One of the surviving children of the late Chief Hannah Awolowo, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, on Sunday revealed that the late matriarch was pious in prayers till she breathed her last.
Describing how her mother died in her arms, Awolowo-Dosunmu told reporters at the family home in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun, that the late business woman was devoted to God until her last breath.
Awolowo-Dosunmu, a former Ambassador of Nigeria to Holland, said that the family was happy over the accolades her late mother received following her passage on Saturday afternoon.
She said her mother impacted positively on the lives of both the high and low, promising that her legacy would be kept by the family.
“She was in high spirits before she left us and didn’t give us room to suspect the contrary as she kept praying for us.
“Whether she had a premonition about her death, we will never know for sure as she kept singing and praising God. It was her voice of prayer that we heard last.
“That moment was huge and we are glad to receive her final blessings. Mama eventually breathed her last in my arms,’’ she said.
Asked what she would miss most about her mother, Awolowo-Dosunmu, the last child of the matriarch said, “her wise counsel and motherly care obviously.’’
She expressed sadness that the late Awolowo could not live to mark her centennial birthday scheduled for Nov. 25.
“This is very sudden for us. If anyone had told us that Mama would breathe her last yesterday, we would have argued till thy kingdom come.
“ I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that she’s gone. I feel very disappointed and wished she had the opportunity to see how much she meant to everyone,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, the governors of Lagos, Osun and Oyo States, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, Mr Rauf Aregbesola and Sen. Abiola Ajimobi also paid their tributes to Awolowo in their separate condolence visits to the home of the deceased.
Others present at the residence were the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the former governors of Lagos and Ekiti states, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Ambode, in his tribute, said the deceased contributed to the development and unity of Nigeria.
“We are here to celebrate a woman of honour and not to mourn in whatever capacity,” Ambode said.
Similarly, Fayemi described Awolowo as a “ warrior’’ who fought side-by-side with the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in ensuring independence of Nigeria and laying the foundation for the country’s prosperity and growth.
“I can’t remember how many times I heard words of wisdom and counsel from her.
“In the dark days of Nigerian politics, Mama stood firm on the side of the truth, ensuring that we remained united as a nation and clan.
“We are not mourning, this is a moment for celebration and a moment for Yoruba people to reflect on and see how far we have come and what new heights to attain,” Fayemi said.