Mama Died Praying For Us While Singing For Her – Daughter, Tola Oyediran

…She was an icon, says Obasanjo

imageThe Ikenne home of the matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo surged with heavy traffic of Nigerians yesterday. They were eager to sympathise with the family over the death of Mrs Awolowo.

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

The Yeye Oodua of Yorubaland, 99, would have been 100 years old by November 25 this year. Preparation had begun 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 birthday.

Early callers were 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.

Other sympathisers who visited the Awolowos to condole with them included the state Secretary of the Social Democratic Party, Alhaji Abimbola Awofeso; APC senatorial candidate for Ogun East in the last elections, Mr. Dapo Abiodun; Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun, the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in the state, Gboyega Isiaka.

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

Her first daughter, Mrs Omotola Oyediran, said her mother spent five minutes with her family, had her routine daily chores – meetings, prayers among others, before she breathed her last by 3:05pm

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

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

imageFor Obasanjo, the death of HID is a passing of an Icon, a mother and matriarch of the Yoruba.

Obasanjo said: “On occasion like this, for all of us in Ogun and Yoruba land 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.

“We must thank God because mama has experienced the vicissitudes of life but she died in peace. When I heard, I decided to come because I wanted to be sure. All I was thinking of was the centenary birthday, Mama has been a joy to many, she was the matriarch of the Yoruba land, faithful and loyal to her husband, supporter and pillar of the family.

“She was somebody people ran to for advice 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.”

Also, the Acting Governor, Yetunde Onanuga, said Mama was a role model and mother, describing her demise as a shock since it happened at a time when preparations were progressing towards her 100 years birthday.

Mrs Onanuga disclosed that the state government would be fully involved in the funeral ceremonies of the late matriarch when it is fixed.

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