The final burial rites for Dr. Irene Rewane-Damola, who died on February 10, 2016, begin today.
She died from fumes she inhaled when fire gutted her house.
Her relatives and friends are still at a loss on why death could be so cruel to a woman, who like her late husband, dedicated her entire life to saving others from the claws of death.
It was a tragic end for the retired radiologist, who was the eldest child of the late Ologbosere of Warri Kingdom, Chief O. N. Rewane, and niece to Pa Alfred Ogbeyiwa Rewane, who was assassinated in 1995 during the despotic regime of General Sani Abacha.
The deceased had, in the wee hours of February 10, died of suffocation in her bedroom when fire gutted her Lagos residence at No. 5, Tola Adewunmi Street, Maryland.
As stated by reports, there was an electrical surge in her room and the smoke was believed to have choked her to death before help came.
Describing the last moments of the former Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) doctor, an elderly domestic worker, who had been with the deceased since 1991, Bose Anthony, Dr. Irene cracked jokes with her and talked cheerfully about her school days and how she met her husband.
“I was very happy that night because she cracked a lot of jokes with me and told me stories about her school days. She was, indeed a wonderful woman I had spent 25 years of my life with. I really felt happy for her that night as I left her room around midnight for my room. I never would have imagined that would be our last encounter,” she stated.
Burial activities will begin today with a Christian wake at 5.00p.m. at Trinity House, Water Corporation Road, Victoria Island, Lagos. She will be buried tomorrow after a funeral service at Chapel of Resurrection, 1004 Estate, Victoria Island, with the interment strictly for private family alone.
Irene, born in Lagos on April 29, 1944, spent her childhood both in Lagos and Warri, Delta State. She started her education at LADILAC Institute Yaba before moving to Baptist Girls High School Agbor and Hussey College Warri. She gained admission into the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in 1965 to study Medicine, where she met her husband, Dr. Adebiyi Damola.
Irene had returned to Nigeria a year ago after her husband’s death in Saudi Arabia. The Damolas had opened a clinic in Opebi area of Lagos but closed it when they had to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the time the country was recruiting many health workers.