President Goodluck Jonathan has announced plan to adopt the children of the deceased Publisher of Nigerian Tribune, Oluwole Awolowo, who died in a London hospital as his children.
Jonathan, who arrived Ikenne in a presidential chopper marked NAF 571 at the Ansar Udeen Primary School from where he moved to the home of the Awolowo’s, disclosed that he decided to pay his personal condolence to the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Mrs HID Awolowo, and other members of the family because he had been integrated into the family.
“Ordinarily, at three scores plus, one will be grateful to God,but still, this death of Chief Oluwole Awolowo is very painful to all of us. May God grant his soul a peaceful rest and let the family have the fortitude to bear the loss,” the president wrote in the condolence register.
While speaking to the family of the bereaved, the president said he was short of words to condole the Awolowo family.
“It’s a period that we lack words, even though as a teacher and politician, in some cases though, I’m generally somebody of very few words. But in some situations, even the very few words disappear. So we really lack words to express our feelings,” the president said.
“Ordinarily at that 70, which is why I have said that from Biblical injunction, three scores and ten, is an age where you thank God to attain, especially in a country where the average life span is quite below 50. But under the circumstances, his death is painful to all of us.
“To me, I’ve seen the way the Awolowo family has taken me as their own and I would have loved to be here almost every day. Gbenga Daniel (former Ogun State Governor) can attest to that. You have taken me as your own; this is not the period to say it and I have the opportunity to say that and the whole world can know.
“I remain grateful to you for integrating me into the great Awolowo family. That is why I asked the first time I heard about the death that have they informed mama? It was Douglas that told me that they have not informed her and I asked him to go to Lagos and follow this.
“I pay my personal condolence to mama and the entire members of the family and I also condole with the children, especially the younger ones that are still expecting significant parental care.
“I join the Bishop to say God knows everything and he knows the reason for everything. On our part, we will continue to be members of the family and any little thing that God has given us the privilege to do the children, they are my children and my brothers.
“So mama, it is painful but God knows best and we pray that you don’t experience this again and God will see you through. Mama, I’m your son, I will continue to be with you,” Mr. Jonathan stated.
Joined by the President on his condolence visit to the Awolowo family were ex-governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and ex-Chief of General Staff, General Oladipo Diya (rtd).