It was tributes galore on Sunday for late matriarch of the Awolowo Family, HID Awolowo, as she began her final journey home in Lagos with a lying-in-state in Lagos.
The venue was 31 Park Lane, Apapa, one of the political homes of her late husband and former premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
HID Awolowo died on Saturday, September 19, in Ikenne, Ogun State, precisely 67 days to her centenary birthday.
The black hearse bearing the remains of Mama Awolowo was forced to stop at about 500 metres to the family house.
Thereafter, six pallbearers from the TOS Funeral Undertakers lifted the glass-casket amid singing, dancing and drumming with family members singing praises of the late woman.
On arrival at the family house, two Anglican priests, who described her as a pious woman who served God till her death, also prayed for the family.
Thereafter, people of diverse background, young and old, filed past the remains of the ‘jewel of inestimable value’ dressed in white and yellow iro and buba.
Prominent among those who paid their last respect was Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who described her as a rare mother.
“For us, this is a Lagos loss; it is not even about Yoruba loss alone. So, coming here is just to show that Mama for every good thing, she has been very humble. We would miss her greatly.”
National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who arrived with a retinue of aides, urged Nigerian women to emulate Mama Awolowo.
“Mama was supportive of Papa Awolowo. Nigerians, particularly the womenfolk need to learn from this rare virtue. She was someone that needs to be emulated.”
Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo of King International Christian Centre (KICC), after paying his last respect, said there was need for Nigerians to celebrate the exit of Chief Awolowo because of how she touched many lives during her lifetime.
A Christian interdenominational service later held at the Apapa home of the Awolowos.
Her remains will, this morning, depart Lagos for Ibadan, where a lying-in-state will later hold at the Oke Bola home of the Awolowos and at the Tribune House
She would be buried after a funeral service at the Saints. Saviours Anglican Church on Wednesday, November 25 in Ikenne after series of funeral programmes.