First son of late politician Obafemi Awolowo and Publisher/Vice Chairman of the African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc. Publishers of the Tribune titles, Chief Oluwole Awolowo died yesterday. He was aged 70.
A statement issued last night by the Managing Director/Editor -in-Chief of Nigerian Tribune, Mr. Edward Dickson, Oluwole put the late scion of the Awolowo family’s death at 5.40p.m. at the Wellington Hospital, St Johnswood, London.
Following his death, eminent Nigerians have sent their condolences to the family of late Chief Oluwole Awolowo who left an aged mother behind.
Former Minister of Transport and Director of Organisation of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, Chief Ebeneze Babatope, said he was devastated by the demise of Oluwole.
“I’m devastated. I’m simply devastated. Oluwole has been my friend for 37 years. He is a nice man. If he has N100, 000 and you are in need of money, he would give you everything. He has suffered a lot since he had accident in 2006. This incident is going to affect Mama,” Babatope told National Mirror last night.
On his part, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State described the death of the scion of the Obafemi Awolowo family, as a sad occurrence.
Amosun said this has thrown the entire state into mourning.
The governor in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant (Media), Mrs. Funmi Wakama, said that the fact that the deceased was survived by his mother, the revered matriarch of the family who is seen by all Nigerians as symbol of Nigerian nationalism, made the departure of the Second Republic legislator and the irreparable loss even more painful.
“We are surprised to hear about the sudden departure of the Publisher of Tribune titles who was not only the son of our late sage but was himself a major political figure, going by the prominent role he played in the Second Republic when he served meritoriously as a legislator in the Lagos State House of Assembly.
“The entire people of Ogun State mourn the departure of this illustrious son of our dear state. Our condolences go to the entire Awolowo family, particularly our dear mama, Chief (Mrs) H. I. D. Awolowo. We pray that God Almighty will console and strengthen them at this time of grief. We also pray that God should grant the dead eternal rest,” Amosun said.
Former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, also described the death of Oluwole Awolowo as a sad and painful loss, even as he prayed God to grant Mama H.I.D. Awolowo the strength to bear this irreparable loss in her old age. “Oluwole was a gentle personality and a brilliant man, who loved people and affected his environment positively. He was one from a great family of excellent political tradition and his life and contributions would not be forgotten in a hurry,” Tinubu said last night.
The former governor prayed that God grant the entire Awolowo clan the fortitude to bear this painful loss. “They must not despair, but must be strong for Mama and above take solace in the fact that he lived a memorable and fulfilled life,” he said.
The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, last night described the Oluwole’s death as painful.
“The entire Afenifere family mourns the passing away of the scion of our illustrious leader’s family, Chief Oluwole Awolowo. His death is big pain and loss to all of us who are followers of the sage. We pray that the Almighty will strengthen our Mama and the entire family in this difficult moment. May his amiable soul rest in perfect peace,” Afenifere’s spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said.
The Founder of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, expressed shock at the development.
“Oh my God! Jesus of Nazareth. Why is this happening at this time? It is a terrible blow to the Awolowo family and the Yoruba race. I feel for Mama Awolowo losing a son at 98. My condolence goes to the family. I wish Mama well. I pray she will have the courage to bear the loss,” Fasehun said.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, also condoled with the family. The national Publicity Secretary of ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said: “We commiserate with the matriarch of the Awolowo family, the sibling and entire Awoists of the loss of the only son of the sage. It is painful enough to lose the only son of Awolowo, but more painful that the matriarch is still alive. We pray that God will give Mama the fortitude to bear the loss.”