Daughter Describes Aikhomu’s Last Moment

Gen. Abubakar and widow, Rebecca Aikhomu... yesterday Gen. Abubakar and widow, Rebecca Aikhomu… yesterday

August 19, 2011 – Former military Vice-President Admiral Augustus Aikhomu addressed his children an hour before his death, his first daughter, Mrs. Vinitha Nimmyel, said yesterday.

 

She said her father had a premonition of his death. “So, he summoned all his children and urged us to be strong. We were all present when he died. He knew the time had come,” Nimmyel said.

 

Eminent Nigerians, including former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Lagos State Governor Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) visited the 7, Forkados, Apapa, Lagos home of the Aikhomus. Aikhomu’s widow, Rebecca, received them.

 

The Board Chairman, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Tony Anenih wept. He choked with emotion to speak. He wiped his tears with a dab as he condoled the family. He stepped out later to sign the condolence register.

 

Former head of the defunct Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan; a former Chief of General Staff (CGS), Commodore Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe; a former Foreign Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi and Senator David Dafione also visited.

 

Others are: a former Petroleum Minister, Chief Don Etiebet; a former Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Allison Amaechina Madueke; another former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Akin Aduwo, and the Ojora of Ijora, Otunba Adekunle Ijora.

 

Former military President Ibrahim Babangida was being expected as at the time of filing this report around 8pm.

 

Nimmyel said: “He always had time to ask: ‘How are you?’ I will miss his care and support. Just last week when my brother had a cold, he called him and asked how he was doing. He loved his grandchildren, but didn’t really have the strength to do what he wanted to do for them. So, we’ll really miss that.

 

“We were there with him when he died. He knew the time had come, so he was always calling us to be around him. Yesterday he woke up and asked for all of us to be called. And he said he knew the time had come. He asked us to be strong.

 

“He took the Holy Communion an hour before he died. He died at about 6.30pm. He died of cancer. He lived well with it for a number of years. He would have been 72 in October. He lived a good and fulfilled life, and got to the pinnacle of his career.

 

“He had a good heart. I pray that God will give us his grace to toe that line of him. He had friends young and old. He had a large heart and that is what I want my children and grandchildren to learn from him,” she said.

 

Abubakar said the late Aikhomu did his best for the country. “He contributed to the development of this country,” the former military leader said.

 

Aduwo, who was succeeded as CNS by Aikhomu, described the deceased as loyal and dedicated. The Nation Newspaper