The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, and a number of governors and ministers on Friday bid the Publisher of Tribune Newspapers, the late Chief Oluwole Awolowo, farewell in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State.
Governors at the event were Babatunde Fashola of Lagos; Rauf Aregbesola of Osun; Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo; Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun; and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta.
President Goodluck Jonathan was represented by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku. The minister led a Federal Government delegation which included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru; Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Chief Olajumoke Akinjide; Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati; and the Special Adviser to the President on Research and Strategy, Mr. Oronto Douglas, to the service at Our Saviour Anglican Church, the venue of the burial.
Jonathan, in his good will message, described Awolowo as a gentleman who did not use his family name to amass wealth for himself, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The President said the death of Awolowo was not only a loss to the family alone but to the nation at large.
“It is not always easy for the son of great man to rise and carve image for himself. But Oluwole rose to the top without using his family name and tradition for self-enrichment.
“ One thing that made him a different person was that he was always led by truth, honour and integrity.
“I condole with the Awolowo family, the Yoruba race and the media. May his soul rest in perfect peace,’’ he said.
Tambuwal, in his message, described Awolowo as a gentleman who lived a very humble life.
“We all know we came from God and we will all in one day return back to him. We have a lot to learn from Awolowo in terms of simplicity and philosophy.
“It is not how long you live but how well and Awolowo has lived a good life. On behalf of members of the House of Representatives, I bid him farewell,’’ he said.
Amosun, in his remarks, said in the few times he met Awolowo before he died, he was a very simple and humble man.
The governor said the family should take solace in the fact that Awolowo lived a very good life.
“The few occasions I met him showed that he was a very humble, gentle and good man. He lived a very good life and the family should be proud of that,’’ he said.
Earlier in his sermon, Bishop Sina Fape, said Awolowo lived a good life worthy of emulation.
Fape in his sermon titled, “Don’t Wait, the Second Chance May Never Come Your Way,” urged Christians to live a fruitful life.
Quoting from Luke 13 vs 6-9, Fape said all human beings should be prepared for eternity.
He also charged Christians holding political offices to continue to live with the fear of God.
Dignitaries at the burial included two former governors of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Chief Olusegun Osoba; erstwhile National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; and Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr. Suraj Adekanbi.
Awolowo died on March 27 at a London hospital at the age of 70 years.
He was buried at the Ikenne-Remo Cemetery at about 1:35 pm.
Security was beefed up in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State ahead of the burial, especially around Our Saviour Anglican Church, the venue of the occasion.