By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
It was a triumphant entry into Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital, as the ancient city literally stood still to receive the remains of late matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Chief (Mrs.) Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, for her final home journey, which began on Sunday in Lagos.
The final home journey for HID Awolowo started on Sunday at 31 Park Lane, Apapa, one of the political homes of her late husband and former premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State who received the remains of one of the oldest prominent Nigerians that ever lived led other dignitaries including the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun to convey the remains of the departed amazon to the Awolowo residence at Oke Bola for a lying- in- state from where she was moved to Methodist Cathedral Church of Nigeria, Agbeni, Ibadan for a commendation service.
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.
At the church service held for the late matriarch, the Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Rev. Michael Kehinde, told people at the gathering to emulate the virtues of late HID Awolowo, describing her as a rare mother.
He recalled some of the laudable programmes of late Obafemi Awolowo, while urging political office holders to take a cue from such innovations of the Awolowo.
“Mama was a woman of virtue and humility. She was an icon par excellence, an epitome of womanhood and a source of inspiration to all and sundry.
“The support she gave her husband was a lesson that you can achieve greatness by doing family things. Apart from being a pillar of support, Mama upheld the legacies of her husband for about 30 years even after his demise,” the cleric added.
Gov Ajimobi while eulogising HID Awolowo described her as one of the greatest women that Nigeria has ever had or blessed with.
He called for an urgent revamping of the education sector in Nigeria to keep the legacies of the Awolowo dynasty alive and functional for a greater future.
Another session of service was conducted for the late amazon at the Tribune House, Imelefalafia, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, where a lying in -state was also organised before her.
Those who spoke at the session took turns to speak about how apartfrom being a pillar of support for her husband, Mama Awolowo maintained and sustained the legacies of the first Premier of the Western Region even long after his demise.
The remains of late HID Awolowo later departed for Ogun State for further burial rites. She will be buried in Ikenne on Wednesday.