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HID Awolowo dies at 99; Obasanjo among early callers

By The Rainbow
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The Ikenne home of the Awolowo dynasty was a beehive of activities on Saturday as  Nigerians from all walks of life  called to sympathise with the family over the death the matriarch of the family, Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo, who had passed on earlier in the day.

HID was born to a modest family in the small Ikenne community of Ogun State in Nigeria on November 25, 1915.

Her late husband  famously referred to her as his “jewel of inestimable value

A successful businesswoman and astute politician, she was the First Lady of the old Western Region. She played an active role in the politics of Western Nigeria.

She stood in for her husband in the alliance formed between the NCNC and the AG, called the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), while he was tried and jailed.

The plans were that she would contest the elections, and if she won, would step down for her husband in a by-election.

To fulfil his dream of becoming president in the Second Republic, she toured the length and breadth of the country with her husband campaigning.

She also coordinated the women's wing of the party and was always present at all party caucuses. A successful businesswoman, she became the first Nigerian distributor for the Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) in 1957. She was the first to import lace materials and other textiles into Nigeria.

Mama Awolowo, wife of the fo

rmost politician and first Premier of Old Western region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, died after a brief meeting with family members.

The 99 years old Yeye Oodua of Yorubaland would have been 100 by November 25 this year as preparation had began as early as August with many prominent Nigerians, particularly in the Southwest, approached to send in their goodwill messages for collation ahead of the expected centenary celebration.

Early callers at the Awolowo home included former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Acting Governor of Ogun state, Princess Yetunde Onanuga, Mrs Olufunso Amosun, ex – governor Gbenga Daniel and Secretary to the Ogun state government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa.

The family said the matriarch died in the company of her children and also prayed for them as they planned for her centenary birthday.

Her first daughter, Mrs Omotola Oyediran said HID Awolowo spent five minutes with her family, had her routine daily chores – meetings, prayers among others, before she breathed her last by 3:5pm

“It is with gratitude to God for her remarkable and illustrious life, the entire Awolowo family announce the glorious home calling of our dear Matriach, Yeye Oodua, Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo on Saturday afternoon.

“Mama died as gloriously as she lived. She spent the day in the company of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“She shared a precious five minutes with them when she went in to pray for them as they met to plan her centennary birthday.

” She died a couple of hours later as she had always wished, surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great grand children.”

Obasanjo said HID's death is the passing of an Icon, a mother and matriarch of the yorubas.

Obasanjo said: “on occasion like this, for all of us in ogun and yorubaland nay Nigeria, it is passing of an icon. Normally for us it should be a mixed feelings, mixed feelings because Mama had lived a life most of us would envy.

“However, it doesn't matter how long our loved ones may stay we will love they stay with us. We must thank God because mama has experienced the vicsitude of life but she died in peace.

“When I heard, I decided to come becuse I wanted to be sure. All Iwas thinking of was the centennary birthday. Mama has been a joy to many, she is the matriarch of the yorubaland, faithful and loyal to her husband, supporter and pillar of the family.

“She was somebody people run to for advise and counsel and they get the best from her. I pray that God will give the family the courage and wherewithal to bear the challenges of Mama's death. Each and every one of us must learn a lesson from the good life of Mama and may her soul rest in perfect peace.”Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, wife of late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is dead.Aged 99, she died just when her family was planning her 100th birthday anniversary.

She was born on 25 November 1915.HID was born to a modest family in the small Ikenne community of Ogun State in Nigeria.She was famously referred to her as his “jewel of inestimable value”.

A successful businesswoman and astute politician, she was the First Lady of the old Western Region. She played an active role in the politics of Western Nigeria.

She stood in for her husband in the alliance formed between the NCNC and the AG, called the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), while he was tried and jailed.

The plans were that she would contest the elections, and if she won, would step down for her husband in a by-election.

Mama Awolowo, wife of the formost politician and first Premier of Old Western region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, died after a brief meeting with family members.

The 99 years old Yeye Oodua of Yorubaland would have been 100 by November 25 this year as preparation had began as early as August with many prominent Nigerians, particularly in the Southwest, approached to send in their goodwill messages for collation ahead of the expected centenary celebration.

Early callers at the Awolowo home included former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Acting Governor of Ogun state, Princess Yetunde Onanuga, Mrs Olufunso Amosun, ex – governor Gbenga Daniel and Secretary to the Ogun state government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa.

The family said the matriarch died in the company of her children and also prayed for them as they planned for her centenary birthday.

Her first daughter, Mrs Omotola Oyediran said HID Awolowo spent five minutes with her family, had her routine daily chores – meetings, prayers among others, before she breathed her last by 3:5pm

“It is with gratitude to God for her remarkable and illustrious life, the entire Awolowo family announce the glorious home calling of our dear Matriach, Yeye Oodua, Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo on Saturday afternoon.

“Mama died as gloriously as she lived. She spent the day in the company of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“She shared a precious five minutes with them when she went in to pray for them as they met to plan her centennary birthday.

” She died a couple of hours later as she had always wished, surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great grand children.”

Obasanjo said HID's death is the passing of an Icon, a mother and matriarch of the yorubas.

Obasanjo said: “on occasion like this, for all of us in ogun and yorubaland nay Nigeria, it is passing of an icon. Normally for us it should be a mixed feelings, mixed feelings because Mama had lived a life most of us would envy.

“However, it doesn't matter how long our loved ones may stay we will love they stay with us. We must thank God because mama has experienced the vicsitude of life but she died in peace.

“When I heard, I decided to come becuse I wanted to be sure. All Iwas thinking of was the centennary birthday. Mama has been a joy to many, she is the matriarch of the yorubaland, faithful and loyal to her husband, supporter and pillar of the family.

“She was somebody people run to for advise and counsel and they get the best from her. I pray that God will give the family the courage and wherewithal to bear the challenges of Mama's death. Each and every one of us must learn a lesson from the good life of Mama and may her soul rest in perfect peace.”Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, wife of late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is dead.Aged 99, she died just when her family was planning her 100th birthday anniversary.

She was born on 25 November 1915.HID was born to a modest family in the small Ikenne community of Ogun State in Nigeria.She was famously referred to her as his “jewel of inestimable value”.

Reacting to the news, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed sadness. He commiserated with HID’s family an the entire people of Nigeria, praying for God’s comfort for everyone mourning the deceased.

“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 in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

“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.”

Buhari expressed belief that Awolowo will 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,” Adesina added.

“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.”

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