President noted that she was kind, graceful and caring, commending the deceased for her service to the nation in various capacities as Curator of the National Museum, President of NCWS and Honourable Secretary (Federal Minister) for States and Local Government in 1993.

He beseeched God’s comfort to her husband, Frank Abiodun Aig-Imoukhuede, children, grandchildren and the entire family. The President urged the family to preserve the memory of the departed by keeping aglow the fire she lit for the inspiration of all those who knew her.

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In his message to the Aig-Imoukhuede family, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo noted that Pastor Emily’s “philanthropy and commitment to improve the lives of the vulnerable and less privileged is a distinct legacy she most certainly passed on to her children as demonstrated by the ongoing philanthropic efforts of your family.”

Osinbajo stated that Nigerians were forever blessed by the precious memories of her love and devotion to family and friends, and perhaps most importantly her total commitment to preaching the gospel of Christ towards the salvation of many.

“We pay tribute to mama’s admirable life in public service as an educationist, Honourable Secretary (Federal Minister) for States and Local Government, President of NCWS and curator of National Museum, amongst many outstanding accomplishments in her life time,” he added.

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In his message, Babangida, who is a very close family friend to the Aig-Imoukhuedes, said he was actually looking forward to Pastor Emily’s 80th birthday on October 27, saying he wanted to use that opportunity to “formally thank her once again for being such a dependable ally, a family friend and one whose sense of loyalty to friendship remains profoundly exemplary.”

He said: “Aunty Emily, as she was fondly called by my children, occupied a special place in our hearts as a family. Aside from being an embodiment of talents, skills and ideas, she was one imbued with subliminal humility. She exuded warmth, radiance, beauty, comportment, brilliance, good nature and a deep sense of patriotism’’.

The former military president recalled that Pastor Emily’s sense of industry was remarkable. “I remember during the formative stage of the Better Life for Rural Women, anchored by my late wife, Maryam; she deployed her intellect to shape the growth strategy of the programme from scratch to success,” he added.

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