The Lagos State House of Assembly Wednesday morning held a special session for the late publisher of Tribune Newspapers, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, who died overseas on 27 March at the age of 70.
The ash-colour casket bearing the remains of the former politician was brought in a motorcade from the Murtala Mohammed Airport to the Assembly complex at exactly 10.20a.m. It was immediately laid at the entrance to the chamber as several politicians who attended the ceremony paid their last respect. Those who attended the special session included top government officials, past and present lawmakers of the state Assembly. Top politicians at the event included Chief Lanre Razak, a former commissioner in the state and Yomi Osibajo, former Attorney-General of the state.
The remains of the late Oluwole Awolowo on arrival at the Lagos state House of Assembly, today. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye Others included former Governor Lateef Jakande, former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Abiodun Ogunleye, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, and the Action Congress of Nigeria Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Speaking about Oluwole’s role in the development of Lagos state, Deputy Speaker, Taiwo Kolawole, said: “I knew him to be the heir to the Awolowo family. I studied the reports he laid on the floor of the House as a lawmaker representing Apapa. “He loved his people and constituency. The same complaint he made then about Apapa in one of the reports, is still what we complain about now.” He said the late Oluwole once protested against the government bringing a foreigner to head a parastatal. A lawmaker, Wahab Alawiye-King, said the late Oluwole “was unique in the sense that he had a mind of his own. Eventhough his father was the leader of the progressives, he chose to go his own way. “Towards the end of his life, he dedicated his life to the work of God. He prayed.”
According to Ipoola Omisore, “we have lost a gem and one of the descendants of the great Awo. He was one of us and member of this House where he held many positions. “Even though he did not stay with the progressives till the end, he’s worth celebrating. His father made most of us and today we are smiling in our flowing agbada.” Lai Mohammed in his argument said those accusing the federal government of killing the late publisher may be right as the deceased was a victim of poor infrastructure.
“The federal government has killed many people in the state due to the poor state of roads and infrastructure decay. “Late Chinua Achebe also suffered near paralysis. About two weeks ago, 90 people were roasted on the Benin-Ore road. Every day, there are road accidents involving tankers.
“We need to develop other systems of transportation and improve on our roads,” he said. The special session was on going at the time of this report. The late scion of the Awolowo dynasty and son of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, had died at the Intensive Care Unit of Ward 3, South Wing of Wellington Hospital in St. John’s Wood, London. He was in and out of hospital since he had an accident on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on 30 September, 2006. Before his death, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, had assisted him go to the United States for medical attention when his health condition deteriorated.