The Matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo, is dead at the age of 99.
HID, as she was fondly called, died on Saturday at the family’s country home in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late Awolowo would have clocked 100 years-old on November 25.
She reportedly died shortly after a meeting on Saturday with her family members, who were said to be planning for her 100th birthday.
Her death occurred 28 years after the departure of her husband and late elder statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who died on May 9, 1987.
NAN reports that the late ‘Yeye Oodua’ died from complications associated with old age.
HID Awolowo (née Adelana; November 25, 1915 – September 19, 2015), was born to a modest family in Ikenne community of Ogun State.
She was the widow of the late sage and politician, Obafemi Awolowo, who famously referred to her as his “jewel of inestimable value.”
She was also a successful businesswoman and astute politician.
Late HID Awolowo 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 in jail
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.
Meanwhile, one of the early callers to her residence on condolence visit was the Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, who arrived at 5.55p.m.
In the deputy governor’s entourage were: former governor of the Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the Bishop of Remo Diocese Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Olusina Fape and his wife, Toyin.
Others include Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, the Secretary to the Ogun State Government.
Onanuga, in her condolence message, said “The state government and the people of Ogun commiserate with the entire family on the passing of our matriarch.
“The news of her departure came to us as a shock, when we are preparing for her centenary birthday.
“Indeed, Ogun State has lost a mother, who has always been supportive of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun-led government.
“It is our prayer that her gentle soul rest in peace,” she said.
In his own message, Daniel said, “Mama’s death was not totally unexpected, but the reality is something that cannot be expected for the Yoruba nation, entire country and the entire world.
“It is indeed the end of an era. We take solace in the fact that Mama and the entire Awolowo clan have several children of which I remain proud to be one of them.
“We shall keep the banner flying. Adieu Mama!”