Her Excellency Lady Adanma Okpara will be 97 in December 2021.
In a release by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Onyebuchi Omemanka, Ikpeazu said he “received with a heavy heart but with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty God for a very fulfilled life, the news of the passing on of the former First Lady of the Old Eastern Region, Her Excellency, Lady Adanma Okpara at the age of 97 years”.
According to the Abia chief executive, “Lady Adanma Okpara was married to the iconic late Dr. Micheal Iheonukara Okpara, who served as Premier of the old Eastern Region from 1959 to 1966, and together, they gave the people of the old Eastern Region, a first class government whose achievements continue to reverberate even till this day”.
The governor said, “The spousal support she provided to her late husband was instrumental to the monumental success he recorded as Premier.
“Widowed since December, 1984, Lady Adanma Okpara remained a model of good and excellent womanhood. She was a fountain of knowledge from which most women, especially, here in Abia, drank freely.
Quoting the governor, the Chief Press Secretary revealed that “Ikpeazu notes with satisfaction that the now late Lady Adanma Okpara remained at her husband’s house in Umuegwu, Ohuhu, Umuahia and continued to play the role of a mother, grandmother and community leader till her final days.
“The Governor recalls with nostalgia the moments he spent with her and how passionate she remained about the use of the platform of government to better the lives of the people. She freely shared their experiences about the public service of the first republic.
“Her death”, the governor notes, “has robbed us of one of our most iconic female living legends”.
The Abia governor, according to his image maker, is however thankful to God for the life of Lady Okpara, adding that she lived a fulfilled life, served God and humanity, as well as had the exceptional privilege of seeing her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. “At 97, she saw it all”, the governor maintained.
Ikpeazu used the opportunity to assure the Michael Okpara family that the people of Abia State will always treasure her memories, “just the way we continue to treasure the great memories of her late husband”.
“Together, they left imperishable legacies”, he added.
The governor therefore sent his deep condolences to the second son of the family, Chief Uzodinma Okpara (Omekannaya) and indeed, the entire family on the glorious passage of their matriarch, even as he urged them to take pride in the solid legacies of their parents and be motivated to keep the flag of excellence in public service, hoisted by their parents, flying at full mast.
The state government, he said, will work closely with the family to ensure that she gets a burial befitting and also uphold the legacies she left behind.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.