By Uche Amunike
The remains of former First Lady and wife of Nigeria’s first Head of State, Major General Aguiyi Ironsi, Late Victoria Ironsi’s burial has been slated for Friday, November 5, 2021 at her country home in Umuahia, Abia State.
This was announced in a statement released by the first son of the Late Aguiyi-Ironsi and former Nigerian Minister of Defence, Thompson Aguiyi and made available to Newsmen in Umuahia, Wednesday.
The late Lady Victoria, who died August 23, at the age of 97 after a long battle with stroke was Nigeria’s First Lady from January 17, 1966 to July 1966. She got married to her deceased husband, Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi who had also died, after seizing power, owing to the national chaos that was caused by the January 15 1966 military coup. He was to become the Supreme Commander of the National Military Government, but was killed on July 29, 1966 during a counter coup.
Still on the Late Victoria Ironsi’s burial, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has also expressed his pain over her death.
He released a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka where he stated that the late Noble Lady Aguiyi Ironsi became a personification of the finest ideals of public service and a permanent resource person to successive First ladies in Abia State. He maintained that even till her death, she carried herself with great dignity and charisma.
According to him, Lady Ironsi’s death has robbed Abia State of one of her greatest political and historical icons but noted that her place in contemporary history was assured.
Governor Ikpeazu went ahead to invite dignitaries to join him at the Late Lady Victoria Ironsi’s burial Mass on Friday, November 5th, 2021 at Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church, Afaraukwu Ibeku in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State.
The Secretary of the Abia State Government, Barrister Chris Ezem in a Press release, also invited the following dignitaries to the Late Lady Victoria Ironsi’s burial: Deputy Governor, Speaker of Abia House of Assembly, Members of the State House of Assembly, the Chief Judge, President, Customary Court of Appeal Abia State and Security Service chiefs.
Also on the guest list are: State Head of Service, all Commissioners, Executive Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas of Abia, political stakeholders, Service Chiefs, traditional rulers, Elder statesmen and the media practitioners.
The Late Matriarch married General Aguiyi-Ironsi at the age of 16 while she was still schooling at Holy Rosary Convent School, Okigwe in 1953.
She was blessed with eight children who were taken away from her and cared for, by nuns in Ibadan, under the direction of Adekunle Fajuyi, during the Nigerian Civil War.
She served as a Commissioner of the Local Government Services Commission in Umuahia. When she became First Lady, she brought a lot of prestige to the office and was known for her distinct style of wearing traditional outfits in a pretty and effortlessly regal way.
All COVID-19 protocols will be observed during Lady Victoria Ironsi’s burial.