The matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Yeye Oodua, Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo, received a visitor on Saturday in the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in her Ikenne, Ogun State home. The President paid the visit in order to commiserate with the matriarch on the death of her son, Oluwole Tinubu, who passed away last week.
The president said; “Mama, accept our condolence. It is a period that I lack words. Even though I am a teacher and politician, I, generally, am somebody who says very few words. You have some situations that even the very few words disappear. I really lack words to express my feelings.”
He added, “Ordinarily, for Oluwole who had survived 70 winters, one would have said that according to the Biblical injunction of three scores and 10, it is an age one would thank God to have attained, especially in a country where the average lifespan is quite below 50 years.
“But under the circumstances, the death is extremely painful to all of us. To me, I feel that with the way the Awolowo family has taken me as their own, I would have loved to be here almost everyday. Gbenga Daniel can attest to that.
“You have taken me as your own and this is not a period say it. I will have the opportunity to say that to the whole world one day,” he said.
President Jonathan noted that the first thing that came to his mind when he heard of the death of Chief Awolowo was the thought of Mama.
“I remain grateful to you for taking me as a part of the great Awolowo family. That is even one of the reasons that when I heard about the death, the first thing I asked is; ‘have you informed Mama?’ they said they had not informed her, but they were going to do that. Then, I said ‘Douglas, go to Lagos and go there with the team. Then, I will also find time to pay personal condolence to Mama and members of the family.
“I have already greeted the children; some of them are adults, while others are very young people that still need significant parental care. I agree with the Bishop when he said God knows best. He knows why He did this.
“Mama, it is painful but God knows best and we pray that you never witness any such incident again,” said the president.