By CHARLES KUMOLU & BASHIR ADEFAKA
LAGOS — Associates of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu have condoled with him on the death of his mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji.
Mogaji, died on Saturday evening at her Ikeja residence at the age of 96 and was buried on Sunday at a private cemetery in Ikoyi. The third day Fidau prayer was held yesterday.
This was even as all major markets in Lagos metropolis were, yesterday, shut in honour of the late Mogaji who was the Iyaloja-General of the state.
The development followed the partial closure which was observed on Monday, when several markets were shut in her honour.
Reactions to the death of Mogaji came from the former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chris Ngige; former Deputy Governor, old Ondo State, Dr. Musa Adebayo Ayeni; Senator Ehigie Uzamere, ACN, Edo South); Reps member, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, (ACN, Ikorodu) and former member of the House of Representatives and ACN chieftain, Hon. Temi Harriman, as well as the National Union of Textile Workers.
In a letter addressed to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and personally signed by Dr. Ngige, who represents Anambra Central Senatorial District at the Senate, the late market leader was described as a “virtuous woman of honour and of many parts.”
Ngige stated that Mogaji “was a mother to all; who showered love, compassion, wise counsels and impacted her sense of purpose and tenacity on everyone she came across.
“Even in the face of adversity, she always stood tall and maintained her dignity. She was a woman of deep faith and a great organiser and community leader, who led the Association of Nigerian Market Men and Women as its President-General.
“She selflessly gave her time, energy and acute thinking for the welfare of the association.”
Also, Senator Uzamere praised her for living a very good life, while Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in her own tribute said: “She was a mother par excellence. I knew her from my days at the NTA, and my mother also had a shop and she was under her leadership. I covered her activities as a member of staff of NTA and I am ever so amazed at her wealth of knowledge and experience.”
“We thank God for her life, she lived a great life, a worthy mother and a strong and committed woman. I think if you say you are celebrating women, Alhaja Mogaji is a foremost woman to be celebrated because she trained a lot of people all over the world.
“Whatever she said was almost always well thought out and she lived a life of pride and admiration.”
Harriman in her own tribute said: “She lived an illustrious life for the public good, starting out as a formidable trader in consumer goods, which led to the enduring and successful leadership of the Lagos Market Women as the pioneer President-General.
“As I celebrate her life and her remarkable achievements, I pray to Almighty God for her peaceful repose.”
To the former Ondo State deputy governor, Musa Ayeni, late Majaji was a genius. In his message, he recalled how much involved Alhaja Mogaji was in the struggle for the growth and development of commerce and ensuring religious harmony in Nigeria.
“Alhaja Habibat Magaji was a great Nigerian leader in commerce and religion. When I was at the University of Ife, I led a delegation to commend her for her contribution towards building of the university mosque, she not only gave her full support and contribution, but also, encouraged others to also do. Her positive attitude towards religious harmony and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians would forever be missed therefore,” Ayeni added.
Meanwhile, a News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, correspondent who visited some major markets in the metropolis reports that all shops and stalls were locked.
The usual throng of customers at the Rauf Aregbesola Market, Iyana Ipaja, was completely absent as only a couple of traders were seen standing in front of their locked shops.
At AP and Pen Cinema in Agege, only newspaper vendors and a few hawkers were being patronised by some customers as traders in the main market closed their stalls. This was the situation in other markets around Lagos.
Also, customers who had gone to Mosafejo market in Oshodi to buy items were disappointed as the market was not open for business.
Mrs Afusat Buhari, a trader at Balogun market , Lagos Island, told NAN on telephone that the market was a shadow of itself as it was completely devoid of buying and selling.
“Balogun market is closed to honour Mama Mogaji and to enable traders attend the third day Fidau prayers for the late Iyaloja at TBS.