Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, and the Afenifere Renewal Group have mourned the passing of Hannah Awolowo who died on Saturday.
The matriarch of the Awolowo clan and widow of the late Obafemi Awolowo, until her death, was the Chairman of African Newspapers of Nigeria, publishers of Nigerian Tribune.
In separate statements on Saturday, Mr. Soyinka and the Afenifere group celebrated Mrs. Awolowo’s legacy.
“An Era recedes. As solace, it leaves in its wake a treasured privilege for those who knew her, who experienced her indomitable spirit at first hand, and drank from her depthless fount of family embrace,” Mr. Soyinka said in his brief statement.
The Afenifere group described her as “the wife and inestimable jewel of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the avatar of progressive politics in Nigeria.”
“The news of her death came as a shock as no one would ever wanted to lose a jewel but we are comforted by the kind of life Mama lived,” the Yoruba socio-political group said in a statement signed by Kunle Famoriyo, its Publicity Secretary.
“Like Chief Awolowo, whose philosophies will forever remain a guidepost for progressive politics, Mama HID lived out and left behind a strong legacy, as an agent of peace and personification of bravery and tenacity.
“She dedicated her life as the critical support needed by her husband in the pursuit of common good and the building of an egalitarian society.”
The ARG called on the Yoruba people and all Nigerians to celebrate Mrs. Awolowo’s lifetime and legacy and pray for the repose of her soul and eternal blessings on those she left behind.
In his condolence, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, described the death of Mrs. Awolowo as the loss of the real conscience of the Oodua nation. He said her untiring efforts at building and sustaining the unity of the Yoruba nation and ensuring its worthy pride of place
within the context of Nigeria’s federal structure will be sorely missed by all.
“The good qualities of a dutiful wife and caring mother shown by Mama are worthy of emulation. She stood solidly by her husband during those trying moments. She showed resilience when it seemed all chips were down,” Mr. Fayose said.