Chief (Mrs) Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo, wife of the late sage and one-time Premier of the then Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, has died, Saturday, at the age of 99 in her Ikenne, Ogun State home, shortly after a meeting. Chief (Mrs) Awolowo (née Adelana), popularly called HID, was born on November 25, 1915 and remained, largely, active till her demise.
A statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, said that President Buhari has “received with immense sadness, news of the passing away of Chief (Mrs.) Hannah Dideolu Awolowo.
“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.
“President Buhari believes that Chief (Mrs.) Awolowo will always be honoured too for the indelible legacy of very significant, behind-the-scene contributions to communal, state, regional and national development which she has left behind.
“The President prays that God will comfort Chief (Mrs.) Awolowo’s family, relatives, friends, associates and admirers, and grant them the fortitude to bear her irreparable loss.
“He also prays that the Almighty will receive the late matriarch’s worthy soul and grant her eternal rest from her long, earthly service to her renowned spouse, family, community and country.”
In his reaction, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who expressed shock and sadness over the death of Chief Mrs Awolowo, however, said that “mama’s virtues will remain indelible in our hearts,.“
The Governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. 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.
“We however take solace in the fact that she lived a fulfilled life. We celebrate her for what she stood for, uniting the Yoruba race for a common course and keeping her family together since the demise of her husband.
“She was the pillar behind Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s legacies. She was the backbone of the brand of progressive ideas that defined the politics of the South West in the First Republic and in subsequent Republics”, the Governor recalled.
He prayed for the peaceful repose of her soul, urging her family to draw strength from the legacies she stood for while she was alive.
“On behalf of my family and the good people of Lagos state, I want to express our heartfelt condolence to the family of Mama Awolowo, the people of Ogun state and Nigerians on this great and irreparable loss”, he said.