Nigeria’s ex-Prime Minister’s wife, Jummai, dies in Lagos

Hajiya Jummai Balewa, wife of Nigeria’s first and only Prime Minister, the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, is dead.

She was, until her death, the only surviving wife of the former prime minister.

A family source told journalists in Bauchi Sunday evening that Jummai died in Lagos in the early hours of Sunday after a protracted illness.

According to the source, she was recently taken to India for medical attention where she was treated and discharged last week and returned to Nigeria to recuperate.

He added that the late octogenarian stopped over in Lagos to rest before moving to Bauchi to continue her rehabilitation and recuperation but, “unfortunately in the early hours of Sunday, the illness relapsed and she went into coma and could not be revived as she died in the process.”

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday commiserated with the  family of the late prime minister.

He also directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, to make available an aircraft from the presidential fleet for the evacuation of her remains.

Buhari’s condolence message, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, was sent through the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed.

The statement read, “It was with the deepest sense of sorrow that I have learnt of the tragic demise of Hajiya Jummai Tafawa Balewa. In her sad demise, Nigeria has lost an outstanding political figure, who was passionately committed to the cause of the family and the legacies of her late husband.”