As is usual with the death of great and influential persons, tributes and encomiums from across tribal and political lines have continued to pour in for the late Alhaja Abeebat Mogaji, the mother of Senator Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State. She was the National President of Market Women Association of Nigeria until she died last Saturday at the age of 96.
Uduaghan: We Lost a Mother
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, in his condolence message, recalled with nostalgia, the bond that existed between the late Alhaja Mogaji and Oluremi, Tinubu’s wife, adding that it was not surprising that apart from her husband who gave full consent for her to run as senator, the deceased stood as unrelenting motivator for the dream to be realised.
“Alhaja Mogaji was not only an inspiration to her son, former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, but also to our daughter, Oluremi, with whom she shared an uncommon bond. She was also unrelenting in making sure that her dream of becoming a senator was realised. Yes, we can say we lost a mother too,” he said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Felix Ofou.
She was a Commercial and Political Matriarch, Says Ajimobi
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi described the late Mogaji, as one of the nation's greatest commercial and political matriarchs.
The governor, who made this known through his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, traced the late Mogaji’s involvement in politics from her days as a member of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group (AG) and the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), stating that her footprints on the political terrain, especially in the mobilisation of the womenfolk, for political purposes can never be wished away.
Oshiomhole: She was a Model Mother
While expressing the condolences of the people and government of Edo State and “my personal commiseration over this loss”, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State remarked that, “With her demise, the nation has lost a senior citizen who contributed her quota to the growth of the nation. Mama was a model mother, industrious woman and philanthropist who brought up her children with the fear of God. I have no doubt that you will miss her very much, my leader, as she was no doubt the pillar of the Tinubu family.”
Kwara Governor Mourns
In his condolences, Governor Abdufattah Ahmed of Kwara State sympathised with Tinubu.
Ahmed, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, said the demise of Mogaji was a great national loss given her prominent position in the coordination and mobilisation of market women for national development.
According to him, “Mama symbolised hope for the hopeless, championed development and empowerment for the less privileged and represented inspiration for the younger generation.”
Shettima: Nigeria Lost a Grand Mobiliser
Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, while condoling with Tinubu over the death of his mother, said Nigeria "has lost a progressive, a woman with distinction in mobilising citizens for a good course".
Shettima, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Communications, Alhaji Isa Gusau, said: "She was an activist who struggled for the rights of common people, including millions of traders she led; she was a progressive who contributed immensely to the political liberty of Lagos and by extension the South-west; she helped in the advancement of democracy as a key player.”
We’ll Miss Her Leadership Roles, Says Ihedioha
On his part, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, described Mogaji's death as a painful and sad event which leaves a gaping vacuum in the lives of the children, family and friends of those left to mourn her.
In a statement by his Media Aide, Oke Epia, Ihedioha said the late Mogaji was known to be a grassroots social mobiliser whose strides and track record of achievements are well known far and wide throughout the country.
Saraki: She was an Exceptional Iyaloja
In his condolence message, Senator Bukola Saraki said Mogaji would be remembered for her giant strides in Lagos business, adding that she lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation. He also described her as a role model who contributed immensely to the development and empowerment of market men and women.
PDP Sets aside Politics, Consoles Tinubu
In what seems to be a melting pot, the death of Mogaji has temporarily suspended the rivalry between the PDP and ACN.
The PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said the matriarch was a devout Muslim, who led an active life worthy of emulation.
According to the PDP spokesman, “She remained a shining example of a mother and a leader whose inner strength, candour and forthrightness served as fountains of tutelage and inspiration to millions across the country.”
PRONACO: She was the Mother of Nigerian Progressives
Pro-National Conference (PRONACO), in its condolence message to Tinubu described his mother as one of the few women in Nigeria, who inspired the democratic struggles of the Nigerian people.
Paying tribute to the departed Iyaloja of Lagos, PRONACO spokesman, Mr. Olawale Okunniyi, said Mogaji would be remembered for her consistent support and prayers for the progressive movement and the struggles to entrench democratic order in Nigeria.
Oni Condoles with Tinubu
Former Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni, commiserated with Tinubu over the death of his mother, whom he described as “a renowned market leader, who nurtured many entrepreneurs to maturity and financial independence”.
He said: “Though Mama died at 96, her death cannot but be a great loss to Senator Tinubu, the Mogaji’s family and the entire world.”
Kalu: She was an Extraordinary Influence
Former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, condoled with Tinubu over his mother’s death, stating that Mogaji lived up to the ripe age of 96 but that she had tremendous impact of the lives of many Nigerians. He said that Mogaji was not just an extraordinary philanthropist, but also had huge impact as the President General of Nigerian Market Women and Men.
He said: "She is an extraordinary Nigerian and it is obvious that losing such a great influence, no matter the age, will be painful.
"Asiwaju, you should, however, be consoled by the fact that Mama lived a great life and ran her journey well."
It is a Personal Loss, Oyinlola
Former governor Osun State Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who said the late Mogaji's death has made Nigeria poorer in quality counsel, noted the tremendous support the deceased gave him and other successive governors of Lagos State.
“Between 1994 and 1996 when I was the military administrator of Lagos State, the late Alhaja Mogaji as the head of market men and women was virtually a mother to me. Her counsel and support in those turbulent political days were very invaluable.
“Even after my exit from the Lagos state Government House, the late Alhaja maintained the bond so much so that she remained a mother to me till the very end," Oyinlola said.
He described the deceased as a woman of strong character, a principled leader and a deeply religious person.
Ribadu: She was an Exemplary Amazon
A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has described the late Mogaji as the end of “courageous women movement”.
In a statement by Ribadu’s media aide, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, the former EFCC boss noted that the matriarch was one of “the last of exemplary amazons”.
According to him, the deceased’s doggedness, resilience and selfless community service were virtues that would remain indelible in the face of Nigeria’s history and non-state movements in black Africa in general.
Ribadu, who also hailed the entrepreneurship acumen of the deceased nonagenarian, said the late Mogaji was a successful businesswoman, stressing that “she was a true nationalist and a bridge builder”.