The Ikenne home of the Awolowo dynasty surged with heavy traffic of Nigerians who called to sympathise with the family over the death the matriarch of the family, Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo on Saturday.
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 99 years old Yeye Oodua of Yorubaland would have been 100 by November 25 this year as preparation had began 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 celebration.
Early callers at the Awolowo home included 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.
The family said the matriarch died in the company of her children and also prayed for them as they planned for her centenary birthday.
Her first daughter, Mrs Omotola Oyediran said HID Awolowo 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 Matriach, Yeye Oodua, Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo on Saturday 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 grandchildren.”
Obasanjo said HID’s death is the passing of an Icon, a mother and matriarch of the Yorubas.
Obasanjo said: “on occasion like this, for all of us in Ogun and Yorubaland 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.
“However, it doesn’t matter how long our loved ones may stay we will love they stay with us. We must thank God because mama has experienced the vicsitude of life but she died in peace.
“When I heard, I decided to come becuse I wanted to be sure. All Iwas thinking of was the centennary birthday. Mama has been a joy to many, she is the matriarch of the yorubaland, faithful and loyal to her husband, supporter and pillar of the family.
“She was somebody people run to for advise 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.”