President Muhammadu Buhari and 35 state governors have been invited by the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to attend the burial programme of the late matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Chief (Mrs) Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo. Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, disclosed this yesterday as the Awolowo family formally unveiled the programme of events for the funeral.
The programme is scheduled to commence on Sunday, November 15 and run through Wednesday, November 25, 2015. It is also expected to feature the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye; the pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Tunde Bakare; 60 Anglican bishops, over 300 priests and several other ministers of God.
Briefing reporters at the Ikenne home of the Awolowos, the Chairman of the Burial Central Planning Committee, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu, said some of the programmes earlier planned for the centenary birthday of the late matriarch had been included in her burial. She stated that a publication titled “In the radiance of the sage: Life and times of HID Awolowo” would be publicly presented in Ikenne.
According to her, the lying-in-state of the Yeye Oodua would also hold at different times at Park Lane, Apapa, Lagos; Oke Bola, Ibadan, Oyo State and Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State.
She said vehicular movement in and out of Ikenne would not be allowed on the day of funeral service and interment, stressing that the organisers would only provide car parks at the periphery of the town. Awolowo-Dosumu, who was flanked by her elder sister, Revd Omotola Oyediran and other members of media sub-committee, expressed gratitude to wellmeaning Nigerians, who stood by the family. Adeoluwa said the Ogun State government was basically involved in the whole burial programme, noting that a day, November 23, had been dedicated to celebrate the late matriarch.
He explained that the state government would hold series of event at the Sagamu International Stadium, where state governors and secretaries to the state governments had been invited. The SSG said, “Mama belongs to everybody.
The governor is the chief mourner and he is committed to playing the role of chief mourner. The governor will be hosting his brother governors from across Nigeria.
“As we speak, letters have been dispatched to the 35 state governors to come and honour mama at this specially designed programme. Letters have also been written to Mr President and the VIPs that desire to pay respect to mama.” Adeoluwa stated that the state government was in the process of immortalising the late Mrs Awolowo in line with the promise made by Amosun.