Monday, October 28, 2019 2:16 pm
Nigerians, and particularly, the people of Bauchi State are in mourning following the death of Hajiya Jummai Abubakar, the last surviving wife to late Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, on Sunday.
According to a grand daughter of the late prime minister, Hajiya Hajara Yakubu Wanka, the deceased, aged 85, died at 4pm on Sunday in Lagos, following cardiac arrest, leaving behind eight children and many grandchildren
She said that the deceased had returned from a medical trip in India, but decided to spend some time in Lagos with her daughter, when the death occurred.
The people of Bauchi State are awaiting the arrival of the remains of the deceased in preparation for burial later on Monday as at the time of writing this story.
Here are some facts about the late Jummai Tafawa Balewa
She left behind eight children and many grandchildren.
Jummai was the last of the four wives of late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to die.
The late Premier married Jummai from Sokoto when she was 13 years old.
She was the second wife of the Prime Minister
Jummai gave birth to a posthumous daughter, Zainab, two weeks after the late Prime Minister’s death.
In a 2016 interview with Daily Trust to mark the 50 years of the killing of her husband in Nigeria’s first military coup in 2016, Jummai spoke on life with her late husband.
She also spoke on how the late Premier was killed in 1966 and how the family received the news.
She said, “The Prime Minister had four wives. I was the second. I married him when he was a Headmaster at the Present Kobi Primary school. The four of us used to rotate when he was the Prime Minister in Lagos. Two will go and stay with him in Lagos, while two will remain in Bauchi before we rotate after some time.
“On the day of the 15 January, 1966 incident, the third and fourth wives were with him in Lagos, and they told us everything that happened when they returned.
“His orderly who was an Igbo officer led soldiers into the house around 2am that night, and they went straight to his room and knocked. They told him that soldiers wanted to stage a coup and that he should follow them to safety.
“He said he wasn’t going anywhere and that he prefers to remain with his family, but they forced him to go with them. That was the last time they saw him. He said a short prayer and followed them. For six days, no one could tell us where he was.
“But the morning after the coup, we all heard that the Premier of the Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto had been killed. I was pregnant and the senior wife escorted me to the hospital for the antenatal checkup.
“We were in the hospital when we heard that the Sardauna was killed, and the whereabouts of the Prime Minister was not known. Even when the corpse of our husband was discovered and brought to Bauchi seven days after he was killed, the same day our two mates that were living with him in Lagos were also brought to Bauchi.
“None of us was told about his death until all the four wives were assembled in this house in Bauchi,then they told us that he was dead,” she said.
Unlike the First ladies in contemporary times, Hajiya Jummai said the wives of the Prime Minister were not in position to dispense favours and enjoy no special privileges.
“Even the Prime Minister was not enjoying that.
“No single woman came to us to seek for any favour of any kind, because we had nothing to do with governance. If you see women coming here they must be our relations and family friends, coming when we have events like naming ceremonies.”
Read More at Daily Trust