Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday said the death of Hannah Awolowo forced him and his wife out of “hiding”, saying he had a plan to keep off public functions for at least 12 months.
Mr. Jonathan made the disclosure during condolence visit to the Ikenne home of the Awolowos, over the death of HID Awolowo.
The former leader was accompanied by the former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, and his political associates.
“Within this period, myself and my wife have been hiding; we don’t even go out. We thought we’ll be hiding for at least 12 months. But in this particular case, we cannot hide. So, we’ve come for the condolence and to encourage our brothers and sisters that we are together,” he said.
On the passing of Mrs. Awolowo, Mr. Jonathan said it was a great loss, but that he took solace in the fact that death is an inevitable end that would come when it would come.
“So, we know it would come for all of us one day and here we are today,” he said.
“We have been coming here because the former secretary to the government did mention that the last time I came here it was associated with the last presidential electioneering campaign. But before, I’ve been here severally to see mama in one way or the other,” the former president said.
“We are mourning her today; me and my wife, we are not mourning because mama has passed on. For me, we believe that it’s a rare privilege to add extra 29 years to the Biblical two scores and ten; it’s not easy.
“Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have been mourning but mama was a rare mother. She was a woman of virtue described in the Bible and she was a mother to all of us; a mother that her milk of kindness we still need, her milk of encouragement we still need, her milk of advice we still need and today she’s no more with us.
“But for me and my wife and members of our delegation, some of them include the former leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Adeola. Of course, Gbenga Daniel has been here severally but he was the one who led us into this hall. My good friend, Jide Adeniji, the former chairman of FERMA and others. Mrs. Kuku from Bayelsa State and others that joined us; we have come to pay our last respect,” he stated.
“We, just like the immediate children, and indeed this country have missed her. God brought her for all of us. She just had to be the direct mother of few but she’s a mother to all. We shall mourn more than even the direct children would.”
Similarly, the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku, also paid a condolence visit to the bereaved family.
The duo of Messrs. Jonathan and Anyaoku, who visited separately, were received by children and family members of the late woman.