Nigerians have been charged to exemplify their lives, resources, vocations and callings to build firmly, such virile bridges that will give hope to the hopeless, irrespective of religion, tribe or creed at all times.
Making this charge during the weekend at Ikenne home of the Awolowos were eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in the service to the fatherland. They included former second republic Vice -President Dr Alex Ekwueme, along with the religious Activist, Bishop Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi, the frontline South-South Leader, Chief Dr Edwin Clark, among other very prominent Nigerian Leaders, who jointly paid a condolence visit to the Awolowos following the death of the matriarch of clan, Yeye Oodua, Mrs Hannah Idowu, Didieolu Awolowo on September 19, few weeks shy of her centenary on November 25.
At the occasion, the statesmen extolled the sterling virtues of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who championed the defense of the oppressed and more importantly the equal rights to free education at all levels, provision of affordable shelter, clean portable water in a virile society and nation where happiness and gainful employment were possibilities.
In addition, they eulogized his struggle for Nigeria’s Independence and self-rule, which he humbly manifested especially in the defunct Western Region, where during his administration as first premier his landmark achievements houses the monuments to information, business, open society and leisure as exemplified with the then Western Broadcasting Service – Radio Services, Liberty Stadium, 25 Storey Cocoa House, all in Ibadan, the Region’s Capital.
The leaders and the delegation of the Southern Nigeria People Assembly (SNPA) made these remarks respectively during the condolence visit to the late Chief Awolowo Family at Ikenne, Remo, Ogun State on the demise of the Matriarch, Mama Chief Dr. HID Awolowo. They and were received on behalf of the family by Chief Mrs. Omotola Oyediran and Dr. Mrs. Olatokunboh Awolowo.
Dr Alex Ekwueme in his tributes at the occasion saluted the extra ordinary, dogged zeal of Late Baba Obafemi Awolowo to keep Nigeria one, more importantly with his unrepentant conviction for “that United Nation that would happily excel, among the responsible comity of Nations”
Dr Ekwueme, singularly applaud Chief Awolowo’s resolve to cooperate with the Late Dr Nnamdi Azikwe when it was so necessary for the desired leadership to steer the nation’s boat to success after independence, before the latter subsequently became Nigeria’s first President.
He praised Mama’s dogged strides for one, indivisible nation, clearly earned her “the mother of the Nation” as a genuine, consistent pursuits of her husband’s resolve, as manifested clearly with her leadership roles as the Chairman, Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) which, subsequently emerged, a part of the Southern Nigeria People Assembly (SNPA) which in turn, stands for the common goals of that nation and society where liberty, fraternity and equality are its hallmarks.
He therefore enjoined the entire Nigerians, especially, wives and mothers, to emulate the late matriarch of the Awolowo family by supporting and then uphold their husbands beliefs and pursuits for egalitarian society so that their names would remain ever green, even after their death.
Concluding Dr Alex Ekwueme while congratulating the Yoruba Nation, especially the Yoruba Unity Forum and the entire Awolowo family, by extension the Incumbent Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, assured that her name would remain evergreen as “the good works people do, live before and even after them” as posterity would exalts them at all times.
In their contributions, the erudite scholar, Clergy and Religious Activist of note, Bishop Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi, the Deputy Chairman, Yoruba Unity Forum, respectively Air Commodore Indongesit Nkanga, representing the South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, aligned with Dr Ekwueme’s submissions, with Bishop Gbonigi enjoining Nigerians to show genuine appreciation for the family’s sterling virtues and tireless zeal to work for the improvement of a society where life is secured, gainful employment guaranteed and equity is assured.
Other in the delegation who made their voices heard included such eminent dignitaries as the former Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chikwuemeka Ezeife, a frontline politician, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Abiola Ogundokun, Senator (Dr) Femi Okurounmu, Hon Chief (Mrs.) Bola Doherty, Chief Tony Ogunsuyi, a frontline Yoruba leader from Kaduna State and Chief Tola Noibi, The YUF Assistant National Publicity Secretary, a seasoned politician, erudite scholar and seasoned administrator, the Secretary General Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) Senator Antnony Adefuye and Mrs. Olabisi Sangodoyin among others.
Others Leaders at the event were Dr Ifedi Okwenna, Chief Edozie Ezeugwa, Prof Saliba Mukoro, Hon Moshood Salvador and Chief Odumakin.
It will be recalled that the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) of which the late matriarch, HID Awolowo was the rallying point and the Chairman has Bishop Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi as Deputy Chairman, while Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu is the Vice- Chairman and Senator Anthony Adefuye, the Secretary-General.
It is a formidable socio cultural umbrella for the entire Yoruba Nation, devoid of any political, religious or creed that serves also as the umbrella organisation for the Yoruba, while still a member of the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly together with the South-East, as well as the South-South as a common front to amplify their pursuits, aspirations and common goals in the search for good governance of the country.