Majekodunmi, others mourn
Prominent Nigerians yesterday expressed shock on the death of the publisher/ Vice Chairman of African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Nigerian Tribune titles, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, who died on Wednesday at Wellington Hospital, St Johnswood, London, following complications arising from an auto crash in 2006.
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Chief (Dr.) Femi Majekodunmi, described the death of Chief Awolowo, as a monumental loss to the Yoruba race. In a condolence message to the Awolowo family which he made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, he said the death, coming at this time when the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Mama H. I. D. Awolowo, is still alive, was a shock too much for the lovers of the Awolowo family.
Saying that the late publisher was a true scion of the late sage as he dedicated his entire life to the service of humanity such that there was nothing too much for him to share with the masses, the Baagbile of Egbaland said Chief Awolowo was his good friend with whom he exchanged visits regularly more especially after his motor accident. He said, “I was devastated when I heard the death of Chief Awolowo, apart from the fact that I was closer to him, my relationship with him showed him as someone who sees life as an opportunity to serve the people and God.
“My special condolence goes to Mama and the entire family, praying that God will grant his soul eternal rest.” Similarly, a former member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Moruf Akinwande and the lawmaker representing Atiba state constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr. Ganiyu Waliu Adekunle , commiserated with the ANN Plc, over the death of Chief Oluwole Awolowo.
Akinwande who represented Oyo federal constituency between 2003 and 2007 and now chair the Federal Capital Territory Secondary Education Board (FCT-SEB), Abuja, said the death is painful, especially as Chief H.I.D Awolowo is still alive.
Adekunle, who said that though every human soul will taste death, prayed for the repose of the deceased soul, adding that Chief Awolowo died at the time the nation needed his service, urging the family to take heart and continue from where the deceased stopped.
Fayemi, Akande visit Ikenne, condole with HID, siblings
The Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi and the national Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande, yesterday, paid a condolence visit to the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief HID Awolowo on the passing on of her son and publisher of Nigerian Tribune, Evangelist Oluwole Awolowo.
In a statement made issued by Olayinka Oyebode, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Fayemi, the governor described the death of Chief Awolowo as a “great loss.”
Also speaking at the Awolowo residence, Chief Akande, who lamented the death of the late scion of the Awolowo family, prayed that God would grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
The Ekiti governor was accompanied to the Ikenne, Ogun State country home of the Awolowos, by Senator Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central); Commissioner for Culture, Arts and Tourism, Chief Ronke Okusanya and his Special Adviser on MDG, Mrs Bunmi Dipo-Salami.
Fayemi who had a private audience with Chief HID Awolowo before presenting her a condolence letter also met with the two siblings of the deceased, Ambassador Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu and Rev (Mrs) Tola Oyediran, as well as children of the late publisher.
He said the deceased was an embodiment of humility, courage and service to humanity, adding that he was never overwhelmed by the pressure of difficult times. Governor Fayemi said the late Chief Awolowo emulated his father and late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in seeking the progress and betterment of the society.
And urged the children of the deceased to take heart and build on the legacy of their father.
Akpabio sympathises with Nigerian Tribune
Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio has described the death of Chief Oluwole Awolowo, publisher of the Nigerian Tribune titles as a great loss to the nation.
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Media, Deacon Jackson Udom, Akpabio maintained that under the watch of the late Awolowo, the Nigerian Tribune, one of Nigeria’s most enduring newspapers, gained greater national relevance and became a veritable tool of unity and paragon of quality journalism.
He said the legacies of the deceased publisher would outlive him and his place would be cemented in the history of our nation as a man who did all the good he could and paid his dues to build a great nation. He added that he was “extending to the family of the deceased and the management and staff of the Nigerian Tribune, the heartfelt condolences of the government and good people of Akwa Ibom State.”
ACN commiserates with Awolowo’s family
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has extended its deep condolences to the Awolowo family, especially to its matriarch, over the death of the family’s scion, Chief Oluwole Awolowo. ACN in a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that it received the news of Chief Awolowo’s death with great shock and much sadness, and prayed that God will grant him eternal rest and comfort those he left behind.
The party hailed the late Chief Awolowo’s contribution to deepening the freedom of speech, a key ingredient of democracy, through his great efforts in sustaining one of the country’s oldest surviving newspapers, Nigerian Tribune.
“Sustaining the rich legacy of the Tribune, which was founded by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is a remarkable achievement, especially at a time that the newspaper publishing industry is facing great challenges, including from the so-called New Media.
“It is therefore to Chief Oluwole Awolowo’s credit, as the publisher of the irrepressible Nigerian Tribune for many years, that he ensured the paper has continued to wax stronger and stronger,” ACN said. It prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Group blames death on bad road
An anti-corruption group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has expressed its displeasure on the bad state of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and other major roads in the country. This came on the heels of the death of the publisher of Nigerian Tribune newspaper, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, who died in a United Kingdom hospital as a result of the complications he suffered from a motor accidents he was involved in on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway about seven years ago.
Speaking through its Executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran, CACOL decried the apathetic attitude of past and present governments to the droves of death occurring on our roads daily. Adeniran said: “It is unfortunate that the Lagos- Ibadan expressway and many other major roads across the country are still in state of disrepair up till now despite the government budgeting billions of naira yearly for their repairs.
Late Chief Awolowo lived up to seven years after the accident because he was able to afford medical treatment abroad. If not for the fact that he was rich, he would have been forgotten long ago.” Comrade Adeniran also described the experience of users of the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway as harrowing and noted that the Nigerian government owes its citizens the duty of ensuring that the road is in good and passable condition.
While commiserating with the Awolowo family, describing Oluwole’s death as the passage of a strong pillar in the country, Adeniran prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss