HID Awolowo: Eulogies For A Departed Stateswoman Par Excellence | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


HID Awolowo: Eulogies For A Departed Stateswoman Par Excellence

Posted: Sep 21, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By  Temidayo Akinsuyi, LAGOS

Flurry of tributes have continued to pour in torrents for the matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo who passed away last Saturday at the age of 99, a little over two months to her 100th birthday.

Hid Awolowo

Hid Awolowo

The late  HID, who was until her death the co- chairman of the Yoruba Unity Forum  was  a rallying point for all Yoruba sons and daughters irrespective of their political affiliations. She was also a widely respected Yoruba leader, who was a pillar of support for her late husband, Chief Obafemi Awolowo who died in 1987. She was also the grandmother to the wife of the Vice- President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo.

Mama as she was fondly called expressed satisfaction at the emergence of Professor Yemi Osinbajo, her in-law as  running mate to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential poll. She  prayed for Osinbajo’s success in the election, when the professor of law  visited her. She  said:”I am very happy  this morning to see that Yemi Osinbajo is going to higher ground and it is my prayer that he will get there. I urge you all to support his aspiration; God will take you there.”

Leading the pack is President Muhammadu Buhari. The Presidentsaid he joined millions of admirers of her late, revered husband, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in mourning Chief (Mrs.) Awolowo, “who will be long remembered and celebrated as the famous spouse and pillar of strength of the late nationalist, political leader and sage.”

The president also placed a personal call to the family of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to commiserate with them over the death of matriarch of the Awolowo family.  He described the deceased as “an institution in her own right” and “a model of motherhood.”

According to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President reminded the Osinbajos that the late Hanna was one Africa’s greatest female political icons who was deservingly revered for her remarkable virtues.

Buhari noted that Idowu’s shining virtues as a great mother, wife and motivator, would live after her. He also sent a delegation to the Ikenne country home of the Awolowos to convey his condolences.

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday in company of prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governors, also paid a condolence visit to members of the Awolowo family at their country home in Ikenne, Ogun State, to commiserate with them on the death of the matriarch.

A press release signed by Ambode’s chief press secretary, Habib, Aruna, said the governor,, who was joined in the visit by Bola Tinubu, Governors Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, said 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.

“We are actually celebrating, we are not mourning, this is not the moment to mourn, but it’s for us to sit back and take the vision Papa and Mama have actually set for all of us to take it to the final level”, he said.

Ambode said that there was significance to Mama Awolowo’s demise, “Papa was born in 1909, and mama died yesterday, 19-09. Papa died on a Saturday and Mama also died on a Saturday,” he said.

He said the best way the progressives could eulogise the deceased was to stand up for nationhood as envisioned by Chief Awolowo.

“I just want to plead with us that whatever vision of the progressive Yoruba race that had been envisioned by Papa Awolowo and which mama had tried in her own little way to sustain in those years she lived with us, that’s the message papa and mama are passing to us. We must all stand up because of the situation Nigeria had found herself. They stood for nationhood, both of them stood for Nigeria”, Ambode said.

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

“We thank God for her life. Nigeria will miss a great woman, the footprint left by papa is there, and mama had continued to maintain that footprint and the love for all of us. I believe it is our time to celebrate one of the greatest icons of womanhood”, he said.

Also in their tributes, Ajimobi, Aregbesola and former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi affirmed that the late matriarch was “jewel of inestimable value”.

They said that her demise was a great loss not just for the Yoruba nation but to Nigeria as a whole.

Other dignitaries in attendance at the condolence visit included the first civilian governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, Olaniwun Ajayi, former interim Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the deceased and a host of others.

On his part, Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, described the death of Mama Awolowo, as the loss of  the conscience of the Yoruba nation, saying her efforts at building and sustaining the unity of the Yoruba nation within the context of Nigeria’s federal structure would be missed.

He also described the death of Mama Awolowo as the end of an era.

In a condolence message in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, the governor said Mama Awolowo wrote her name in gold in the history of the Yoruba race and Nigeria at large.

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has also commiserated with the Awolowo family, government and people of Ogun State over the passing of Mama Awolowo.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, Okowa said that the Awolowo matriarch would be missed by the people of Ogun State and the Yoruba nation in particular and the Nigerians in general.

Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, also  described the late Awolowo patriarch as an avatar and a “pillar of Christian propriety and fountain of humanism, who was always eager to dispense goodwill to all”.

In a letter of condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Peter Okhiria, Oshiomhole said “the Awolowo family and indeed the good people of Ogun State and Nigeria have lost a good woman, the compass of the Awolowo family, the towering figure who stood strong behind her children, an enigma who ensured that the name of Chief Obafemi Awolowo continued to ring out loud, long after his exit.

However, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yussuff Suleiman Lasun, has described the death of Mama Awolowo as a great loss to the nation.  He said she would be missed by politicians and leaders for her invaluable contributions to the political stability of the country.

Lasun,  in the statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Wole Oladimeji, condoled with the Awolowo family, government and people of Ogun State, just as he prayed God to grant the people the fortitude to bear the loss.

Meanwhile, Osun State chapter of All the Progressives Congress (APC) and Obafemi Awolowo University have joined other Nigerians to pay tributes to the late HID Awolowo for her contributions to the nation’s development.

The Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof, Bamitale Omole, in a statement issued by the university’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju, described the death of Mama Awolowo as a great loss to the nation and womanhood.

The state chairman of the APC,  Prince Gboyega Famodun, said that she owed her absolute loyalty to husband and family.