A former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon and a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, are among dignitaries scheduled to attend the launch of a biography of Hannah Awolowo, the wife of a former Premier of the defunct Western region, Obafemi Awolowo, as part of a week-long activities to mark her funeral.
Mrs Awolowo, fondly called HID Awolowo, died on September 19, 2015 in Ikenne, Ogun state, few months to her centenary birthday.
The book, titled “In the Radiance of the Sage” and written by Wale Adebanwi, an associate professor at the University of California, Davis, would be presented on November 18 in Ikenne, during an event to be chaired by Mr. Gowon.
Mr Abubakar will formally present the book to the public.
Mr Adebanwi, who is a former Bill Gates scholar at Cambridge University, told PREMIUM TIMES that the book was originally planned to be unveiled during the centenary birthday celebration of Mrs Awolowo.
“Unfortunately, she passed before it was ready,” Mr. Adebanwi said.
Her family, the author said, has however decided to honour her wish by going ahead with the presentation of the book as planned, which unfortunately is now her funeral.
The book appears a must-read for all those interested in the political and family history of the Awolowos from the standpoint of HID Awolowo.
“It (the book) reveals intimate details of HID’s relationship with late Mrs. Faderera Akintola and their personal and political quarrels; untold details of Segun Awolowo’s tragic death in 1963; how and why HID never recovered from the death of her first son, Segun Awolowo until she died; how she managed the Awolowo dynasty and Awo’s political family after Awo’s death; her version of the “lies” Obasanjo told about his visit to Awolowo the night before General Murtala Mohammed was killed; and intimate stories about her personal life by her children, grandchildren and great-grand children,” Mr Adebanwi told PREMIUM TIMES.
The 337-page book is published by the ANN Plc, publishers of the Tribune newspapers and printed in Dubai.
Adigun Agbaje, a professor of political science and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, has been designated the official reviewer of the book.
By Nicholas Ibekwe