‘She died in my presence’ – REVEREND (MRS.) TOLA OYEDIRAN, First Daughter
Thank you very much.
Where were you when she died?
Oh, we were by her bed side. There was no problem. She just slept and then that was it. It was in my presence and presence of Tokunbo, my sister and her grandchildren too.
What will you say you will about her?
We miss her love and beauty.
What about the burial arrangement?
No arrangement yet. You will be informed.
‘She was a mother to all’ – KAYODE AKINMADE
As a former Political Editor of Tribune Newspapers, how will you describe mama?
Mama was a symbol of human virtue. Mama lived a fulfilled life. She was able to hold sway for her husband both in political and business circles for over twenty years after the late sage departed. She was able to give a good account of herself.
The oldest privately owned newspaper in Nigeria today is Nigerian Tribune. Papa died in 1987 and the paper is flourishing by the day. It shows that the family has history. Mama has been able to organise the paper to the greatest height. Look at the political circle. Mama had been like a bridge of sort. She has been a mother to all. She has been able to galvanise everybody in Yoruba race regardless of their political divide.
She has never made any controversial statements. All her statements were to edify, to give glory, to admonish, to promote and not to destroy. That is why here today you see array of politicians from various political divides coming to celebrate the life and times of this great woman. This is a clarion call to our women folk to follow her footsteps. Somebody who was able to build the political economic structure that her husband left behind should be commended. What we can only wish her is paradise. As at today now heaven will be happy to receive her. She came, saw, conquered and was fulfilled.
‘We have lost a great woman’ – CHIEF AYO ADEBANJO
That is very true.
We will like to express our condolence on the death of Mama.
Thank you very much.
Where were you when you heard about Mama’s death?
Late last night (Saturday , September 19, 2015) and I was told about the wonderful way she ended after holding meeting with family members and the planning committee for her centenary. She ate a wonderful pounded cocoyam and then went to sleep. That is the way good people die. She deserved it. Mama lived a good life. She was a good sustenance of Papa and she carried the flag of Papa’s philosophy flying until she died. I don’t know whether you know that I am called the other son of Awo. Because when I was studying in England, as Mama was sending food material to Segun who was then in Cambridge, she was also sending my own. Because before I left, I was the organising secretary with Papa. I was practically part of the family. In fact, people in Remo called me Omo Baba (Awolowo). We have lost a great woman, a great mother and a great patriot. A devoted woman who stood with the husband through thick and thin. I don’t know when another HID will come this way.
What would you say you missed about her?
I will miss the Ikokore (Ijebu delicacy), I normally eat here specially prepared by Mama herself during Papa’s birthday.
What do you think will happen to Awolowo dynasty now that the matriarch has gone?
We pray that the Awolowo dynasty will remain firm. God in His infinite mercy will console them and make it not too difficult for them to have a replacement. It is not going to be easy, I must confess to you. Mama is not easy to replace. As I said, I don’t know when another HID will come this way again. She was a rare woman. A rare mother in Israel.
‘She was a woman of integrity’ – SENATOR JUBRIL MARTINS KUYE
Yes, I was. Anybody who had come across Chief Obafemi Awolowo or could have claimed to ever visited Chief Obafemi Awolowo in whatever capacity would ipso facto be close to mama. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was an age grade colleague of my own father. My father was an Action Group councillor at the inception of Action Group in 1952. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was also very close to my father as the Giwa of Obangbade. Beyond that I have always been Papa’s son. I was always coming here to take counsel, to seek guidance on political issues. Once you are in Papa’s court, you are ipso facto in mama’s court.
Mama was a woman of integrity, a woman of honour and a woman of longevity. My wish and prayer is that her children will take these qualities after her.
‘We praise God’ – AREMO OLUSEGUN OSOBA
I am very happy, I thank God. It is a period of celebration because the way Mama passed on was peaceful. It shows that we need to thank God. They didn’t have to be taking her from one hospital to another, we praise God.
You raised a particular issue about the date Mama died?
Mama was born in 1909 and she died on the 19th of September that is 1909. Papa died on Saturday, she died on Saturday. You can see that the two of them are one and the same, inseparable.
What is your comment on Mama’s passage?
Mama’s passage to us is a personal loss. She has had relationship with everybody. She has a way of dealing with everybody individually in their own way and style. We are here to celebrate her passage and transition to glory. She lived very well. Two months to 100 years is not a joke.
‘She pays more attention to her adopted children’ – SENATOR ANTHONY ADEFUYE
This is a great loss to all Nigerians, particularly the Yorubas. Mama has been the leader of Yoruba people and has made the problems of Yorubas her own problem. We always run to her anytime we need advice or anytime we have problems with one another and she has always given us her time. She had longevity because she almost lived to 100 years. She was a good mother to all of us who were also her adopted children. Mama has more adopted children than biological children. She sometimes pay more attention to we her adopted children than her own children and look after us like we are her own children. That is why we are all so sad that we have lost a leader, a mentor and matriarch.
May her soul rest in perfect peace.
What is your comment on the death of Chief Mrs HID Awolowo?
Here was a beautiful woman with verified intellect and a spartan spirit of endurance, a consort and confidant of one of the greatest political leaders of Africa Papa Awo. So, she is a loss to all of us. But I have no doubt that Mama will rest in perfect peace.
‘I will miss her’ – PRINCESS ABAH FOLAWIYO
When last did you see her?
I saw her about a month ago because I wasn’t in the country. I came back three days ago.
Your son (Segun Awolowo, Jnr.) is not here today?
He travelled before this happened.
What will you say you will miss about mama?
I will miss mama in everything. Mama was not only a mother in-law she was also a very good friend. When we are together we chat a lot. She wants to know what is going on in the fashion world, the latest things and I will tell her. So, I will really miss her.