Our Reporter

Abuja—Mrs. Maryam Babangida was Sunday mourned for her positive contributions in the empowerment of Nigerian women with both male and female Senators affirming that her glamour and style lifted the confidence of Nigerian women.

While Senator Chris Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East) lauded her for bringing beauty and brain in the exercise of power, Senator Joy Emodi, chairman of the Senate Committee on Education praised the positive influence of the former First Lady in the nation’s education sector, saying that she ran one of the best private schools in the country until her death.

Other Senators who commented on the death of the former First Lady were Senators Dahiru Kuta (PDP, Niger East) who represents her husband’s constituency and Senator Patrick Osakwe (PDP, Delta North) who represents her father’s constituency.

Senator Emodi
I am really saddened by the death. She proved herself to be a sister to us, especially as she proved herself as a great lover of education through her practical involvement in the education of the younger ones.

Mrs. Babangida, of course, is remembered by most Nigerians for the way she touched the lives of Nigerian women through her Better Life for Rural Women as the programme impacted the lives of many women for good. Through that programme a number of women were empowered and lifted from their toils.

Maryam Babangida

Yes, she left a lot of marks among the rural women but for us in the education sector we will remember her today and always for the way she touched the sector as she ran one of the best private primary and secondary schools in the country and that was why we invited her during our education summit. We benefited from her involvement as she brought not only glamour but intellectual impact to that summit.

Senator Chris Anyanwu
What a loss. What a woman. She moved women away from the role of hand clappers, praise singers and entertainers of men while they exercised power to active participants in governance.

And whatever she did in support of her husband’s administration of state; whatever role she played, she left a very fine touch. Maryam gave Nigerian women confidence to raise voices in their group interest. She pioneered the concept of equipping rural women for better life, something that has now caught on with all levels of government.

….As Atiku consoles IBB
ABUJA—Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has commiserated with former President Ibrahim Babangida on the death of his wife, Maryam describing the deceased former First Lady as a disciplined, devoted and generous person.

In a condolence message in Abuja yesterday, Atiku said he was shocked and saddened by news of the  death of the former First Lady whom he described as one of the women who worked tirelessly to improve the living conditions of women in Nigeria and Africa.

He said: “As a friend of the Babangida family, I have always been fascinated by the humility, discipline and religious devotion of Hajia Maryam Babangida.

Religious leaders exppress shock at her death
RELIGIOUS leaders have commiserated with the Babangida family and the nation as a whole for the loss of the woman who brought candour to the office of the First Lady in Nigeria, Mrs. Maryam Babangida who passed on yesterday.

In separate telephone interviews, both Christian and Muslim leaders in the country expressed shock at the news of her death at a time her wisdom and experience at the State House was most needed to move the nation forward.

The National President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor expressed shock at the news, saying first of all, our condolences go to the husband and the immediate family.

“It is what this elegant woman had done while she was here that will now be remembered for. You know, she was very articulate as a First Lady and pillar behind her husband and I am sure that the Nigerian women will not forget her in a hurry.” Pastor Oritsejafor said, praying God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.

In his reaction, Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Sunday Ola Makinde described the late First Lady as a very great who had done tremendous respect to womanhood in Nigeria.

“She was a great woman mobiliser and Nigerians will not forget her in a hurry for Better Life for Rural Women and all other noble programmes she initiated for women in the country,” he said, adding that she was a great defender of womanhood.

Former presidential candidate of Fresh Democratic Party, FDP, Rev. Chris Okotie was close to tears when told of the death, saying that the death was a blow to the nation because the woman brought a certain kind of innovation to statesmanship in the country.

The Secretary-General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Association, NSCIA, Dr. Lateef Adegbite also expressed shock at the news, saying it was huge loss to the nation.

Great crusader for women, say Akhigbe, Owie
BENIN CITY—FORMER Chief of General Staff, Admiral Mike Akhigbe and the former Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Rowland Owie, weekend, reacted to death of the former First Lady of the nation, Mrs Maryam Babangida, describing her as a “ great crusader for the empowerment” of women in the nation.

The wife of the former President Ibrahim Babangida died yesterday, after struggling with cancer for a long time now.

According to Akhigbe, “the news came to me as a shock and I am still very shocked.  She actually fought a crusade for the empowerment of the women folk in Nigeria, especially women in the rural areas. Her efforts for the empowerment and development of Nigeria women led to the effective and well focused policies for the well being of women.

“Her policies influenced the development of concrete and well focused policies on women development and such efforts led to the creation of Ministries of Women Affairs both at the Federal and state levels, as well as the establishment of the Centre for Women Development in Abuja .

On his part, Senator Owie lamented: “This is the mystery about God that we cannot understand. How he takes some of the good ones early and leave the bad and the ugly. Mighty God, we cannot question you. Your words says that in all situations, we give thanks to God.

Mrs Maryam Babangida was a wonderful mother and sister. A pacifist and yet courageous. She was a caring woman who inspite of her exalted position, humbled her self as a true house wife. Her devotion captivated the husband to the extent that even as a muslim entitled to marry four wives, kept to her alone.

She transformed office of First Lady — Falae
AKURE—A Presidential candidate and former Secretary to Government, Chief Olu Falae yesterday said the late wife of the former President Ibrahim Babangida, Maryam, transformed the office of the First Lady . Falea pointed out that she transformed the office “from a mere decorative appendage to a meaningful and functional one.

Speaking with newsmen on the death of Maryam, Chief Falae said “ I don’t just know her as wife of the president but also as wife of a friend. She was a lady I used to see everyday when I was Secretary to the Federal Government of the Nigeria .


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