Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Reverend Tola Oyediran, the eldest daughter of the late Premier of the Western Region of Nigeria, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who would have turned 80 on December 1, 2020, is dead. She was the wife of Prof Kayode Oyediran, a former vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, and until her death on Friday October 16, 2020, she was the Chairman of African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc (ANN), the publishers of Tribune titles, founded by Awolowo in 1949.
Her death came 33 years after her father’s death and barely five years after the demise of her mother Chief (Mrs.) H.I.D. Awolowo, who passed on in 2015. She was fondly called ‘Mama Ibadan.’
A visit to the residence of the Oyedirans at Mobil, Oluyole Estate, Off Moshood Abiola Way (Ring Road), Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday evening confirmed that she breathed her last on Thursday, though the family had not issued any official statement on the death at the time of filing this report. The Managing Director of Nigerian Tribune, Mr. Edward Dickson, on Friday led the management team of the newspaper company to her residence and a condolence register has been opened in the house. First daughter of a former Minister of Justice, the late Chief Bola Ige, Mrs. Funsho Adegbola, was also at the residence of the Oyedirans on Friday evening where she signed the condolence register. The younger sister of the deceased, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, former Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands was also at the residence of the Oyedirans on Friday evening.
Meanwhile, former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu has expressed sadness over the passing of Reverend Tola Oyediran (Nee Awolowo), eldest daughter of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Extolling the virtues of the deceased, Kalu described the late Reverend Oyediran, as an epitome of peace and humility. Kalu stressed that the deceased contributed to the media industry, having served as Chairman, Board of Directors of African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN), Publishers of the Tribune titles during her lifetime. In a condolence message, the former Governor condoled with the government and people of Ogun state over the demise of their illustrious daughter.