Eminent Nigerians mourn Yeye Oba of Ife

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (second right), his wife, Dolapo Osinbajo, daughter of the deceased, Mrs. Tola Oyediran, and Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko (right), during the governor’s condolence visit to the Awolowo’s residence, in Ikenne… yesterday.

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (second right), his wife, Dolapo Osinbajo, daughter of the deceased, Mrs. Tola Oyediran, and Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko (right), during the governor’s condolence visit to the Awolowo’s residence, in Ikenne… yesterday.<br />

EMINENT Nigerians from all walks of life yesterday trooped to the Ikenne home of the late sage to condole the family and pay tributes to Chief Hannah Dideolu Awolowo who passed on at the age of 99 on Saturday.

Among the dignitaries were:
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode:

‘’A woman of inestimable value who has contributed to the development of Nigeria. We are here to celebrate a woman of honour and not to mourn in whatever capacity.’’

Alhaji Lai Mohammed:
‘’She lived a life devoid of blemish. She is not just a mother, an icon. She is a mother one could ever wished for, in terms of virtues, in terms values and I think one of the last grandmas just departed, we were comforted that she has left a very good legacy, and her memory will remain alive forever. On Yoruba Unity Forum: I don’t think mama has left without leaving very dependable successors, the Yoruba nation will remain as strong as ever after her.’’

Kayode Fayemi:
‘’The knowledgeable role she played in the last 60-70 years ago in the political life, not just as a wife of our age but in her own right. She served her people, Nigeria and humanity. She was diligent, clear, brilliant, and completely brilliant till the end. Till last minute, Mama still spoke on the phone clearly, coherently with commitment. She was not just our own Winnie Mandela but she did a lot more than that. In holding the family together, holding the party together even in negotiation with the NCNC in the formation of new party and even leading the party and all of us. An omoluabi in Yoruba land cannot but be grateful that we have a mother like her. A unique mother, she was the last in her time and indeed the end of an era.’’

Alhaji Lateef Jakande:
‘’A woman of good character, we shall miss mama even in the process of her departure. Mama has done this nation a great thing. I hope others will follow her example which has never been equal.’’

Pa Olanihun Ajayi;
‘’We were preparing for the centenary of Mama’s birth but God thought certainly we are not wise, so He called her to himself at a time that was befitting a great woman.

It’s a pity that Mama left at the time she did because we were all looking forward to November 25 but certainly God’s time is the best. Mama came, lived well, she saw a lot and she did a lot and certainly she achieved a lot.

‘’I am sure when the time comes for chroniclers to write her history I hope she will be rightly and properly recorded as one of the leading Yoruba heroines.

‘’Mama will go down in history as one of the leading heroines in Yoruba history who fought as a politician, in the church she was a great pillar, particularly in the Anglican communion, in the history of Yoruba certainly, she carved a niche for herself. In Remo, we never can forget her. What of the children she sent to school, and of course, we cannot really count the good deeds, which Mama did in this part of the world. She was an example of womanhood, fantastic wife to her husband, a consultant, and a friend and of course as he himself said before he left us “a jewel of inestimable value.”

Chief Bisi Akande:
‘’History told us that Mama started as a great house keeper when Papa was to travel abroad, a pregnant Mama was having three children to look after and others for the duration Papa has to stay abroad and she kept the house very firm. Mama stood greatly as a housekeeper behind Papa during his political and turbulent days. And since Papa left in 1987, Mama remained a housekeeper.

It is my prayer that the attraction that we always have in this home will never disappear.’’

Bola Tinubu:
‘’Just yesterday, we heard of Mama’s departure. As you know, we were all preparing for the centenary celebration of Mama but God knows better, human can plan. But the celebration was fast forwarded for us yesterday afternoon. We lost a great mother. Heroine of a nation, nationalist, and a shining example of womanhood, Mama is a mother of all, a devout Christian and a great mother. Some of us would not forget that we draw a lot from her strength, particularly when we were growing up.

‘’ Mama is a great accountant. When you have to go out with souvenirs in Oke-Ado, she knows how many faze caps; handkerchief, brochures and others she has sent to you and you have to account for everything. And lately, with old age, Mama remembers every name. Her voice didn’t desert her, the memory didn’t desert her either and that means her God didn’t desert her, she lived a very fulfilled life.

Nigeria will miss a great woman in her, the footprint left by Papa is there, Mama continued to maintain the footprint for all of us, I believe it is time to celebrate the great icon of womanhood, her commitment to indivisible Nigeria and to humanity, education and right of women, I believe that will continue to strife and fresh in our memory.

Nigeria will miss a great woman in HID.’’

Abiola Ajimobi:
‘’According to the Shakespearean refrain which states, “when beggars die, there are no comets see.” In this case, a Princess has died.

How I appreciate her most is that when I joined politics, they used to abuse my wife in Ibadan, she will now ask me that how did Mrs. Awolowo fared that people don’t attack her during her time but people do so at her now. I then explained to her that people like Mama are very rare. If people like us go out, our wives will be questioning us about our movements, I told her Mama don’t.

Arewa leaders, textiles workers express grieve

Arewa leaders and members of the Textiles Workers Union, at the weekend expressed shock and grief over the death of Mrs. HID Awolowo, saying that her death has created a vacuum not only in the Yoruba Kingdom, but the nation in general.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Alhaji Muhammadu Ibrahim said: “Arewa consultative Forum (ACF) learnt with shock the death of Mama Awo at the age of 99 who joined her ancestors on the 19th September 2015. She would be missed by Nigerians in view of her statesmanship and motherly concern for the unity and peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians.”

According to the Arewa leaders, “since the death of her husband Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1986, Mama has been the rallying point of the Yorubas. ACF recalls with nostalgia it’s visit to Mama Awolowo at Ikenne, Ogun state on the 17th December 2012, where it held a bridge building meeting with leaders of the South West and Yoruba Unity Forum under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Awolowo.”

“That interactive meeting was cordial and fruitful as issues relating to the unity of Nigeria and need to work together were emphasized. ACF extends its heartfelt condolence to the immediate family of mama, the government and people of Ogun State and Nigerians as a whole over the demise of amiable and loving Mrs. Awolowo who lived a fulfilled life. ‘’

Also, the Secretary General of the National Union of Textiles Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu explained that “Mama HID Awolowo just like her respected great nationalist statesman, husband, Chief Obafemi Awolowo lived to the end on her sweat and hard work and not on corruption and stolen public wealth which sadly is the norm in Nigeria today among some statesmen and their wives.”

Aremu who is also the deputy president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) further stressed that “both Mama and Papa Awolowo respected dignity of labour for Nigeria, Africa and humanity”, while adding that “ Africa has indeed lost a role model for womanhood, family, humility, hard work

Afenifere, George euologise the deceased
YORUBA socio-cultural group, Afenifere has described the death of Chief Mrs. Hannah Dideolu Awolowo as a rude shock that deprived Nigerians and particularly the Yoruba race of celebrating her centenary anniversary.

In a statement yesterday, the Spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin said, “death came knocking at the Ikenne residence of the sage on Saturday plucking the ‘Jewel of inestimable value’, Chief HID Awolowo 67 days to the celebration of her centenary and denying the Yoruba nation the opportunity of celebrating Mama at 100.”

In another condolence message, former Deputy National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South West zone, Chief Olabode George described the transition of Mrs. Awolowo as an irreparable loss to Nigeria and a collective diminution of the Yoruba race.

According to Odumakin: “Though every death is painful, our consolation lies in the fact that Mama lived life to the fullest and has now exited at a very ripe age. Rather than mourning her, we shall celebrate her good life to the fullest.

“Mama will forever be remembered for standing solidly behind the progenitor of free and compulsory education in the South West region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, throughout his political ordeals in the web of intrigues and contradictions called Nigeria.

“She was there for her husband in all the persecutions, orchestrated trials, unjust imprisonment and internal exiling by feudal forces who resented the federalist principles Awolowo espoused which Nigeria rejected at its peril and which has turned it to a shell 28 years after Papa’s transition.”

Afenifere added that for the past 28 years after Awolowo’s death, his wife Hannah, has kept his home with dignity and uncommon candor, “ now she goes to meet her earthly love unfortunately with unpalatable tales of situation of things in Yorubaland in particular and Nigeria in general.

“She will have a lot to tell about the desecration of Awo legacies within the Yoruba nation and the retardation of Nigeria as it runs daily from the ideas and ideals of progress he espoused while here.”

George said Mrs. Awolowo was a mother- in- Israel, a superlative patriot, a shining gem and an authentic jewel of inestimable value “who walked through the valleys and mountains of life with dignity and with unshakable faith in the will of God.”

He also described her as a virtuous woman that stood with her husband, Chief Obafemi Awolowo with poise and defiant consistency “she never buckled nor faltered even in the face of the harshest challenges of life. She has now entered the pantheon of unforgettable icons like Moremi, Queen Amina, Efunsetan Aniwura and Madam Tinubu.

“She has paid her dues. Her cause is fulfilled. She will never be forgotten where courage, decency, humility, and firmness of purpose are acknowledged and celebrated. May the good Lord grant Mama’s repose in the eternal sanctuary of the seraphim. Goodbye and goodnight Yeye Oodua.”

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