Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, expressed shock over the death of his erstwhile Presidential Adviser on Women Affairs, Chief (Mrs) Titilayo Ajanaku, noting that her loyalty and commitment to women affairs development was exemplary and worthy of emulation.
Obasanjo also recalled how the late erudite Nursing professional joined other Nigerians to visit in 1998 to persuade him in contesting for the Presidential election.
The death of the late First chairman of Abeokuta Local Government, Ogun State was confirmed by her son, in a telephone chat with the former President early hours today. She was 73 years old.
Obasanjo described her as a woman who would do everything in her capacity to uplift, improve and advance the cause of women, saying, this largely formed reasons for her been appointment as his Women Adviser, the position she served creditably well.
In a release by Special Assistant Media to the former President, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo further described Ajanaku, as a woman of great substance in her own right.
The former President who wrote a personal condolence letter to the Head of the Ajanaku family stated that Ajanaku played a prominent role in his decision to contest for the post of President in 1998.
“I remember vividly one of my memorable encounters with Chief (Mrs) Titi Ajanaku when she accompanied a group of politicians led by Chief S. M Afolabi of blessed memory to my Abeokuta residence to persuade me to contest as President of Nigeria.
“It was partly their persuasion and that of other groups alike that later yielded my final submission to contest for the office of the President of Nigeria.
“In her lifetime, Chief (Mrs) Ajanaku had a genuine desire to contribute her quota to building a better society through advocacy for fundamental human rights and service to humanity. She was an activist dedicated to the cause of protecting the rights of women within the context of culture, policy and law. An advocate of gender balance, she remained mindful of those fundamental responsibilities of women which remain critical to family life and family stability.
“All of these culminated in my appointing her as my Special Adviser on Women Affairs during my administration as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and she creditably acquitted herself in every assignment given to her,” he said.
Similarly, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, expressed shock over the sudden death of Chief (Mrs) Titi Ajanaku, who died Wednesday evening at the age of 76.
Prince Abiodun described the late Otun Iyalode of Egbaland as a foremost political activist and woman leader, an astute administrator who served the State meritoriously as the Chairman of the old Abeokuta Local Government Area and the nation at large at the Federal Executive Council.
“I received the news of the demise of this great woman with shock and unbelieve. Mama Ajanaku was a woman of many parts. A trained Nurse, an activist fighting the course of women, a politician of high esteem and a great philanthropist.”
“Mama Ajanaku as her name implies in Yorubaland, treaded were even men feared to tread. In politics of Ogun State and even Nigeria, she was a colossus, being the first woman in Nigeria to be elected a local government chairman and a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“We will miss her particularly now that all hands are needed to build our future together. Though she is no more, we are happy that she lived an impactful life, a life of service to God and humanity,” Abiodun said.
Also, the Ogun State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), described her death as a painful exit.
The party said the deceased was lived an eventful live in dedication to the service of her nursing profession, her community and the CPU try.
“She was a great mobiliser and very vocal on issues pertaining to women’s rights and gender balancing. Her political posturing and activism also brought her against the military junta, for which she bore the brunt, as she was among those politicians arrested, detained and charged in 1995 before the General Patrick Aziza-led military panel over the phantom coup.
As one of the pillars of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), a political organisation founded and nurtured by late Alhaji Sheu Musa Yar’dua, Mama Titi Ajanaku served as a source of inspiration and beacon of hope to many people, especially women in politics,” the statement added