The National Secretary of the Labour Party, Barr. Kayode Ajulo, has described the recently deceased matriarch of the Awolowo family and wife of the foremost nationalist and politician, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Hannah Dideolu Awolowo who is fondly referred to as 'HID' as "a shining example of womanhood who is worthy of emulation by all women".
Eulogizing the late matriarch who passed away on Saturday, Ajulo said "Mama's" exemplary character had been best described by her equally outstanding husband who during his lifetime consistently praised her in public as his "jewel of inestimable value". He further stated that it was no surprise and by no accident that Chief Awolowo rose to the heights that he did, and achieved the great strides that he did with the love and support of such a woman as HID.
"It is commonly said that beside every great man is a woman. I want to expand that a little by saying it is a great woman that stands beside every great man. In Pa Awo's case, Mama fulfilled the Biblical intention for women to be a helper- a helpmeet for their men. Her unflinching support for him from his youth, during his years as a student abroad, and even during his struggles for Nigerian independence are legendary, and they should be recounted to all women for ages to come. Even during the years of his incarceration, Mama remained a rock for her husband.
"Her character was such that even when Pa Awo passed away, she held fort, and continued to uphold the legacy of Chief Awolowo and all that he stood for. This is evidenced by the number of political considerations that took place at her home while she was alive.
As a matter of fact, the scope of her influence spread beyond the Odua nation to the farthest parts of Nigeria; this is a mark of the type of leadership that Nigerian women have the potential to provide for the nation if they emulate Mama," he said.
The Labour Party scribe further said that the matriarch had lived a fulfilled life, and that Nigeria had been made a lot better by her presence and her influence.
"Nigeria has gained a lot from Mama's counsel and influence, and while it is true that the nation has suffered great loss by her demise and while we acknowledge the fact that the nation will miss her, let us agree that mourning is not enough to honour her. The greatest honour we can give her is to raise young Nigerian girls to follow her steps, and become women of character and substance like Mama HID Awolowo.
"I have a dream of a nation where the women live exemplary lives like Mama did, and I pray I see Nigeria become that in my lifetime. If this is done, the nation would as a matter of course become a nation of achievers because women are the midwives of societies," he said.
Ajulo offered his condolences to the Awolowo family, stating however that they were not alone in their grief as the entire nation had suffered the loss of a great spirit.
"A huge vacuum has been created in the arena of selfless leadership in Nigeria, and even though we know that the Awolowo family will feel the pain more than the rest of us, it must be said that the loss is an entire nation's loss; a great spirit has departed from our realm and gone home to be with the Creator. Rest in peace, Mama," he said.