Saturday, September 19, 2015 4:42 pm
Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, wife of the legendary politician, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is dead.
She was aged 99, just a few weeks to her marking a century in this world. She was born on 25 November 1915.
The woman, who was once described by Awo, as a jewel of inestimable value, has now gone to join her husband, who died in 1987.
Born to the Adelana family in Ikenne, Ogun State, the same town where Awolowo was born in 1901, she grew into being a political matriarch of western Nigeria.
Although she was a big-time trader, she was unable to divorce herself from the politics of her husband, especially in the western part of Nigeria.
And she really had no choice into being thrown into a political role. When her husband was jailed in a concocted treasonable felony in 1964, she filled the vacuum by representing Awolowo in the alliance formed between the NCNC and the Action Group, under the umbrella United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA). As Awolowo was kept away in prison in Calabar, she was left alone to bear the burden of taking care of their children, one of whom, the eldest, Olusegun died in an accident.
In the Second Republic, Hannah also stood by Awolowo, as he campaigned twice to become Nigeria’s president in 1979 and 1983.
No wonder Awolowo called her a ‘jewel of inestimable value’ .
Since Awolowo’s death, her home in Ikenne has been a Mecca of sort to politicians across Nigeria, in search of political relevance in western Nigeria. She also hosted regular meetings of Afenifere and some other Yoruba groups, in efforts to give the Yoruba nation, a political unity and focus. She sometimes had to settle political quarrels among Yoruba politicians.