(Above: Photo of late Dr. Michael Okpara, and his now late wife, Adanma. Photo courtesy of The Punch)
President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice-president Atiku Abubakar have commiserated with family of the late Dr Michael Okpara, Premier of Eastern Nigeria during the First Republic, on the passing of Lady Adanma Okpara.
The President, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, joined the government and people of Abia State and all Nigerians in mourning the passing of an enterprising and disciplined mother, who was a worthy example of humility and hardwork to her children and the many women she mentored in her community.
As a recipient of several awards and honours from faith-based and humanitarian organisations, President Buhari affirms that the late wife of the very formidable figure in the First Republic and the Eastern Nigeria, led by example even after leaving public office.
The President’s prayers and thoughts are with the family members, friends and members of the Knight of John Wesley (KJW) in the Methodist Church Nigeria, who will greatly miss her warmth, grace and depth of wisdom.
President Buhari prays God Almighty to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.
Atiku said in a statement in Abuja on Monday, that even though Lady Okpara passed away at a ripe old age, death naturally diminishes our humanity and comes with grief.
“I received the news of the death of your matriarch with mixed feelings. It is usually a saddening moment for me at the news of the demise of anyone at all; even though this one is at a very ripe old age. Death naturally diminishes humanity and the loss of one’s mother is very painful at any time”, Atiku was quoted as saying.
The Waziri Adamawa noted that the death of Lady Adanma Okpara at this period of serious national challenges is also a sad reminder of the lost opportunities of our country’s greatness as represented by the political and development prowess of her late husband, Dr Michael Okpara and his generation during Nigeria’s First Republic.
He paid tribute to Lady Adanma Okpara’s life of courage, service and integrity noting that these were attributes that had been associated with the great development strides of her late husband in the old eastern region and with which she had carried on with her life, long after her husband’s death.
He expresses his deepest condolences to the Michael Okapra family of Ohuhu Umuahia, the people and government of Abia State and Nigerians at large.