Monday, November 16, 2015 2:34 pm
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan.
Amidst tight security, Governor Abiola Ajomobi and his wife, Florence, received the corpse of the late Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu, HID at Toll Gate Ibadan around 8:15am and was led to her residence at Oke-Bola, Ibadan where she was laid in state for about 30 minutes before she was brought to Methodist Cathedral, Agbeni for commendation service.
The church was filled to the brim and security operatives comprising the policemen, led by the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Leye Oyebade, members of DSS, civil defence and other private security operatives had a hectic time in managing crowd. While the deceased lasted in the ancient city, the city stood still as markets were closed down in her honour. Roads leading to all the venues where programmes were held for her were shut down for vehicular movements.
He continued, “It is even so bad that faith base schools have become elitist and unaffordable to the poor. No wonder our streets are now filled with hawkers selling sachet water. How can you keep our children off the streets when they are not in schools because they cannot afford it? Government should focus on the need to address issues of education, teachers.” He however appealed to the state government to release faith base schools back to the owners so that they could return them to their old glory.
The clergy man in his sermon appealed to the children of Awolowo not to allow Nigeria Tribune newspapers to die stressing, “I appeal to Awolowo’s family not to allow the departure of Mama HID to spell doom for the Nigeria Tribune newspapers. I want to see the day that Nigeria Tribune will also celebrate its centenary.”
The Archbishop also quoted some eminent Nigerians who knew the deceased so well that they paid glowing tributes to her. According to him, Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu said, “At 99 plus, mama called us by our names. She was caring. She was committed to nursing not only her children to excellence but other children from other parents. She wanted people to progress. She was a model and virtuous woman who enjoyed the confidence of her husband. She was a home maker per excellence. She should be called truly blessed.”
Also Governor Abiola Ajimobi who agreed with the preacher on the poor state of education in Nigeria and the state said, “I await your proposal on any school you want to take over, we will release them to you.”
Ajimobi who regarded Ibadan as the home of Awolowo said that Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his wife, HID started from a humble beginning in Ibadan and later grew to what they were before they died. According to him, “Today, we formally celebrate the exit of Mama HID. We have received mama back home. She lived in Ibadan with her husband, Papa Awolowo. Their legacies have been engraved in the hearts of the people as messiah. Mama was a detribalized person who embraced everybody irrespective of tribe, colour, sex, and age. She was a martyr.”
Extolling the virtues of the deceased, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, wife of the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran and Ambassador Yemi Faronmbi described the deceased as wonderful and a devoted wife who held forth since the demise of her husband. Fayemi said, “Mama was an astute politician, a stateswoman, who always prayed for all the women in Nigeria. We will surely miss her.”
Adeniran said, “Mama left legacies that will make it difficult for humanity to forget. She was a rallying point and unifying factor that ensured that there is unity among the Yoruba in the entire South West. She believed that there must be peace because without peace, there cannot be anything good. She was a great woman.”
For Faronmbi, “Not only the Yoruba who have missed a great and unifying woman but the entire Nigeria. I pray we will be able to live in line with her value system of discipline, love and oneness.”
As at the time of filing this report, the deceased was on her way to Nigeria Tribune, where she would be laid in state briefly before taking her to her Ikenne home in Ogun State. Other dignitaries in attendance were: Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola and his wife, Sherifat; Florence, the wife of the governor of Oyo State; top government functionaries across the South West, family and friends.