NAN – Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has ordered the temporary closure of the Agbeni market as a mark of respect for the late Chief HID Awolowo.
This is contained in a statement from the office of the Secretary to the Oyo State Government and made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Saturday.
The statement said that the closure was due to the market’s contiguous location to the Methodist Church, Agbeni, where a commendation service would be held for the deceased at 9a.m.
It said that the closure became necessary to prevent avoidable gridlock and the attendant pains it could cause traders and commuters plying the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late Chief HID Awolowo’s corpse would be in the Awolowo’s residence, Oke –Ado and the Tribune Newspapers house for lying-in-state as part of the burial rites.
It said the governor called on the citizens of the state to be part of history by turning out in large numbers to witness activities scheduled for the final burial rites of Chief HID Awolowo, in Ibadan, on Monday.
“The matriarch of the dynasty of the late Premier of Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, deserves a burial befitting of heroines.
“We appeal to the general public to join hands with the state government to fully partake in the burial rites from 7a.m. on Monday when the corpse arrives in Ibadan, from where the procession moves to the Oke-Ado residence of the Awolowos.
“After the commendation service, the statement said that another lying in state would be held at the Tribune Newspapers House, Imalefalafia, Ibadan, from 11a,m. to 1p,m.
“It is an opportunity for the people to show love again for their highly venerated late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo for his sacrifices for the country,” the statement read in part.
It also noted that since his passage, Mama had held the fort to the admiration of the Yoruba and the country at large, saying her memories would live with them forever.
“I use this opportunity to welcome visitors to Ibadan and assured them of adequate security.
“I call on the hardworking security agencies in Oyo State to step up their surveillance to ensure crime-free ceremony.
“I also enjoin men of the Federal Road Safety Commission to brace up for the traffic challenge,’’ the statement said.