List Of Successful Widows Of Late Nigerian Leaders

           Prof Uche Ewah Azikiwe (MFR)
Prof. Uche Ewah Azikwe (MFR), is the widow of the first President of Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. Although she didn’t become Nigeria’s First Lady because Late Azikiwe married her in 1973 as his second wife, nine years after leaving office as Nigeria president.
Uche is an author and a professor in the Department of Educational Foundation, Faculty of Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Born  4 February 1947, she married the ex-president at age 26 when the man was 69 years old. The marriage produced two children; Uwakwe Ukuta and Molokwu Azubuike.
Her widowhood began in 1996 when Zik died at age 92, while she was 49 years old. Of course, the first wife of the late Nigeria leader, Mrs Flora Azikiwe, to whom he was married in 1936 had died in 1983.
This professor who was born in Afikpo, Ebonyi State, was appointed to the board of directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1999.
Mrs Victoria Aguiyi -Ironsi
She is the widow of Nigeria’s first military Head of State, late Gen  Johnson T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi; and the second First Lady in Nigeria history, although she never enjoyed the office.
She was married to Aguiyi-Ironsi in 1953 and became Nigeria First Lady on January 16, 1966, when her husband took over as the new Head of State, following the January 15, 1966 coup.
Victoria became a widow barely six months after, as some military  mutineers carried out a counter coup and killed her husband on July 29, 1966, for his failure to punish the January coup plotters, which they saw as confirming the fact that he supported the coup which claimed the lives of top Hausa and Yoruba leaders at that time, and brought him, an Igbo man, to power.
Her son, Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, was appointed Nigeria’s Defence Minister on 30 August 2006 – forty years after his father’s death.
       Madame Stella Abike Oluremi Rabiu 
Madame Stella Abike Oluremi Rabiu (nee Osofisan) is the widow of late Braimah Rabiu. She was born on 1st Oct 1953 to the Osofisan family in Ikoto, ijebu land of Ogun state Nigeria.
She is a dietician and nutritionist by training. She had a stint in the teaching profession having taught different science subjects in various secondary schools.
Also, she ventured into entrepreneurship with interest in tailoring, hairdressing, fish & poultry farming, soap production amongst others.
She got married to Rabiu Briaimah, a Military officer. The union produced five children-  three sons and two daughters.
Stella who is an alumni of the Anglican Girls Grammar School, Ijebu-Ode joined widowhood on the 22nd August, 2023, when her spouse, Rabiu Briaimah, passed on.
She is also a one time member of the Nigeria Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA)
Ajoke Murtala Muhammed
75 years old Yoruba woman is the widow of Nigeria’s fourth Head of State, late General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, who was assassinated in a bloody but failed coup of  February 13, 1976.
Although she was Nigeria’s  First Lady from the moment her husband became Nigeria leader on  July 30, 1975, she didn’t enjoy the office of the First Lady before her husband’s assassination because it was at the time glamour and serious responsibilities were not attached to the office.
Although her predecessor, Mrs. Victoria Gowon played a good role having stayed in office for over half a decade, Ajoke’s husband was busy fighting corruption throughout his brief stay in office.
Ajoke  is the only wife the late general had and their union produced six children, namely Aishat, Zakari (deceased), Abba (also known as Risqua), Fatimah, Jumai and Zalihatu.
The eldest daughter, Mrs. Aishat Muhammed-Oyebode, is a legal practitioner and business consultant with an LL.M (Public International Law) from King’s College and MBA in Finance from Imperial College, both in the University of London.
While one of their sons, Alhaji Abba Muhammed who declared his intention for Kano gubernatorial election in 2015 is the Chief Executive Officer of AMG Petro-Energy Ltd.
Hajia Maryam Abacha
She is the widow of late General Sanni Abacha, Nigeria’s former military dictator who ruled the nation between November 1993 and June 8, 1998.
Maryam whose marriage with Abacha produced 10 children, became Nigeria’s First Lady when her husband became Nigeria Head of State on 17 November 1993, following a palace coup he carried out to unseat the head of Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan.
She became a widow on June 8, 1998, when her husband died in a controversial circumstance in the Aso Rock Villa where he was ruling with unquestionable decrees.
Maryam whose eldest son died in a plane crash in Jan 1996,  celebrated her 70 Years birthday in March 2017.
Hajia Turai Yar’Adua
She is the widow of late Nigerian President and former Kastina State Governor Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Turai who was born in July 1957, married Yar’Adua in 1975 and became Nigeria First Lady on May 29, 2007, when her husband was sworn-in as the 3rd president of Nigeria.
Their marriage produced five daughters and two sons. Three among the daughters, Zainab, Nafisat and Maryam were married to former governors of Kebbi State,  Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari, Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda and Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, respectively.
Turai who bagged a bachelor’s degree in Language from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, became a widow on May 5, 2010 when her husband died of protracted illness.
Hajia Binta Musa Yar’Adua.
She is the widow of late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Nigeria’s No.2 man during Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s military regime (1976-79).They married on December 27, 1965 after her graduation from Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Ilorin, Kwara State. The marriage produced five children; the eldest son, Mallam Murtala Yar’Adua, was appointed Minister of State for Defence by President Goodluck Jonathan and served during the Administration.
Binta is a trustee of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation and she’s actively participating in guiding its operations.
Mrs Beatrice Ekwueme
This 83-year-old woman is the wife of Nigeria’ s first elected Vice President Alex Ekwueme. She just became a widow recently when her husband died in a London clinic on 19 November, 2017.
She was in the Government House with her husband as Wife of The Vice President between October 1979 and December 1983 before the coup that toppled the then President Shehu Shagari sent them packing.
She wedded Ekwueme on December 19, 1959, after 13 years of courtship which began in 1946, when she was just about 12 Years old. Their union which couldn’t produce any child after five years is however blessed with children.
Mrs Rebecca Madojemu-Aikhomu
This widow of former Nigeria Vice President and Chief of General Staff, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, joined widowhood when her husband passed on 17 August 2011, at age 71.
She was in State House in Lagos and later in Aso Rock Villa while her husband was Nigeria No.2 man between 1986 and 1993.
Their marriage produced six children; four daughters and two sons.
Soon after the death of the late Admiral Aikhomu however,  their son, Mr. Ehime Aikhomu, was involved in the ill-fated Dana plane that crashed in Iju area of Lagos in June 2012, less than a year after the father died.
Mrs. Modupe Adebayo
She is the widow of the First indigenous Chief of Staff of the Nigeria Army and late Governor of Western Region/State of Nigeria, General Adeyinka Adebayo.
Mama Modupe who joined widowhood early in March this year when her husband died peacefully in his Ikeja home, is the mother of the first Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.
Late General Adebayo was until his death the oldest and the most senior military officer in Nigerian, being senior to Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Late Gen. Murtala Muhammed, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu and others.
Although she was the First Lady of Western State between 1966 and 1971 when her husband was holding sway in the region, it was during Nigeria turbulence period when the civil war was going on. So she could not really enjoy the office as wives of governors in smaller states do today.
However her influence covered the entire Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and the old Bendel State (now Edo and Delta States).
Amb (Mrs) Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu
This lawyer, business woman, diplomat, politician and multiple pageant titles holder, is the widow of the late Biafra warlord, the Ikemba of Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.
She was the winner of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Pageant (MBGN) in 1988, Miss Africa(1988) and is best known as the first African to win Miss Intercontinental(1989).
A former Nigerian Ambassador to Spain during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, she is  Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations World Tourism Organization since 2014.
Bianca is the daughter of former governor of Anambra State, Chief Christian Onoh, (a political associate of her father who died in 2009).
Their marriage which started as secret dating in the late 1980s generated a lot of controversies, because Ojukwu was reported to have attended her naming ceremony when she was born, being a childhood friend of her father.
They eventually got married in 1994 and the relationship produced three children. She had told Lagos state High Court sitting at Igbosere, in February 2016 that she is the only legal wife of the late soldier and Biafran leader.
Late Odumegwu-Ojukwu who was over 34 years older than Bianca died in 2011 after a protracted illness.
With the death of Ojukwu, Bianca became a widow.

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