Jakande, Tinubu, Babatope, others eulogise HID

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; his wife, Dolapo, who is a grand-daughter of HID Awolowo; an elder statesman and first civilian governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; and governors of Lagos and Osun states, Akinwunmi Ambode and Rauf Aregbesola, on Sunday paid glowing tributes to the late matriarch of the Awolowo Family, Hannah Dideolu. She died on Saturday, 67 days to her 100 birthday.

Also, the All Progressives Congress leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; a former APC Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; Governors of Ondo and Oyo states, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and Abiola Ajimobi, respectively, were also at the Ikenne home of the Awolowos to mourn the late HID.

A Peoples Democratic Party’s chieftain, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, and a former Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, were also among other prominent Nigerians who eulogised the late matriarch of the Awolowo Family, who died on Saturday at exactly at 3.15pm, in her Ikenne home.

Mama, also known Yeye Oodua, who would have been 100 years on November 25, was said to have attended a meeting of her forthcoming centenary birthday, before retiring into her room, where she breathed her last.

According to a statement signed by her eldest daughter, Mrs. Omotola Oyediran, on behalf of the family, HID “died gloriously having spent the last day in the company of her children, grand children, great-grand children and close family members.”

While extolling the virtues of the late matriarch, Jakande, also known as ‘Baba Kekere,’ described the late HID as a virtuous woman with rare qualities. These qualities, he said, informed her late husband’s decision to refer to her as “a jewel of inestimable value.”

He said the deceased represented a woman who was so devoted to her husband and stood by him and his political associates during their treasonable felony trials.

He said, “She was an unforgettable woman, an example of good virtues who worked tirelessly for Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole. She stood by us in the days of our political trials.”

Babatope, on his own part, said he was in shock for about 10 minutes when he heard the news of HID’s death. He also noted that she was an understanding wife who stood by her husband, through thick and thin.

“Mama represented everything good in a woman. Mama and Papa Awolowo were difficult to emulate when it comes to their love and devotion to each other. As much as I tried, I could not match them.

“Mama was very understanding; she visited all Papa’s political associates who were incarcerated.”

Ambode described Mama as a symbol of womanhood in Nigeria, and her death was quite significant and worth celebrating.

He, however, added that “it is painful that she died 67 days to her 100th birthday.”

Fayemi likened HID Awolowo to the heroine of the South African struggle, Winnie Mandela.

He noted that Mama remained committed to the ideals of her husband, and stood her ground when the opposition wanted to lure her to dump her husband’s conviction for an egalitarian society.

He said, “Mama was courageous, committed, dependable and she had conscience. She lived for her people, she lived for humanity.”

Aregbesola said politicians should learn from the exemplary lives of Mama and Papa Awolowo and live a life that would impact lives of others.

“Papa had the vision and mission but Mama was always at home, she nurtured the children, grandchildren and the greatgrand children.

“This is an illustration of how a political family should be. There was no hint of conflict in all the years they spent together.”

In the same vein, Mimiko said when viewed from a political angle, “the Awolowo family represents default option in good governance, and HID stood as the second leg of that synergy.”

“Mama was always there for Papa. Her memory was sharp. Their union taught us to be good politicians.”

Tinubu described her as “the best gift to humanity; a nationalist and a great mother.”