Posted by By Bashir Adigun on
Nigeria buried the body of President Olusegun Obasanjo's wife on Friday, with the grieving leader asking compatriots to unite in their sorrow behind a program of development and progress for Africa's most populous nation.
Abuja, Nigeria - Nigeria buried the body of President Olusegun Obasanjo's wife on Friday, with the grieving leader asking compatriots to unite in their sorrow behind a program of development and progress for Africa's most populous nation.
Stella Obasanjo, 59, died Sunday after undergoing surgery in Spain, only hours after a Bellview Airlines Boeing 737-200 crashed in Nigeria, killing all 117 people on board. Standing near her grave in his hometown of Abeokuta, Obasanjo asked the 130 million people of his fractious nation to unite for the betterment of their country.
"Let us utilise this period of adversity and the unity of sorrow, let it translate to unity of purpose, unity of determination for the development, the growth, the progress of our country," said Obasanjo in a nationally televised address. "May Stella's gentle soul rest in peace."
Foreign leaders, top Nigerian officials and members of Obasanjo's family attended the burial service in Nigeria's South West state. Six buglers blew their horns as the presidential spouse was lowered into the ground.
Obasanjo, a former military junta leader turned democratically elected leader, praised his wife for working to free him from prison after he was jailed in 1995 by a former military regime for alleged coup plotting -charges widely viewed as rigged.
"People have talked about her crusade for my release when I was in prison, I just couldn't thank her enough in this world and the world to come," said Obasanjo.
"She did more than what a wife should do when I was incarcerated and I will be eternally grateful."
Spain on Monday repatriated her body to Nigeria after performing an autopsy. She died after undergoing treatment at a cosmetic surgery clinic in a southern Spanish resort town.
Obasanjo was admitted practically brain-dead early Sunday to a hospital in Marbella after being rushed there from Molding Clinic, where she underwent the cosmetic procedure earlier.
Molding Clinic, located in Puerto Banus, an upmarket district of Marbella in Spain's Costa del Sol resort area, issued said Monday it has provided judicial authorities with all the information they have requested and that the "fundamental causes" of Obasanjo's death have not been determined. - Sapa-AP