Posted by Boniface Okoro (Umuahia), Mayowa Okekale (Abuja), Osteen Oyibode (Asaba) | 22 September 2015 | 4,613 times
Tributes have continued to pour in for Mama Hannah Idowu Dideolu (DI) Awolowo, wife of late sage Obafemi Awolowo, who died on Saturday, two months shy of her 100th birthday.
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said in a statement released by his media office: “Mama Awolowo truly distinguished herself among her contemporaries and not only because she lived longer but because she served God and humanity to the end. Even as a nonagenarian, she kept on hosting different fora and contributing to ideas on the unity of the Yoruba people in particular and Nigeria in general.”
“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,” the Senate President said.
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Godwin Adindu, extended “the sincere feelings of the good people of Abia State to the family of Awolowo, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and to the great people of Ogun State for the vacuum that has been created in the social and political life of the people by the death of the famed matriarch.
The Governor noted that, until her death, HID was the “living tree” of the South West political history and stood as the rallying point of all political leanings in the South West, having married a man whom the Yoruba see as their political symbol.
Ikpeazu described HID as “a woman of courage and resilience who stood doggedly behind her husband throughout his embattled life as a foremost Nigerian politician and community leader.”
Ebonyi Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi, said in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Emma Anya: “No doubt, her passage is demoralising because it took place only 61 days to November 25, when the world would have joined her family to celebrate her 100th birthday.” The Governor pointed out that God should be glorified for giving HID the grace to live a worthy life. “It is a known fact that Mama, even in her old age, was a rallying point not only in South-West politics but across the nation. Her husband and the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, once described Mama HID as his ‘Jewel of inestimable value’ but I state here that Nigeria has lost that same jewel that Chief Awolowo left for us,” Umahi added.
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, said: “We take solace in her immense positive contributions to the society, most especially her role as a modest woman who was noted for her unflinching support to her husband’s political career in the first and second republic.”
Governor Okowa described late Madam Awolowo as a woman who exhibited an uncommon ability to sustain not only the structure left behind by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, but also added a motherly perspective which has seen prominent politicians in the country turn her place into a Mecca, of some sort.
In its own tribute, Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), described Mrs. Awolowo as a colossus of her time who will always be remembered for good.
In a statement issued in Ikenne by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Mrs. Awolowo was an ideal wife, a great mother and indeed a jewel of inestimable value, as her husband once fondly described her.
'”While we understand that death is inevitable, there are times that we secretly wish that our loved and great ones would live forever. Mama gave us reasons for such a secret wish, with her sterling personal and public life that made her a strong pillar behind one of the country’s foremost nationalists,'” it said.
APC commiserated with the children, grand children, great grand children and the entire Awolowo family, and prayed that God will take Mama into his bosom and also give all those she left behind the strength to carry on without her.
The party said the best tribute that can be paid to Mrs Awolowo is for the new generation of Nigerian women to emulate her love of family and nation, life of industry, selflessness as well as a strong and abiding faith in God, all attributes that served her well and made her a colossus among men and women.
Paying tribute to the late matriarch of the Awolowo political dynasty, former governor of Akwa Ibom State and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, described her death as a national loss, noting that Nigeria has lost a great mother and an exemplary woman.
Akpabio, in a release signed by his media aide, Jackson Udom, noted that though Mama Awolowo’s death was a glorious exit, as she has served the nation as the wife of a foremost nationalist and politician and also laid good examples for womanhood, it was painful that she was only two months shy of her centenary birthday celebration, which would have helped to showcase her ideals and encourage other women across the world.
The former governor, who praised Mama Awolowo’s lifetime as “memorable, exemplary and excellent,” noting that after the death of her husband decades ago, she has remained committed to his ideals and has remained a mother to all politicians irrespective of political leanings.
Another immediate past governor, Dr.Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, in his condolence message also described Mama HID Awolowo’s death as a big loss.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sunny Ogefere, Uduaghan said: “Mama has been a rallying point for all. A void has been created by her demise and that source of unity for all, be it political, social or at the family level has gone.
We cannot help but recall her ability to keep together and sustain the family and business of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. She was a rare courage and mother.”
Equally paying tribute to the departed matriarch, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, APC governorship candidate in Rivers State in the April 11, 2015 election, described her as a great woman of substance, noting that Nigeria will miss her interventions and wise counsel.
He said in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media) Sylvester Asoya: “Among the wives of First Republic politicians, HID was without any doubt, one of the most visible and outstanding women of that glorious era. The sage himself captured her real essence when he fondly described her as ‘My Jewel of Inestimable value’. That apt description, over the years, gave a hint on her real meaning, not just to the Awolowo family, friends and admirers, but to the entire nation.
“A great Iroko has indeed fallen but like every mortal, she must travel this path. She will be remembered for her resourcefulness and carriage, and for being the pillar behind the great Awo.
“Without HID, it is very doubtful if Chief Obafemi Awolowo would have become that enigmatic and successful politician who bestrode our nation’s political space for many decades.
“HID, like Chief Awolowo, will never die. Surely, she will live forever, particularly in the minds of those who benefitted from her husband’s vision in human capital development.”
•Photo shows late Mama HID Awolowo.
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