The sudden demise of Hanna Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo about two months to her centenary birthday has attracted reactions from Nigerians across the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari in his tribute noted that Nigeria has lost “a Jewel of inestimable value” in Chief (Mrs.) Hannah Dideolu Awolowo, wife of former Nigeria’s nationalist, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
The president said that late Awolowo would be remembered and celebrated as the famous spouse and pillar of strength of late husband who he said was a nationalist, political leader and sage.
The statement read: “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.
“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.”
Chief Emeka Anyaoku
“The passing of Mama Hannah Awolowo so close to her 100th birthday is an epochal event. It marks the end of a historical phase in the evolution of our country, Nigeria.
“Mama Awolowo was not only the partner of one of Nigeria’s most illustrious founding fathers, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, but also remained a huge source of inspiration to many national political leaders who endeavoured to follow in the footsteps of the Sage.
“Mama Awolowo lived an outstandingly fulfilled life becoming a true matriarch of both the Awolowo family and the wider national circle of the “Awoists”.
“My wife joins me in conveying our condolence to the Awolowo family and in prayer that her soul will rest in perfect peace.”
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the family members of Mama HID Awolowo not to be downcast because of the death of their matriarch, describing the death of HID Awolowo as the passage of an icon.
Obasanjo said that Mama’s death should be celebrated saying, “it is passage of an icon. Normally for all of us it should be a mixed feeling because Mama had lived a life that most of us will envy, but it doesn’t matter how long our loved ones had lived, we will still want them to remain with us.
“We must thank God because Mama had lived through vicissitude of life, but she had died in peace. For her it is a peaceful exit into the great beyond.
“When I heard,I had to call people on telephone because I wanted to be sure that the information was correct. Since Mama had decided to leave before her centenary celebration,we cannot query God.
“Mama’s life had been a joy to many as the matriach of the Yoruba race having been the first lady of the Western Region. There must not be a vaccum. Mama’s shoe is too big, what all of us will have to do is to make our feet bigger so as to enter her shoe.”
Senator Bukola Saraki
“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.
“To think that she will not be there during the period of the celebration, which is just about two months away, makes me sad, in spite of her ripe age filled with achievements.
“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.
“She was an epitome of a good wife and mother and I have no doubt that as she reunites with her darling Husband, Pa Obafemi Awolowo, she would have good account to give of how far she had held forte in the absence of the late sage.
“We commiserate with the Awolowo family on the death of their matriarch, the government and people of Ogun State and Nigeria in general.
“They should all take solace in the fact that Mama lived a good life.
May her soul rest in peace.”
Senator David Mark
Immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark in a statement by his Media Assistant, Paul Mumeh, noted that late Mrs . Awolowo was an ideal mother of Nigeria adding that she consistently stood up to offer useful guidance to Nigerians especially during trying times.
According to Mark: “Our mama ( Mrs Awolowo) was always there for us. At several challenging times, she never denied or shied away from offering tangible advice. Her counsel always saved our nation from the precipice.
“Unarguably, we shall miss her wise counsel, honesty, unwavering commitment to the ideals of nation hood, sense of wisdom and humour.
“She has left a big shoe that would be difficult to fill.”
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, said he was one of mama’s many followers looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday, which was just few months away.
“Mama would have clocked 100 on November 25 this year.
“It was going to be a milestone, not just for her, but for our great country. She was the matriarch of the Awolowo family, a well respected dynasty in the history of Nigeria.
“Mama’s demise at this time is painful, especially coming at a period when Nigeria is gradually enjoying democratic bliss, which her late husband, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, fought for till his death”.
Gov. Rauf Aregbesola
Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, described the translation of the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief Mrs. Hannah Idowu Dideola Awolowo, as the end of an era.
According to the Governor, Mama stood by her husband during his lifetime and even after his demise.
“We believe there will be a celestial celebration of reunion of a couple that exemplified harmony and true wedlock.
“There is no doubt that she was a jewel of inestimable value as Papa described her.
“She demonstrated this by standing behind her husband during his political trial. She never wavered for once during Papa’s incarceration. Rather she was committed to upholding what Papa stood for.
“May her soul in eternal bliss with the Lord.
Gov. Ibikunle Amosun
According to Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, “Nigeria has lost a role model of distinction, a highly disciplined and principled woman, a trustworthy ally and dependable politician who equally made her mark in the business world.”
“In spite of the political vicissitudes of the First Republic, Mama HID toured the entire country with her husband campaigning in the Second Republic. She was a woman of valour and a friend indeed,” Amosun said.
The governor urged the younger generation of women to follow in the footsteps of Mama HID.
Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has joined prominent Nigerians to mourn the death of Chief Mrs. Chief HID Awolowo.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker condoled with the Awolowo family, people and government of Ogun state over Mrs. Awolowo‘s death.
Dogara said the late Mrs. HID Awolowo was a mother to the nation and said she has left a huge vacuum in our lives.
He said the late HID Awolowo will continue to be remembered for her humanitarian and philanthropic deeds and said she lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation.
I pray God to give the Awolowo family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said the late matriarch represented everything a mother and leader should stand for. “Mama HID Awolowo was an uncommon matriarch and pivot of unity. History and posterity will always be kind to her for co-building the Awolowo brand and sustaining the unity, dignity, and political ideologies of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo dynasty.”
He prayed God to grant her soul a peaceful repose and support the Awolowo family and the entire nation with the inner strength to bear the irreparable loss.
Gov. Olusegun Mimiko
Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state through his Information Commissioner, Kayode Akinmade, said, “She was a supremely intelligent, kind-hearted, loving and caring mother of the Yoruba nation.
“Mama, as no one would doubt, remains a jewel of inestimable value even in transition to glory.
“It is traditional to recognise the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as the greatest Nigerian ever, but Awo would not have been the colossus that he was if not for the pillar he had in Mama in his battles against the forces of underdevelopment and tyranny, and in the face of unceasing persecutions following his tireless commitment to democracy and the advancement of the African cause.
“As the mother of the Yoruba nation, Mama made invaluable contributions to the Awolowo School of progressive politics encapsulated in the social democratic mantra of Life More Abundant during and after the life time of the great sage.”
Elder statesman E.K. Clark
South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, hailed HID as one of the greatest women in Nigeria and a rare mother worthy of emulation.
‘’The recent meeting of Yoruba leaders in Ikenne was indeed in pursuance of Yoruba unity, Mama, you are a rare mother worthy of emulation”, Clark said while eulogising her.
‘’As one of the greatest woman leader in Nigeria, God will continue to guide, protect, give you good health and all the qualities that he has bestowed on you, that will continue to make you relevant in our nation.”
Hon Dimeji Bankole
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, commended her untiring efforts in bringing about unity among Yoruba even in her old age.
Gov Adams Oshiomhole
Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, described the late Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo as an avatar and a “pillar of Christian propriety and fountain of humanism, who was always eager to dispense goodwill to all.
“Mama H.I.D was a pillar of Christian propriety and fountain of humanism, always eager to dispense goodwill to all who came to her. However, much as we mourn her, we believe that she deserves to be celebrated in deserved tribute to her laudable life as a mother, devout Christian and an exemplary Nigerian.
“Although Mama was advanced in age, we appreciate the depth of the grief of her children and family, knowing how affectionately close and tightly-knitted the family is. Our hearts are with the family at this difficult period.”