hid-4Matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, HID, is dead. Mama, as many fondly called her, died yesterday at the ripe age of 99 while preparing for her 100th birthday anniversary billed for November 25, this year.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday gathered that the Yeye Oodua, as she was fondly called, died shortly after a meeting on Saturday with her family members.
The meeting, we gathered for was to discussed programmes for her forthcoming 100th birthday anniversary.
Born to a modest family in Ikenne community of Ogun state on November 25, 1915, HID famously referred to as “jewel of inestimable value” was a successful businesswoman and astute politician.
She was the First Lady of the Old Western Region and played an active role in Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s quest to become the president of Nigeria as she toured the nooks and crannies of the country with him.
On the business front, she was the first Nigerian distributor of the Nigerian Tobacco Company, NTC, in 1957 and the first to import lace materials and other textiles products into the country.
The matriarch was the grandmother of Dolapo Osinbajo, the wife of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the chairman of the Tribune publishing company.
Reacting to the news, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed sadness and commiserated with the family and Nigerians and prayed God to console and comfort everyone mourning the deceased.
On behalf of the Federal Government and people of Nigeria, President Buhari extends sincere commiserations to the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren 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.
Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, described the late matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, as the epitome of a good wife and mother.
Saraki said in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, “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.
Also, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in a statement signed by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant (media) said that the passing away of the matriarch of the Awolowo family and the co-founder of the Nigerian Tribune, as an irreparable loss to the entire nation, noting that Nigerians would always have fond memories of her contributions to national development.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, on his part described the death of the matriarch of the Awolowo Dynasty as the loss of the real conscience of the Oodua nation, saying her untiring efforts at building and sustaining the unity of the Yoruba nation and ensuring its worthy pride of place within the context of Nigeria’s federal structure will be sorely missed by all.
“Mama Awolowo’s life was not only exemplary, but one that provided great lessons of life to the discerning mind. She has fought a good fight. She came and conquered. She left footprints in the sands of time and she has gone to a deserved rest.
Also, Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has described the late Chief HID Awolowo as an avatar and a “pillar of Christian propriety and fountain of humanism, who was always eager to dispense goodwill to all”.
Oshiomhole said, “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.
Speaking yesterday, the eldest daughter of late Awolowo, Mrs. OmotolaOyediran told journalists that the late matriarch held separate meetings with her three generations before her passage to eternity.
Oyediran while briefing former President OlusegunObasanjo who also visited the Ikenne home of Awolowo said her late mother blessed all members of the family before she went to bed.
She informed Obasanjo that immediately after the blessing, family members also prayed for better health and long life for her.
She said, “We sang for her after blessing all the family and we said ‘Mama wa, arare ale, walalafia, wapefunwaoooo’ Meaning ‘Our mother, you will be strong, you will have sound health, and you will leave long.’
Also in a one page statement issues by the family entitled, “Glorious Exit”, the family members said she spent the day in company with her children, grand children, great grand children and close family members before her final exit.
It added that she prayed for all of them before they went into the meeting aimed at planning for her 100th year birthday anniversary.
The statement further said that Mama Awolowo died “as she had always wished; surrounded by her children, grand children and great grand children.”
The statement also read, “With gratitude to God for her remarkable and illustrious life, the entire Awolowo family announce the Glorious Home-calling of our dear Matriarch, YeyeOodua, Hannah IdowuDideoluAwolowo this afternoon, September 12, 2015.
“Mama died as gloriously as she lived, she spent the day in the company of her children, grand children, great grand children and close family members.
“She shared a precious few minutes with them when she went in to pray for them as they met to plan her centenary birthday.
“They sang her a befitting song as she came in and she continued to pray for them.
“She died a couple of hours later as she had always wished; surrounded by her children, grand children and great grand children.”

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