Notable leaders led by President Muhammadu Buhari has sent condolences to the family of late Premier of the Western Region and nationalist, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, over the passing of Mrs Tola Oyediran, his eldest daughter .
Mrs. Oyediran passed on around noon on Friday, aged 79 years.
She would have celebrated her 80th birthday on December 1.
The President, in the condolence message by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, commiserated with friends and associates of Mrs Oyediran, particularly her only surviving sister, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, over the sad loss.
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. (NAN)
In a statement addressed to Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, former Governor of Ogun State and Asiwaju Onigbagbo of Remo Christians, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, said:
“I received the demise of your sister Mrs. Tola Oyediran, with the greatest shock, pains and trepidation.
“I was particularly pained because I know you both shared uncommon bond both as siblings and as scions of the late sage, Papa Obafemi Awolowo who spent his entire years to give Nigeria and especially the South West a great direction in good governance that is yet to be equaled.
“I share in this your moment of grief and I can only wish you the Lord’s strength to bear this very painful passage.
“As mortals, death is a debt we all owe and we cannot question the decision of the Almighty in times like this.
“We are consoled by the good life she lived, the enviable character she exhibited and the family she left behind.
“My family and I share in your pain and I pray that God should console you and the family she left behind.
“Accept assurances of my highest esteem”.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), also commiserated with the family of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, over the death of their eldest child, Mrs Tola Oyediran, aged 79 years.
Tinubu’s condolence is contained in a statement by his Media aide, Mr Tunde Rahman, on Friday in Lagos.
Oyediran, fondly called Mama Ibadan, until her death was the Chairman, Board of Directors of the African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN), Publishers of the Tribune.
Reports say Oyediran did not give any signs of illness just before death took her away
The APC leader described the deceased as a humble, amiable and graceful person whose disposition endeared her to many.
Tinubu condoled with all those she left behind, especially the entire Awolowo and Oyediran families.
“She represented the Awolowo family positively through her excellent moral conduct and shared her father’s welfarist political philosophy.
“As the Chairman, Board of Directors of Tribune Newspapers, she helped take the Tribune titles to a new height through her emphasis on professionalism and integrity in all their editorial offerings,” he said
The former governor of Lagos also extended his condolences to the governors of Ogun and Oyo states, Dapo Abiodun and Seyi Makinde, respectively, as well as the government and people of the two states over the demise of their illustrious daughter.
“I pray God to grant the soul of late Mrs Oyediran eternal rest,” he said.
Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also sympathised with families of the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Professor A.B Oyediran over the loss of their daughter and wife, the late Reverend Tola Oyediran.
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Gboyega Akosile, described the death of the former matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty as shocking and a great loss to her family, friends, associates, management and staff of Tribune newspapers.
Sanwo-Olu said: “It is with deep sense of sorrow but with a heart full of gratitude to God for a good life spent by the late Rev. Mrs. Tola Oyediaran that I commiserate with the family, friends and associates of the deceased.”
“Reverend Oyediran undoubtedly touched many people’s lives while she was alive. She was a true compatriot, a passionate leader, loving mother and an embodiment of humility.”
“Oyediran used her God-given talents, resources and media platforms to emancipate the Yoruba race and Nigerian as a whole.”
“The late Oyediran’s tenure as chairman of the Board of Directors of African Newspapers Plc (publishers of Tribune newspaper), which just began after serving her first tenure witnessed growth in the organization.”
On behalf of my family and the good people Lagos State, I hereby express my heartfelt condolences to the Oyediran and Awolowo over the loss of Rev. Tola Oyediran.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Ismail Omipidan, on Friday in Osogbo, said Nigeria had lost one of its finest citizens, an administrator par excellence.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of the State of Osun, I sympathise with the immediate family of the late Mrs Omotola Oyediran, the late Chief Awolowo’s family, the Nigerian Tribune family, her friends and associates.
“I also commiserate with my brother, Governor Dapo Abiodun, the government and people of Ogun State over the loss of one of their illustrious daughters.
“The death of Mama Omotola is also no doubt, a huge loss to the media industry and the country at large.
“While she was alive, she distinguished herself as an intellectual and seasoned administrator. We’ll surely miss her wise counsel.
“I urge her immediate and the Awolowo families as well as the Nigerian Tribune family to take solace in the fact that mama lived a good life by impacting positively on her younger professional colleagues, the media industry and the society at large”, the governor said.
Oyetola prayed the Almighty God to forgive the shortcomings of the deceased, grant her eternal rest and give the family the courage and the fortitude to bear the great loss.
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State described the death as a sad occurrence.
In a statement in Abeokuta on Friday by the his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Kunle Somorin, the governor said the death had thrown the entire state into mourning.
He described the late Oyediran as not only an embodiment of humility and virtues, saying that she exhibited independent-mindedness, foresight and managerial acumen in all tasks thrusted upon her.
“She was also a great Nigerian in her own right and stood as a rock of Gibraltar behind her very successful medical doctor husband and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof A.B.O. Oyediran.
“Her successes as a homemaker cannot but be an irreparable loss to her immediate and extended family members and indeed a very painful exit for them.
“Mrs Oyediran was a central figure during her father’s travail as a political figure and after the demise of Papa and Mama Awolowo.
“Her role in keeping the legacies of Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Chairman of the African Newspaper of Nigeria, publishers of the Nigerian Tribune, titles and family businesses are a testament to business acumen and genuine love for her iconic parents,” he said.
Thanking God that Oyediran devoted her days on earth to serving God and humanity as a business leader and pastor, Abiodun prayed for the repose of her soul and asked the Almighty to grant the family and associates the fortitude to bear the loss.