Ibadan—Commercial and vehicular activities were temporarily put on hold yesterday in the ancient city of Ibadan during the lying in state and commendation service held in honour of the late Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo.
The farewell service was held at the Methodist Cathedral, Agbeni, Ibadan. The remains were led into the church in a transparent casket at 10:05 am by five pall bearers. Six different crowns were placed on the casket The children of the late matriarch accompanied the pall bearers.
At the church scores of sympathisers were waiting to catch a glimpse of the remains of the highly revered woman who died 28 years after her husband.
Governors of Oyo, Osun and Lagos State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Akinwumi Ambode respectively were in attendance to bid the matriarch farewell.
Other dignitaries at the ceremony were Prof. Tunde Adeniran, former Minister of Education; business tycoons, Chief Bode Akindele, Chief Kola Daisi; Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, wife of Oyo State Governor; Erelu Bisi Fayemi, wife of the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Dr. Yemi Farounbi, former Ambassador to Philippines; Mrs. Sekinat Aregbesola, wife of the Osun State Governor, several men of God among others.
During his sermon at the commendation service, the presiding cleric, Most Revd. Michael Kehinde Stephen listed several achievements of the Awolowo family.
Governor Ajimobi, in his speech highlighted several memorable achievements of the Awolowo dynasty.
Aregbesola, Ambode pay tribute
At the premises of the Nigerian Tribune where the lying in state took place, governor Rauf Aregbesola said; ‘’Nigerians should emulate mama. She was worthy. She represented the best in collaboration and partnership to her husband. For any lady to have stood the way Mama stood with such enigma is a great honour.
Ambode in his contribution said Lagos State started honouring the matriarch since Sunday.
“A lot has been said in terms of contribution and development of Lagos, Papa Awo was the originator of the vision. But, Mama was the spirit behind the vision. All of us must carry on with that spirit. It is important for all of us to bring ourselves together and know clearly that we are yet to bring to pass the vision of Awo.”
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi later turned up at the Tribune event.
All stalls at Agbeni Market were shut for the event.
Ogun government receives her remains
Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun also yesterday, said the state as well as the entire country will miss the late Chief (Mrs) Hannah Idowu Dideolu.
Amosun who was accompanied by members of executive council to the Sagamu-interchange officially received the remains of the matriarch of the Awolowo family.
The remains brought in a grey Mercedes Benz hearse, with number plate TOS 9, arrived the interchange in a convoy of other vehicles at 3.30pm.
At the brief reception held at the Sagamu-Interchange, the remains of the late Mama Awolowo encased in a see-through coffin, was later transferred from the hearse into a ceremonial police van.
The children of the deceased, Mrs Omotola Oyediran and Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu, in company with some grand children and great grand children, were present at the brief reception.
The governor later joined the convoy to Ikenne.
The governor in his remarks described the late HID Awolowo as a good and caring mother that would not only be missed by the people of the state but the entire country.
He said the late matriarch of the Awolowo family had laid good examples for many generations, and her passage was worth celebrating.
He said; “Mama had laid good examples for many of us. Until November 25 when she will be buried, we will keep on celebrating her.”