Edo First Lady Dies Of Cancer

Mrs. Clara Oshiomhole

•Mrs. Clara Oshiomhole

Clara, wife of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, is dead. She died last night  as a result of a protracted breast cancer.

•Mrs. Clara Oshiomhole

A statement from the governor’s office this morning, revealed that Mrs. Oshiomhole  passed on at 54.

Clara Oshiomhole, nee Akharagbon,  died at exactly 10:53 p.m. yesterday at Maitama,  Clinic, Abuja.

Until her death, she was a solid pillar behind her husband, all through his days as  a frontline labour activist and his struggle to reclaim his governorship mandate,  which culminated in his court victory 12 November 2008.

Clara was the initiator of the Health Foundation for Maternal and Child Care, a pet  project which is aimed at providing quality healthcare for pregnant women and the  girl child.

She is survived by five children, namely Winnie, Jane, Steve, and Adams Jnr.

The  First Lady of Edo hailed from Igbienie, Esan West LGA of Edo State.

gathered that the deceased had not been in good health in recent years. She  shuttled  between Nigeria and the United States of America, USA for treatment of   the breast cancer.

The deceased came home a few days ago for the marriage of her second daughter, Jane,  scheduled for Saturday 18 December at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama, in  Abuja. Now, her death may cause the postponement of the wedding. Last week, as if  having a premonition of death, her husband invited the General Overseer of the  Redeemed Church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye to offer her special prayers in Abuja. The  prayers were offered last week Tuesday. But a day after, her condition worsened and  she was  admitted at the Abuja clinic.

Speaking on the development, the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the late First Lady,  Mr. Ernest Omoarelojie, described her as “a mother, a virtuous woman and a good  Christian who devoted her life to the good of others, especially the less  privileged.”

The Secretary to State Government, SSG, Hon. Pally Iriase, stated that the deceased  would be deeply missed by the people and government of Edo State.

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The news of her death has already paralysed activities at several government offices  in Benin, the state capital, as many civil servants wore mournful looks.

A condolence register has already been opened at the Government House in Benin, the  Secretariat and the residences of the Oshiomholes in Abuja, Ekpoma and Benin,  where  scores of sympathisers are trooping in to commiserate with Governor Oshiomhole.

Meanwhile, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condoled with one of its own,  Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, over the death of his wife, Clara, saying news  of the death hit the party with rude shock and sadness.

In a statement issued in Abuja  on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary,  Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party hailed Gov. Oshiomhole’s stoicism in the face of his  wife’s illness and eventual death, and prayed that God will grant her eternal rest  and give the family she left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

“Despite the pain and the anxiety brought about by the illness, Gov. Oshiomhole -  true to his credentials – has been devoting so much time to governance and the  people, while also taking time to care for his darling wife.

“He could have easily used the illness as a reason to abandon his post or jet abroad  at the slightest opportunity, but he was able to strike a fair balance between the  demand of his high office and the need to be by his wife at her moment of need. “We  salute Comrade Oshiomhole’s trademark courage even in the face of daunting  challenges of life, we commiserate with him and his family as they mourn the loss of  their loved one and urge them to continue to bear the loss with utmost dignity.

“We are also grateful for the immeasurable support given to Comrade Oshiomhole by  his wife, Clara, who, despite her own illness, stood side by side with her husband  as he fought an epic battle to reclaim his stolen mandate’’,  ACN said.

—Yomi Obaditan/Benin

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