Shame of a Nation! How Tafawa Balewa’s widow was abandoned after husband’s death


It is not uncommon in Nigeria to forget the sacrificial labour of heroes who gave all they had, and in some cases, even paid the supreme price.

History is replete with examples of patriots who after giving the best parts of their lives to serve the nation lived in squalor and total neglect by the very country they gave their all for.

For a country whose leaders harp on the selfless service of Nigeria’s only Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, one of the few people who fought for Nigeria’s Independence, at the slightest opportunity to promote its agenda, you would expect that, at least, a little commitment from Nigeria and her government would be directed towards tending to the needs of the family. It appears, though, that, Tafawa Balewa’s family was not spared from the cold treatment Nigeria gives to families of fallen heroes.

Last Sunday, the only wife among other wives of the late Prime Minister, who stayed with the family after his passing, Hajiya Aishatu  Balewa passed on after a protracted illness.

The 85-year- old widow had travelled to India on a self-sponsored trip for treatment but died in Lagos on her way back to Bauchi after she suffered a relapse.

According to Tafawa Balewa’s last-child, Zainab Tafawa Balewa who was born two weeks after her father’s death, the widow of the former Prime Minister, strove and raised her children alone after her husband’s death with her frugal income.

Hajiyya lived the last 53 years in an old house built by her husband along Ran Road, in Bauchi metropolis, an area that would easily pass for a ghetto in many Nigerian cities. Sunday Vanguard observed that the house barely has space which could be used for receiving and entertaining visitors.


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