By Jennifer Ugwueke
Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi, wife of Nigeria’s first military Head of State, Major Gen Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi is dead; she was aged 97.
Lady Aguiyi-Ironsi died at 4 am this morning, Monday, August 23, 2021, after a prolonged battle with a mild stroke. Family sources said she died at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia where she was admitted a few days ago.
This is coming less than 24 hours after another wife of the late Premier of defunct Eastern Region, Dr Michael Iheonukara Okpara died in her country home Umuekwu Okpuala in Ohuhu Clan of Umuahia North LGA of Abia State.
Both their departed spouses hailed from Umuahia North LGA and had kept low-profile lifestyles since the demise of their husbands many years ago. Aguiyi Ironsi died on July 29, 1966, during a counter-coup which was led by some military officers, while Okpara died on December 15, 1984, after celebrating a cultural festival in Umuekwu Okpuala.
Dr. Michael Okpara ruled the Eastern Region as a civilian Premier from 1959 to January 15, 1966, while Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi started his journey of ruling Nigeria from January 15, 1966. Aguiyi-Ironsi seized power amidst the ensuing chaos following January 25, 1966, military coup.