Lady Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi Smiles Again

By Deola Adeoti

How many ex-first ladies do you know with a sense of humility, humaneness and hard work? Before you go on wracking that brain, let’s give you a clue. Lady Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi is one of them. Lady Victoria as many have chosen to call her is the widow of Nigeria’s first military head of state, Gen. Thompson Aguiyi- Ironsi, who came to power after the 1966 coup led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, although he was not part of the coup. He was killed in the subsequent counter-coup. Still, during Ironsi’s reign, one thing stood out; and that was Lady Victoria.

Unlike some power-driven first ladies, who allow themselves to be plagued by the seven deadly sins of lust, envy, greed, sloth, wrath, pride and gluttony, she played second fiddle to her husband, supported him and his armies and looked after all the officers like her own children.

But following the demise of her husband, things never remained the same for the once powerful but humble first lady and her eight children. For years, she toiled alone trying to make ends meet for her progenies without the support of any government or its officials.

However, penultimate week, fortune seems to have smiled on her as she was remembered by the current first lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari amongst other former first ladies and other powerful Nigerian women to discuss the way forward for Nigeria. Though now old, Lady Victoria shone like a million star as she praised the first lady and the Buhari administration for remembering her and for making effort to build a virile Nigeria.


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