Memorial: Senator Kaka, Adedayo, Oladunjoye Extol Awo's Virtues, Exemplary Legacies - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Thursday, March 10, 2022

Memorial: Senator Kaka, Adedayo, Oladunjoye Extol Awo's Virtues, Exemplary Legacies

••• Urge Present Politicians, Leaders To Emulate Late Sage
           •Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo


The Daily Crucible | Thursday, March 10, 2022

By Mariam Adekunle, Abeokuta

A group - Afenifere Movement; Senator Gbenga Kaka, chairman, Ijebu East Local Government Area, Wale Adedayo, and Publicity Secretary of All progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Ambassador Tunde Oladunjoye, have eulogised Chief Obafemi Awolowo for his exemplary legacies in Old Western Region and Nigeria, urging present leaders and politicians in Yorubaland to emulate the late sage.

Afenifere Movement, Senator Kaka, Mr. Adedayo and Oladunjoye were in agreement that Awolowo who was the first premier of Western Region, did not think of his own, but of the masses and how to make life meaningful for them, lamenting that the attitude of today's politicians are in contrast to the ideals which Awo lived and expoused in his time.

They all spoke separately on Tuesday in Ogbere, the Headquarters of Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State at the 113th Birthday memorial lecture of the late sage titled, "The Awolowo Way: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." 

They called on the region's leaders to go back to the foundations laid by Chief Awolowo and start building on them in order to return Yorubaland to the path of genuine progress economic development and prosperity.

The programme was put together by the Afenifere Movement in Ijebu East Local Government Area and attended by politicians and many sociocultural groups, youths, women among others.

In his remarks, Senator Kaka who was represented by Com. Rasaki Oladosu, hailed Awo for his selfless service to both the region and Nigeria as a country, lamenting that the present crop of politicians in Southwest nay Nigeria are doing little partly because the masses over burdened them with their personal problems.

The former deputy governor of the state 
said that the masses who often thronged to residence of politicians with their problems, rarely remember that leaders were only elected to wisely manage public resources for the development of their constituencies and the constituents, and not to act otherwise .

He enjoined the masses to change their views about the politicians and stop seeing them as their ATMs.

Amb. Tunde Oladunjoye who delivered the memorial birthday lecture, particularly eulogised Awolowo's virtues and sacrifices in the areas of education, saying his belief in education as espoused through series of publications, policy initiatives and governance as a bedrock of human and societal development, was in total agreement with the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR, 1948) which among other things, states that everyone has the right to education. 

According to him, Awo’s contributions in the area of education remained the greatest achievement, a reference point and a pride of Yoruba race all over the world till date. 

Oladunjoye recalled that Awo and his parties (Action Group of Nigeria (AG) and later Unity Party of Nigeria - UPN) implemented Universal Free Education in the Old Western Region of Nigeria, citing himself among the beneficiaries. 

"It was a achiever yet to be matched in any part of Africa. I could remember how I got free text books supplied to me as a pupil of St. John’s Primary School, Ijebu Itele between 1972 and 1978. We even had a song, which must have arisen from the mobilization  for the mass literacy campaign on the Universal Free Education Programme," he said.

The APC Publicity Secretary in the state also identified agriculture as evidence in the establishment of many farm settlements, judicious management of resources towards building of Cocoa House in Ibadan, housing scheme and healthy civil servant relationship as parts of legacies of Awolowo which the region will continue to remember with nostalgia.

One of the leaders of the Afenifere movement, Adedayo, said the programme was put together to bring to the consciousness of the the people, the various developmental contributions of Chief Obafemi Awolowo to the South West in particular and Nigeria as a whole.

He recalled that through Awolowo, Nigeria established the first television station before France, also noting that the Unity Party of Nigeria leader introduced free compulsory universal education in the region, priotized agriculture and deployed revenue generated from the sector to carry out different developmental projects at the time.

The local government boss called on political office holders in the country to priotize welfare of the people they are representing, and make life meaningful for them.

He promised that his administration in the local government would deploy the little resources at its disposal to make life bearable for residents and indegens of the council area, through provision of necessary and basic amenities.

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