Bianca, wife of the late Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, says she is grateful to God to have been able to see her husband through “his very bad times and life challenges”.

She spoke in London when she received Dr Dalhatu Tafida, the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, who led senior officials of the mission on a condolence visit to the family.

“Like other times, I will always say I have seen him through very bad times,” Bianca said.

“When the doctors would tell us he wouldn’t make it to morning, but he would always struggle and in the morning he would still be there. But this time, he didn’t struggle; he went peacefully.”

Recalling Ojukwu’s last days, Bianca said he had just been discharged from the hospital and was doing very well. “I have never seen him look so well. He was interactive, very alert and aware, and we will sing him songs, cracked jokes.

“Very surprisingly, his situation which we thought had improved remarkably, suddenly took a turn for the worse.

“I remember I was saying to him, it is getting very cold in this country and we must go home. Are we going to go home? He would nod very emphatically, but he never did make it home.

“Nobody asks God what his intentions are, but we would have preferred he stayed on. I cannot ask God why at this time.”

She expressed gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan, the First Lady, Patience, Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra, Tafida and Nigerians for their prayers and support.

Tafida had earlier described Ojukwu’s death as a great loss, not only to the family and Igbo race, but also to Nigeria as a country.

“Ojukwu has helped to shape modern Nigeria, because it was through him that we were able to have states that we now call cells of development in Nigeria.

“His loss therefore should not be considered as a loss to just one section of the country. It is a loss to the whole country, hence we unanimously decided that we should be here today to commiserate with you.”

The envoy prayed God to grant the repose of his soul eternal rest and comfort the family.