Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, wife of late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is dead.Aged 99, she died just when her family was planning her 100th birthday anniversary.
She was born on 25 November 1915.HID was born to a modest family in the small Ikenne community of Ogun State in Nigeria.She was famously referred to her as his “jewel of inestimable value”.
A successful businesswoman and astute politician, she was the First Lady of the old Western Region. She played an active role in the politics of Western Nigeria.
She stood in for her husband in the alliance formed between the NCNC and the AG, called the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), while he was tried and jailed.
The plans were that she would contest the elections, and if she won, would step down for her husband in a by-election.
To fulfil his dream of becoming president in the Second Republic, she toured the length and breadth of the country with her husband campaigning.
She also coordinated the women’s wing of the party and was always present at all party caucuses. A successful businesswoman, she became the first Nigerian distributor for the Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) in 1957. She was the first to import lace materials and other textiles into Nigeria.
Reacting to the news, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed sadness. He commiserated with HID’s family an the entire people of Nigeria, praying for God’s comfort for everyone mourning the deceased.
“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,” Buhari said in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
“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.”
Buhari expressed belief that 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,” Adesina added.
“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.”