National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu says he will not only miss his late mother, Alhaja Abibat Mogaji, but also the afternoon food and prayers she offered him.
Mogaji died on Saturday, 15 June, at the age of 96.
Speaking after her burial on Sunday, in Ikoyi, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, Tinubu said: “I will miss her afternoon foods and prayers. Even though I had eaten my lunch, she would still want me to eat her food despite the fact that I am a married man. She taught us contentment. She was so generous to the extent that she could give out her last kobo to the needy.”
Tinubu disclosed that she died peacefully as she never gave anybody heartache before she died, saying that she was resting when death took her away.
The former governor stated that immediately his mother died, he felt a vacuum in his heart as he would miss her greatly.
“She was so kind and God was kind to her. She ate her lunch and took her vitamins that afternoon. She was resting when death snatched her from us. I felt the void immediately she died.
“There are so many lessons to learn from her, most especially the women folk. They must continue to be resilient, committed and industrious in order to help us banish poverty. She was a committed democrat. Mama would vote and mobilise voters anytime, any day. She believed in one man one vote.
“As women leaders of the society, they have to continue to plan together, share issues, share discussions and look at the right direction. Commitment to the education of their children is the best weapon against poverty and ignorance. Once you get out of that, definitely the nation will benefit and progress,” he stated.
Tinubu added that Mogaji influenced the decision of his administration to pay the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, fees of secondary school students in Lagos State.
“I was so touched when she brought some women to me and said that I should pay their children’s WAEC fees. Then I was the governor and I decided afterwards that henceforth, I will be paying the examination fees of school children whether rich or poor,” he said.
Tinubu described Mogaji as “a successful woman, a good leader, mother in Nigeria, good thinker, compassionate and a committed democrat.”
Prayers were offered for Mogaji, at the Lagos Central Mosque, Lagos, by the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Alhaji Garuba Akinola, who was represented by Alhaji Mujitabah Giwa.
In his sermon, the cleric said there were many things to emulate in the life of Mogaji as she lived an exemplary life.
“God owns our beginning and the end. She had impacted much in the lives of the people positively and her life is worthy of emulation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator Babafemi Ojudu and Senator Gbenga Ashafa have paid glowing tribute to the late Mogaji.
In his tribute Ojudu said her death has created a void no one can fill.
According to the lawmaker, Alhaja Abibat cared so much about people that she was able to secure for herself a special place in their hearts.
“A politically conscious woman, apart from being kind to all, she dedicated herself to enlightening women and lifting them from economic and political doldrums,” Ojudu said.
In a statement in Lagos on Saturday, Ojudu said he believes Asiwaju Bola Tinubu drew his strength and uncompromising kindness from his mother.
He prayed God to give the ACN National Leader and other members of the extended family the strength to wade through times like this, adding that rather than being sad, they, however, should be happy to have had an amazon like Alhaja Abibat as their matriarch.
In his tribute, the lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Senator Ashafa, joined millions of Nigerians to sympathize with the family of Alhaja Abibatu Asabi Mogaji who passed on on Saturday evening.
Ashafa described Alhaja Mongaji as a courageous and selfless woman who lived her life caring for others around her, adding that her struggle for independence women movement would remain indelible.
In a statement made available by his Head of Media and Strategy, Mr Babatunde Adegunju, the lawmaker described the Iya Oloja General as a loving and caring mother that accommodated everyone around her as if they were her own children regardless of tribe and background.
He said: “Mama Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, the Iya Oloja General for the whole federation will be remembered for touching the lives many across the country.
“She influenced many lives and was a rare gem, she was loving, caring, accommodating and as well as industrious throughout her life time. Mama passed on at this moment that we needed her most.
“With deep sense of sympathy and concern, I sympathize with the entire family of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, all market men and women in Nigeria and Lagos in particular and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and other Obas in Lagos State and that Almighty God will give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. May Allah (SWT) grant Mama Alijannah Firidauz.”
Ashafa described the demise of the pioneer Iyaloja /President General of the Market men and Women as a great national and personal loss. As a mark of honour for the late Mogaji, market men and women in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, were on Monday ordered to close their markets.
As a result of this, activities in major markets in the state were virtually paralyzed.
Most of the markets visited by our correspondent such as Ipaja-Ayobo, Command, Dopemu and Agege markets were not fully opened for transactions.
Traders in these market were seen discussing the life and death of the Iyaloja general, describing her as “leader of leaders.”
According to a market leader in Ipaja-Ayobo who identified himself as Alhaji Saka Aberuagba,”we are celebrating Mama Mogaji because she was an icon that performed wonderfully well.
“She demonstrated audacity as the Iyolaja general during her life time and her legacy shall be maintained and consolidated,” he said.
A trader at Temidire market Dopemu, Mrs Justina Olowookere, described her as a consummate, faithful and compassionate mother to all and sundry.
“Mama was a wonderful mother. It is not out of any political intent that we are celebrating her. She was a lover of so many people. We are honouring a mother who over the years touched many lives.”