The matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Chief (Mrs.) Hannah Idowu is dead.
She died on Saturday at exactly 3.15am at her Ikenne home. Mama, also known as Yeye Oodua, who would have been 100 years on November 25, was said to have attended a meeting of her forthcoming centenary birthday earlier in the day 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, she died having spent the last day in the company of her children, grand children, great grand children and close family members.
The statement read in part, “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.”
Among early callers at the Ikenne country home of the Awolowos were the Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa; the state deputy governor, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga; the First Lady, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun; and the former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel among others.
Adeoluwa, described the death of Mama HID as ‘very shocking’ adding that it was painful that she died when the preparation for her centenary birthday had reached an advanced stage. He said the state government would be fully involved in the funeral ceremonies.
He said, “She was a mother to all of us. Mama had a very close relationship with His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and the government of Ogun State will be fully involved.”
Otunba Gbenga Daniel said the Yoruba race and the nation have lost a matriarch. He described her demise as the “end of an era.”
He, however, promised that the members of the Awolowo political family left behind by mama would “keep the flag flying.”
The Unity Party of Nigeria governorship candidate in the April 11 governorship election, Mr. Rotimi Paseda, in his condolence message described the late HID Awolowo as, “a timeless heroine and a symbol of the unity of the Yoruba race and an epitome of humility.”
Other sympathisers who visited the Awolowos to condole with them were the state Secretary of the Social Democratic Party, Mr. Abimbola Awofeso; and the APC senatorial candidate for Ogun East in the last elections, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, among others.