Buhari, Osinbajo, IBB eulogize Emily Aig-Imoukhuede
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other leaders and statesmen have eulogized Pastor Emily Okheren Aig-Imoukhede, a week to her funeral in Lagos.
Pastor Emily Okheren, former national president of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), died peacefully in her sleep in Surrey, England, on the night of July 8, 2021. She will be buried on Friday, July 16, 2021.
A statement issued by Femi Adeshina, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, quoted Buhari to have said that Pastor Emily spent the latter part of her years in a deep commitment to evangelical ministry in addition to serving humanity, the vulnerable and the underprivileged through her various charity programmes.
Buhari noted that Pastor Emily was kind, graceful and caring. The President commended the deceased for her service to the nation in various capacities as curator of the National Museum, president of NCWS and honourable secretary (Federal Minister) for States and Local Government in 1993. President Buhari beseeched God’s comfort to her husband, Frank Abiodun Aig-Imoukhuede, children, grandchildren and the entire family. The President urged the family to preserve the memory of the departed by keeping aglow the fire she lit for the inspiration of all those who knew her.
In his message to the Aig-Imoukhuede family, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo noted that Pastor Emily’s ‘’philanthropy and commitment to improving the lives of the vulnerable and less privileged is a distinct legacy she most certainly passed on to her children as demonstrated by the ongoing philanthropic efforts of your family’’. Professor Osinbajo stated that Nigerians are forever blessed by the precious memories of her love and devotion to family and friends, and perhaps most importantly her total commitment to preaching the gospel of Christ towards the salvation of many. The Vice President wrote, ‘’we pay tribute to mama’s admirable life in public service as an educationist, Honourable Secretary (Federal Minister) for States and Local Government, President of NCWS and curator of National Museum, amongst many outstanding accomplishments in her lifetime’’.
Ibrahim Babangida, a general and former Military President was particularly warm, genuine and fulsome in his tribute. The retired general is a very close family friend to the Aig-Imoukhuedes. Pastor Emily was the President of NCWS during his tenure and he appointed her as Minister (then referred to as Secretary) into the interim government that succeeded him in 1993. Babangida noted that he was actually looking forward to Pastor Emily’s 80th birthday on October 27, an opportunity he has wanted to ‘’formally thank her once again for being such a dependable ally, a family friend and one whose sense of loyalty to friendship remains profoundly exemplary’’.
General Babangida wrote, ‘’Aunty Emily, as she was fondly called by my children occupied a special place in our hearts as a family. Aside from being an embodiment of talents, skills and ideas, she was one imbued with subliminal humility. She exuded warmth, radiance, beauty, comportment, brilliance, good nature and a deep sense of patriotism’’. The former Military President recalled that Pastor Emily’s sense of industry was remarkable. His recollections: ‘’I remember during the formative stage of the Better Life for Rural Women, anchored by my late wife, Maryam, she deployed her intellect to shape the growth strategy of the programme from scratch to success’’.
The general ended his message by praying for the deceased, her widower, children and the family.