By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has described late Aisha Ahmed Lemu as “a repository of knowledge whose depth of scholarship was overwhelming and enviable.”
The president stated this in a condolence message issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday.
Buhari noted that late Aisha Lemu “admirably dedicated her life to scholarship and moral uplifting of her society, producing massive literature on religious education during her remarkable life on earth’’.
He observed that, as a Western woman who converted to Islam, Mrs Lemu had demonstrated that knowledge was not about inheritance, but about “curiosity, enthusiasm and dedication to expand our intellectual horizons.”
The President recalled that she wrote many books on Islamic education which had impacted positively and greatly on her community and the larger society.
He added that her immeasurable contributions to learning would not be forgotten for years to come because those contributions would live after her.
While praying to Allah to bless her soul and reward her good deeds with paradise, President Buhari extended his condolences to Sheikh Ahmed Lemu and his family as well as the Niger State government over the loss.
He prayed to Allah to grant the family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss of “a great woman scholar’’.
Aisha Lemu, who died at the aged of 79 in Minna, the capital of Niger state, was born in Poole, Dorset, in 1940 as Bridget Aisha Honey.
Late Mrs Lemu, who converted to Islam in 1961 during her school years at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), met her future husband, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, who was also studying at another college of the University in London.
Lemu, a foremost educationist, author of many Islamic Studies books and founder of Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), was also the National Amirah of the association for four years.