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Buhari, Saraki, Governors, Others Mourn HID Awolowo


By Ayo Balogun, Lagos

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER)  – Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, governors and others have mourned the death of Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo who died on Saturday at the age of 99 years.

Buhari, in a statement by his media aid, Femi Adesina said “On behalf of the Federal Government and people of Nigeria, President Buhari extends sincere commiserations to the children, grand children and great grand children of the “Jewel of Inestimable Value” on the death of their famed matriarch, just a few weeks before her hundredth birthday,” Buhari said.

“The President joins them and 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 statement said Buhari believed HID Awolowo would always be honoured too for the indelible legacy of very significant, behind-the-scene contributions to communal, state, regional and national development which she has left behind.

“The President prays that God will comfort Chief (Mrs.) Awolowo’s family, relatives, friends, associates and admirers, and grant them the fortitude to bear her irreparable loss. He also prays that the Almighty will receive the late matriarch’s worthy soul and grant her eternal rest from her long, earthly service to her renowned spouse, family, community and country,” he said.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki said the death of HID meant that Nigeria had lost one that could best be described as a pre-eminent mother.

“I have been enthusiastically looking forward to making a big but surprise visit to Ikenne, Ogun State to be part of the Centenary birthday celebration of Mama H.I. D.  Awolowo, knowing that she is the last woman standing among the wives and mothers who truly contributed by supporting their spouses in laying the foundation for our nation building.

“To think that she will not be there during the period of the celebration, which is just about two months away, makes me sad, in spite of her ripe age filled with achievements,” he said.

“On behalf of my family and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I commiserate with the Awolowo family, the government and people of Ogun State and Nigeria in general on the death of this great woman. They should all take solace in the fact that Mama lived a good life. May her soul rest in peace,” he said.

Immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola expressed grief at the passage of the widow of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, noting that the nation would sorely miss her wise counsel.

“I condole with the Awolowo family at this moment of physical separation and bereavement,” he stated.

Fashola urged the family to take solace in the memory of the departed matriarch’s decades of patriotic service to the nation even without seeking any title.

“No Words will suffice to describe how sorely Mama will be missed. But I am confident that the memory of Mama’s legacy, her national service without a title, and the pride of her life’s work will build bridges of comfort for the entire family,” he stated.

Also, the Afenifere Renewal Group [ARG] mourned HID. Saying that the news of her death came as a shock as no one would ever want to lose a jewel but “we are comforted by the kind of life Mama lived.”

In a statement signed by Kunle Famoriyo, Publicity Secretary, ARG, the body said HID’s philosophies would forever remain a guidepost for progressive politics, saying that “Mama HID lived out and left behind a strong legacy, as an agent of peace and personification of bravery and tenacity.”

“She dedicated her life as the critical support needed by her husband in the pursuit of common good and the building of an egalitarian society. ARG calls on all Yoruba people and indeed all Nigerians to celebrate Mama HID’s lifetime and legacy as we pray for the repose of her soul and eternal blessings on all she left behind,” ARG said.

Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State expressed shock at the death of HID, describing it as shocking.

The governor described the deceased as a supremely intelligent, kind, loving and caring mother of the Yoruba nation.

“Mama, as no one would doubt, remains a Jewel of ‘Inestimable Value’ even in transition to glory. It is traditional to recognise the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as the greatest Nigerian ever, but Awolowo would not have been the colossus that he was if not for the pillar he had in Mama,” he said in a statement.

He noted the support of Mama for Chief Awolowo in his battles against the forces of underdevelopment and tyranny in the face of unceasing persecutions following his tireless commitment to democracy and the advancement of the African cause.

“Mama made invaluable contributions to the Awolowo School of progressive politics encapsulated in the social democratic mantra of ‘Life More Abundant’ during and after the life time of the great sage,” he said.

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayo Fayose, has described the death of the matriarch of the Awolowo Dynasty, HID as the loss of the real conscience of the Oodua nation.

The Governor said her untiring efforts at building and sustaining the unity of the Yoruba nation and ensuring its worthy pride of place within the context of Nigeria’s federal structure will be sorely missed by all.

Fayose described the death of Mama Awolowo as the end of an era. “The Holy Bible says he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord. That was true and real in the life of the late sage Baba Obafemi Awolowo who found a good thing in our dear Mama and called her ‘My jewel of inestimable value,” he said in a statement.

“The good qualities of a dutiful wife and caring mother shown by Mama are worthy of emulation. She stood solidly by her husband during those trying moments. She showed resilience when it seemed all chips were down.

“After the demise of her husband, Mama stood tall to carry on with the great legacies of Baba Awolowo. Even when the vicissitudes of life brought some challenging issues across her path, despite that there was no Baba to lean on, she stood like a rock,” he said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode expressed shock and sadness over the death of HID.

The Governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna said he was one of mama’s many followers looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday, which was just few months away.

“Mama would have clocked 100 on November 25 this year. It was going to be a milestone, not just for her, but for our great country. She was the matriarch of the Awolowo family, a well respected dynasty in the history of Nigeria”.

“Mama’s demise at this time is painful, especially coming at a period when Nigeria is gradually enjoying democratic bliss, which her late husband, Chief Obafemi Awolowo fought for till his death”.

“We however take solace in the fact that she lived a fulfilled life. We celebrate her for what she stood for, uniting the Yoruba race for a common course and keeping her family together since the demise of her husband”.

“She was the pillar behind Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s legacies. She was the backbone of the brand of progressive ideas that defined the politics of the South West in the First Republic and in subsequent Republics”, the Governor recalled.

The Governor prayed for the peaceful repose of her soul, urging her family to draw strength from the legacies she stood for while she was alive.

“On behalf of my family and the good people of Lagos state, I want to express our heartfelt condolence to the family of Mama Awolowo, the people of Ogun state and Nigerians on this great and irreparable loss”, he said.

Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka paid a tribute to HID.

Soyinka, in a tribute said “An Era recedes. As solace, it leaves in its wake a treasured privilege for those who knew her, who experienced her indomitable spirit at first hand, and drank from her depthless fount of family embrace.”


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