Exit Of HID: Awo’s Jewel Of Inestimable Value | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Exit Of HID: Awo’s Jewel Of Inestimable Value

Posted: Sep 22, 2015 at 12:41 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emmanuel Udom


The transition of Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, wife of the late political icon, Obafemi Awolowo, marks the end of one’s life and the beginning of another. 

HID, as mama is fondly called was born on November 25, 1915 and passed-on on Saturday, September 19, 2015, at the age of 99.

While on earth , she stood solidly behind her husband, who died in 1987 at the age of 78.

No wonder a year before his imminent transition to the great beyond, the husband described her as “a jewel of inestimable value”

The late HID was born into a modest community in Ikenne, Ogun State, but worked so hard to become a successful businesswoman and astute politician.

When her husband became the Prime Minister of the old Western Region, she was the First Lady and the position further sharpened her instinct in the politics of the region.

And when the husband was tried and eventually jailed in Calabar on alleged treason, the late Hannah stood in for him in the political alliance formed between the National Council of Nigerian and the Cameroun (NCNC) and the Action Group(AG), which resulted in the emergence of the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA).

During the Second Republic when the husband formed the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and contested at the presidential level to rule Nigeria and further spread his free education ideology, Hannah was always there.

She coordinated the Women’s wing of UPN and toured the entire length and breadth of the country for campaigns with the husband.

In business, she was the first Nigerian woman appointed as the sole distributor for the Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) in 1957. She was also fully involved in the importation of lace and other textiles into Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in his tribute said the late HID Awolowo “will be long remembered and celebrated as the famous spouse and pillar of strength of the late nationalist, political leader and sage.”

Buhari also told the family of the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo that mama was “an institution in her own right” and “a model of motherhood.”

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday stated that “Mama Awolowo’s demise was not a time to mourn, but to celebrate what she stood for and preserve the legacies she left behind”.

Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu described the late matriarch as a heroine of the nation, shining example of womanhood, a devout Christian and mother of all.

Indeed,her demise was a great loss not just for the Yoruba nation but to Nigeria as a whole.

Former governor of Lagos State, Lateef Jakande, former interim chairman of APC, Bisi Akande and APC spokesman, Lai also paid glowing tributes to the late woman and many other prominent Nigerians have continued to pour encomiums for the late heroine.

For a lot of Nigerians especially from the western extraction, mama was a real model of womanhood and like her late husband, would not be forgotten in a hurry. She has run her race and has finished well. For that she has left a lasting footprint for posterity to realize that she was here. HID might be dead, but like her husband, she lives on.