Posted by News Express | 7 July 2021 | 815 times
Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon; former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; and former President Goodluck Jonathan have condoled with the Aig-Imoukhuede family over the death of their matriarch, Pastor Emily Aig-Imoukhuede.
Emily Imoukhude, former Secretary of State (Minister) for States and Local Government Affairs died on June 8, 2021.
A condolence letter jointly signed by General Yakubu Gowon and his wife, Victoria, urged the family to stay strong and be comforted knowing that she had played well her part and the family also played the roles expected of them to ensure everyday of her life was very well spent.
Gowon’s letter read: “At a time like this, it’s difficult to find the right words to express the depth of the loss of such a fine-spirited woman leader who made sincere and wholesome contribution to nation-building as a former National President of the National Council for Women Societies, NCWS (1988-1993). Her voice on behalf of Nigerian women was strident and hard to ignore. Her appointment as honorable Secretary of State (junior Minister) for States and Local Government Affairs in the Federal Executive Council in 1993 affirmed that women are no pushovers.
“As a mother, she raised phenominally successful children, Erekpitan, Aigboje, Kemi and Aigbovbioise who have also made indelible marks in their personal and professional callings.”
The former head of state and his wife also said, “As an ordained pastor, she worked tirelessly to win souls for God’s Kingdom,” adding, “we are confident that her good works will remain an everlasting legacy of her time here on earth.”
Former President Obasanjo, in his condolence letter addressed to her son, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, described the late Emily Imoukhuede as an ”illustrious daughter of Africa.”
“As we mourn the passing of this illustrious daughter of Africa, we must resolve that her great labour of love shall not be in vain,” the former president said.
Noting that the late Emily Aig-Imoukhuede served the nation loyally and with distinction, the former President said her enormous contributions to the nation in particular earned her an eminent position in the nation’s gallery of unforgettable public servants.
Obasanjo’s condolence letter read: “It is with a deep sense of loss that I wish, on behlf of my family and on my behalf, to commiserate with you and the entire members of the Aig-Imoukhuede family on the passing of your dear matriarch, Pastor Emily Okheren Aig-Imiukhuede, on June 8, 2021
“On occasions like this , it is indeed difficult to find the appropriate words to soothe the anguish of the irreparable loss. She was arguably a great lady who was to her children a mother in a million and one who served variously as a public servant, women’s champion, teacher, confidant, counselor and pillar of strength to you all through her lifetime. Her enormous contributions to the nation in particular earned her an eminent position in the nation’s gallery of unforgettable public servants.
“She served her country committedly, loyally and with distinction, notably as the Honourable Secretary of State (minister) for States and Local Government in 1993, among others. Indeed she left her mark indelibly in whatever she was called upon to do. Indeed, she was a dutiful and hardworking fellow and gave her very best to the end in the service of her fatherland. In all the assignment she was called upon to do. She was a dutiful and hardworking fellow and gave her very best to the end in the service of her fatherland.
“In all the assignments she was given, quality and integrity were her imprint and legacy, while she left an indelible mark in her national assignments at the federal level and various facets of the private sector. Her life was, indeed, a clear testimony of divine favour as well as the power of a devoted, loving upbringing on the fortunes of her children. There is no doubt that her memory will remain evergreen well beyond the family. But we must encourage you to accept the inevitable with faith in God’s unfailing love according to His will and purpose.”
Chief Ernest Shonekan, in whose government she served as secretary of state for States and Local Government Affairs, described her as “an elegant, very kind and good woman.”
His letter read: “It is with a very deep sense of loss, yet, with gratitude to God for a life well spent, and also an immense honour for me to be afforded the opportunity on behalf of my wife and children, to pen a tribute to a recently departed, most treasured friend, wife, mother and grandmother.
“Emily and my wife, Margaret began their lifelong friendship as contemporaries at the University College lbadan, in 1951. They both distinguished themselves in their subsequent careers, with Emily as the Curator of the National Museum, and Margaret at the West African Examinations Council. Through them, our children became and have remained friends. Subsequently, they both were appointed as Trustees of the Chrisland University, Abeokuta.
“I remember with fondness and gratitude a beaded walking stick she gave me on my fiftieth birthday, when she also divulged to me that I share the same birthday as one of her sons. lt was such a beautiful work of art, which I have kept to this day. ln 1993, I was privileged to work with her directly when she served in the lnterim government which I led, as the Secretary of State for States and Local Governments.
“Emily always had a smile for everyone. She would have built just as distinguished a career as a diplomat. She was a friend to amazingly diverse people, a devoted family woman, and a most decent human being. Almost all who had the privilege of meeting her in life will acknowledge her extreme kindness, generosity and a very large heart. I have met very few people in my own life, who have matched her capacity to go out of her way to be of assistance wherever she could, even to complete strangers. lt would have come as no surprise to those who knew her well, of her later calling in life to evangelism and expansion of the kingdom of God.”
Also condoling with the Imoukhuede family, former President Jonathan in his condolence letter addressed to Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, described her as “an accomplished public servant and philanthropist.”
Jonathan said her legacies and contributions to national development, especially in the health, education and energy sectors, would continue to endure.
Former President Jonathan’s letter read: “I learned with deep compassion, the news of the passing on of your dear mother, Mrs. Emily Oheren Aig-Imoukhuede, to eternal glory.
“Your mother was very special to you and your family for which her death would have left a deep void in your heart and in the hearts of all those she dearly loved.
“Please be comforted by the fact that Mrs. Aig-Imoukhuede was an accomplished public servant and philanthropist whose legacies and contributions to national development, especially in the health, education and energy sectors, will continue to endure.
“She will also be remembered as an exemplary matriarch and epitome of motherhood, having nurtured and brought up distinguished Nigerians and successful netrepreneurs like you and your siblings.”
The former President prayed God to grant her soul eternal repose and the family the fortitude to bear her absence.
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