Ikpeazu reacts to death of Victoria Aguyi-Ironsi, says Abia lost an icon

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has expressed sadness over the death of “yet another iconic Abia woman” and a former First Lady of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Noble Lady Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi at the age of 97.

This was contained in a statement issued on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka.

According to the statement, the late 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, 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.

“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, Noble 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 said.

Governor Ikpeazu stated that the deceased 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.

According to the CPS, 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 added 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”.

“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”.