Sunday, September 20, 2015 10:06 pm
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday in company of prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and brother Governors, paid condolence visit to members of the Awolowo family at their country home in Ikenne, Ogun State, to commiserate with them on the demise of Chief Mrs HID Awolowo, wife of late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Hannah Dideolu Awolowo died on Saturday at the age of 99.
The Governor, who was joined on the visit by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, said Mama HID’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.
Governor Ambode said that there was more to significance of Mama HID Awolowo’s demise and her husband, who died in 1987, saying theirs was a marriage made in heaven.
“Papa was born in 1909, mama died yesterday, 19-09. Papa died on a Saturday and Mama also died on a Saturday.
“So what you see is a message that mama is trying to pass to us, we are the new generation of progressives and that message according to the message that was told yesterday, she was actually part of the planning process for the centenary party. She had never attended any of such meetings, yesterday was the first time she attended”, he said.
He said the best way the progressives can eulogise the deceased is to stand up for nationhood as envisioned by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“She’s telling us that the Yoruba nationhood must sit down together and celebrate that nationhood, that’s the message”.
“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”, Governor Ambode said.
On his part, National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, described the late matriarch as a heroine of the nation, shining example of womanhood, a devout Christian and mother of all.
Tinubu said the late wife of the Awolowo family left great footprints for all the followers of Awolowo philosophy to see, adding that her sense of patriotism, and commitment as well as her political prowess would be greatly missed.
“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”, Tinubu said.
Also in their tributes, Governors Abiola Ajimobi and Rauf Aregbesola and former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi affirmed that the late matriarch was indeed “jewel of inestimable value”.
They were emphatic in their tributes that her demise is a great loss not just for the Yoruba nation but to Nigeria as a whole.
Responding on behalf of the family, daughter of the deceased, Mrs Omotola Oyediran, said the family will take solace in the fact that Mama HID Awolowo lived a glorious life and passed away peacefully in the presence of some of her children, grandchildren and great grand children.
Among dignitaries in attendance at the condolence visit include the first civilian governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, Olaniwun Ajayi, SAN, 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.