Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi
Late Mrs. Aguiyi-Ironsi

OBINNA EZUGWU

The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has mourned with the Igbo Nation and her neighbours in the Nigerian Federation, on the passage of the wife of the first military Head of State, J.T.U. Aguiyi Ironsi, Lady Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi, who died on Monday, 23rd August, 2021 at the ripe age of 97.

Mrs. Ironsi, the Igbo group said in a statement by its spokesman, Abia Onyike, was remarkable woman worthy of note because of her courage and organizational ability which enabled her to sustain the Ironsi family after she was widowed in 1966 following the death of her husband during the counter-coup of July, 29, 1966.

“As the wife of NIGERIA’S first Army General and later first Military Head of State, Lady Ironsi was a pioneer leader of the Army Officers Wives Association which was intended to create a necessary atmosphere for good family life for the military corps. She lived a life of commitment and dedication to her family, community and humanity in general,” ADF said.

“The death of Her Excellency, Lady Ironsi reminds us of the supreme sacrifice made by her husband, Gen. J. T. U. Aguiyi Ironsi in the search for the elusive unity of the Nigerian federation. Inspite of everything, Gen. Ironsi remains a man of honour and an accomplished military officer who served humanity in the cause of peace in Africa, especially as Leader of the military Peace Corp in the Congo in the early 1960s.

“When we reflect back into history, we appreciate more profoundly the roots of the wobbly nature of the chaotic Nigerian federation. The important lesson to learn is that the unity of seperate Nationalities can never be achieved by force. Such nations can only be held together by the chemistry of self-determination and that has been the missing quotient in the case of Nigeria.

“ADF wishes to seize this opportunity to remind Nigerians that compared to other former military generals in Nigeria, living or dead, Gen. Ironsi was a saint. He had no hand in the plotting of the two coups of January and July, 1966. Rather, he risked his life to abort the January, 15, 1966 coup.

“ADF calls on the Nigerian Government to set up a befitting memorial for Ironsi in order to immortalise him. We make the call because somehow nobody knows if the deep crises bedevilling the Nigeria federation could be as a result of the continuous neglect of Ironsi’s memory and his genuine patriotism which was distorted by political adventurers.”