Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday, expressed shock over the death of his erstwhile Presidential Adviser on Women Affairs, Chief (Mrs) Titilayo Ajanaku, saying her loyalty and commitment to women affairs development was exemplary and worthy of emulation.
Mrs. Ajanaku, a registered nurse and founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State died on Thursday morning at the age of 76.
Until her passing, she was the Otun Iyalode of Egbaland and former Chairman of old Abeokuta Local Government, having been the pioneer female elected Council boss in Ogun State.
The front line politician has been ill for years before she lost the battle to death.
Obasanjo who noted that he received the news of the Ajanaku’s death from her son who phoned to relay the sad and shocking news to him, recalled how the late erudite Nursing professional and other Nigerians visited in 1998 to persuade him into contesting for the Presidential election.
In a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, the ex – head of States described the late politician as a woman who would do everything in her capacity to uplift, improve and advance the women’ cause.
He said this largely informed why he appointed her as his Women Adviser, the position she served creditably well.
The former President who wrote a personal condolence letter to the Head of the Ajanaku family stated that she played a prominent role in his decision to contest for the post of President in 1998.
Obasanjo stated: “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.
“Indeed, shortly after her appointment, it was easy to recognize her notable qualities of work ethic and commitment to public service. She bore the responsibility of proving her mettle with the consciousness that her success would create opportunities for other women.
“As an exemplary patriot, her rare courage and contributions laid a solid foundation for Ogun State and for Nigerian women to take their rightful position in our nations polity. To women, she occupied a special place as a mother, role model and source of inspiration, a redoubtable champion and defender of women’s rights.
“We, therefore, join you in thanking God for such a life spent in touching so many other lives positively. Her memory will remain evergreen in Ogun State, Nigeria as a whole and beyond for performing her duties with integrity and quite efficiency as well as with generous disposition, magnanimity and unstinted love for the people.
“As we bid her goodbye, we must resolve that her great labour of love shall not be in vain.”