I was just reminiscing a couple of days ago looking at my mum and telling myself how fortunate I was to have her motherly support after all we have been through especially her. I also pondered on those who had lost their mothers especially those who had the deadly axe of cancer fall on them. The deeper I pondered, the scarier it became and the scarier it became, the more grateful I was for my mother could have been another victim subdued by cancer but for early detection. Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola of blessed memory, winner of the freest and fairest election in the history of Nigeria, June 12, had two of his wives, Chief Mrs. Simbiat and Remi Abiola claimed by cancer. Former Governor of Edo State Adams Aliyu Oshiomole did not fare any better as he lost his wife Lady Clara to cancer at the age of 54. The list is endless I discovered that the women who bowed to this life claimer of a disease were aged between 54-59
Professor Theodora Nkem Akunyili, the past Director General of National Agency for Food And Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and former Minister of Information popularly known as ‘Madam Rebranding’ because of her passion to have Nigeria rebranded. The Iron Lady who escaped death from an assassin’s bullet by a hair’s breath succumbed to a more subtle and deadlier enemy, the enemy within called cancer at the age of 59 just one month to her 60th birthday.
Mrs Felicia Oluremi Oyo a journalist and a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) also joins the list of the fallen soldiers courtesy of the enemy called cancer. The former Senior Special Assistant on Media to former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003-2007. She died four months after her fellow compatriot, Professor Akunyili on a special day for Nigeria, October 1st just eleven days to her 62nd birthday.
What is so incredible about these two ladies do I hear someone ask? These few things
1 They both served under three presidents, Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Musa Yar Adua and Goodluck Jonathan
2 They both died in the year 2014 before their birthdays
3 They both served at the highest level of governance in their respective fields
Strange but sadly true of two Nigerian iron ladies who successfully got to the peak of their careers but did not stay long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Were these deaths just a coincidence or is there some air of mystery attached to it?