Presidency Mourns her loss
Reverend Tola Oyediran, the eldest daughter of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Premier of the Western Region in the first republic, has passed on. Oyediran (Also known as Mama Oke-Bola) died at the age of 79. Before her death, she was a Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Newspaper of Nigeria (ANN), Publisher of the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper, and was married to Professor A.B. Oyediran, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.
She was expected to celebrate her 80th birthday on the 1st December 2020. This has thrown the Awolowo Dynasty into mourning. It was gathered that she passed away in her sleep on the afternoon of Friday 16 2020.
Dr. Kunle Olajide, the Secretary General, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), said her death was a great loss to the Yoruba nation.
Olajide, while consoling the entire Awolowo family, her husband, children and grandchildren, described the deceased, as a patriotic Nigerian who contributed greatly to the development of the Yoruba. Rev. Tola Oyediran is also the aunt Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, the wife of the Vice President.
He said in his statement that, ‘The death of the eldest daughter of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is a tragic loss to the Yoruba nation. She was a very patriotic Nigerian, accomodating woman, dedicated housewife and good daughter of Yoruba nation.’
Also, the Afenifere, a Pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, has mourned and sympathised, the eldest daughter of its late leader, Chief Awolowo.
The group in a statement entitled ‘Farewell Mrs Tola Oyediran’ issued on Friday by Yinka Odumakin, its spokesman, said it was devastated by the sad news of the demise of Mrs Tola Oyediran.
According to Afenifere, Mrs Oyediran, who would have clocked 80 on Nov 1, passed on when death came unannounced into her abode without any form of illness.
The group in its statement said, ‘Mrs Oyediran was a lovely person who radiated warmth and love to all in her lifetime.Her death is a big blow we have to accept as we cannot change the will of God. We can only pray for God to take good care of the family she left behind. Eternal repose we pray for her soul.’
Meanwhile, encomiums and condolences have been pouring in from different parts of the country on her demise. President Mohammed Buhari has sent his condolences to the Awolowo Family, especially to Tokunbo Awolowo, the deceased only surviving sister. The President through his spokesperson, Garba Shehu stated in a condolence message that the family should take solace in the investments of the deceased in making a better life for others. He urged the family to take solace in the investments of the deceased in making life better for others. Buhari prayed that the almighty God would receive the soul of the departed, and comfort all her loved ones.
Mr Dapo Abiodun, the Governor of Ogun State has also stated in a condolence message to the family, that her loss has thrown the entire state into mourning. Speaking through Kunle Somorin, his Chief Press Secretary, the Governor noted that ‘an embodiment of humility and virtues, but she demonstrably exhibited independent-mindedness, foresight and managerial acumen in all tasks thrust upon her.’ The Governor also noted that she was a strong pillar of support for her husband, as a homemaker and partner to his medical practice and his tenure as the VC of the University of Ibadan.
Ogochukwu Nwogbaga and Adenike Omosanya
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