The late Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo’s “jewel of inestimable value”; Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, popularly known as HID died, yesterday, at 3:15 pm, two months to her centenary birthday. She was said to have passed on after she held a meeting with her family members on the plan for her 100 years birthday.
Announcing the demise, her eldest child, Omotola Oyediran, in a statement she signed on behalf of the family, said “mama died while praying for her children over her planned centenary birthday”.
The statement read: “Mama died as glorious as she lived. She spent the day in the company of her children, grand children, great grand children and close family. She shared a precious few minutes with them when she went in to pray for them as they met to plan her centenary birthday.
“They sang her a befitting song as she came in and she continued to pray for them. She died a couple of hours later as she had always wished to be surrounded by her children, grand children and great grand children.”
HID was born to a modest family in the small Ikenne community of Ogun State on November 25, 1915, her mother was Deaconess Elizabeth Oyesile Adelana, a business woman and member of royalty, while her father was the famous Chief Moses (MF) Odugbemi Adelana, a descendant of Obara ruling House, in Ikenne Remo and of the Liyangu Akarigbo ruling house of Sagamu.
President Muhammadu Buhari, the embattle Senate President Bukola Saraki, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the National Leader of All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed, Former Governor of Lagos State , Babatunde raji Fashola Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Lawmakers and many Nigerians commiserated with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, whose wife, , is a grand-daughter of the departed matriarch. The commiseration was extended to the Awolowo family, people and government of Ogun state over the passing.
She was also a successful businesswoman and astute politician. 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 held as a political prisoner.
She was first appointed Nigerian distributor of Nigerian Tobacco Company, in 1957, and was until death, chairman of African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, Publishers of Tribune titles, Dideolu Specialist Hospital, Dideolu Stores Limited among others and the Matron of National Association of Nigerian Women in Business (Ogun State chapter).
HID Awolowo was the matron, Ikenne Social Circle till death, and Grand Matron Remo Country Club. She was also honoured with much chieftaincy title in recognition of her impressive standing in the society. These include the Yeye Oba of Ife, Yeye Oodua, Mojibade of Ikenne and Iyalode of Remoland.
She was bestowed with the prestigious national award of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and awarded the Doctor of Letters (Honours Causa) of the University of Calabar, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and the Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University).
She received the award of the Fellow of academy of Religion (FAR) by the Nigerian Association for the Study of Religion (NASR). This was done in recognition of her unique and unwavering contribution to the advancement of humanity and her role in the employment of religion as a veritable tool both in national and global development.
She is blessed with five children, 20 grand children and 32 great grand children.