Iyaloja: Good Night to a God Woman and Women Emancipator

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The span of all mortals is short, the end universal because our stay on earth is ephemeral; and the tinge of melancholy which accompanies decline and retirement is in itself inevitable. It is foolish to waste lamentations upon the closing phase of human life. Noble spirits yield themselves willingly to the successively falling shades carrying them to a better world or to the oblivion where there is neither pain nor sorrows.

On Sunday, 16th of April 2023, the news of the Iyaloja’s ultimate end filtered out like a rumour. Although the social media and the print media were awash with the dreadful news about her exit, many people including our humble selves could not believe it because we had interacted a day to her eventual exit from this sinful world and her message did not give any sign of her death to come. Indeed her death was anything but sudden and shocking to believe. But for real, the Iyaloja and Iyalode of Abuja is no more. We did not initially believe she was gone not because she was immortal, But alas! It turned out sadly true!

We were very close friends of the Iyaloja, an attachment which grew from our admiration of her sterling leadership qualities, integrity, loyalty to her country and above all as a woman leader, her mobilizational skills which has never aggravated but aggrandized. Indeed, before we met and built the close relationship which many knew we had with the Iyaloja a little over eight years ago, we already knew her from afar by her reputation which is beyond reproach and also as an astute business woman, a consummate market leader, a woman of her words, a no-nonsense and effective leader, an uncompromising personality, elegant and exquisite in taste, visionary, eminently sociable, a dealer in hope and a highly organized personality.

Perhaps, it can now be said that she was one of the most reverted and heroic women figure in our country. Chief Mrs. Oluwatoyin Mariam Badmus was a very distinguished and interesting woman who came, saw and conquered in a world full of pain than with compassion even though she was intensely compassionate, she left through a trail of light which even the blind can see. She is a leader that you would never find a dull moment in her company! What a leader she was.

Iyaloja, a name which all of us normally calls her because of the motherly roles she always played in our lives was truly a mother and friends in words and indeed. We remember the roles she played in the recent campaigns and struggles to get the Presidential candidate now President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the nights journeys to villages in the FCT for consultations and door to door sensitization trips where she amazed us with her leadership skills and above all her love for her country under a leadership that exudes hope and progress for a better tomorrow. Now that her dream of the Jagaban’s leadership has come into reality, the news of her death makes it more sadder. We wish that she would have lived longer to see the new Nigeria and the promise of renewed hope which she have worked harder to entrench. Iyaloja we will all  miss you.

Mummy had never called us by name as she would always call us my friend, “my daughter” because of our mother-daughter type of relationship we kept.In every sense of the word, she was really both mother and friend to us because when we needed a shoulder to lean on, she made her available at every turn! What a mother and friend we would miss.

The Iyaloja of Abuja had too many memories to write about ! We thank her for opening our eyes to the true meaning of life, friendship and leadership. We are saying this because in her interaction with us on several occasions, she had always told us that there was no price for a true friendship and she kept to her word.

While she was alive, she worked with women from all walks of life and it is therefore not surprising that when it was time to elect the Iyaloja of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, she emerged without any opposition.

It was a thrill and a pleasure to have met and build a long lasting relationship with her and experienced the amazing times she shows humility and leadership.

It is incredibly sad that she would not be there for us any longer. Iyaloja was a genius that is always so kind and generous to us personally and professionally.

Today, we are orphaned with her exit and heartbroken and short of words to explain how we feel because there would never be another Iyaloja, Chief Mrs. Mariam Badmus.

Iyaloja, too many memories to write about you. Thank you for opening our eyes and heart to the true meaning of humility, friendship and leadership. Thank you for traversing the world like a meteor leaving through an indelible trail of light that cannot be quenched by the whole darkness in the world. You have left this painful world and we pray that you rest with the highest.

Iyaloja, while you were alive, you worked with many people especially the womenfolk from all walk of life and it was such a thrill and a pleasure to have met you and experienced the amazing times you have shown your humility, kindness, leadership and sagacity. We wish we could give you one last hug that would always remain a memento in our heart for the rest of my life. We love you for what you are for all you have done for us personally and professionally.

Finally, the love you have shown us would last for ever. You have always been a glitter of hope to the downtrodden whom you toil day and night to emancipate. We take solace by the fact that you didn’t breath oxygen but breath women emancipation. You lived one hundred lives and always looking at the future instead of the past. You are a meteor that lives through a trail of light which the whole darkness in the world can never quench.

Adieu Iyaloja You shall be truly missed as u will be buried on Thursday 4th May, 2023 at the Gudu cemetery, Muslim section with the day of tributes next day Friday 5th of May at the national centre for women development by 2 pm.

May Allah Rest your soul in ajinat firdousi Ameen.

– Alhaja Chief Mrs Risikatu Vanderpuije and Hajiya Rakia Bagnou wrote from Abuja.

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