Home Democracy REMINISCENCES OBAFEMI AWOLOWO WAS A TRUE DEMOCRAT – TOLERATED OPPOSING VIEWS —...

REMINISCENCES OBAFEMI AWOLOWO WAS A TRUE DEMOCRAT – TOLERATED OPPOSING VIEWS — THE ACTION GROUP SHADOW ELECTIONSAND THE GENERAL ELECTION

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REMINISCENCES — OBAFEMI AWOLOWO WAS A TRUE DEMOCRAT – TOLERATED OPPOSING VIEWS & THE SHADOW ELECTION AND THE GENERAL ELECTION Today, HEADLINES TERRIFIC digs into history to bring you some stories on political developments in Nigeria’s First Republic. It is for the purpose of getting the younger ones to appreciate the importance of democracy and democratic conducts. The first piece is pulled out from the records of First Republic politician and Deputy Speaker, Western-Region Legislature, late Chief S.T. Adelegan who was naturally bold and believed in ‘’saying it as it is’’ The second art of this piece is about reward system or political patronage. Being the General Secretary of Action Group Party in Ijesa Division with Canon Josiah Akinyemi as Chairman, I had the privilege of attending meetings at Ikenne with prominent leaders of Action Group including Chief Obafemi Awolowo himself.  He was a very good leader who listened to the views of others. This was contrary to the opinion of some people who felt he was overlord.  He was very honest and a lover of common people.  This too was contrary to my erstwhile opinion while I was at Ile-Ife in 1948, when he brought ‘Egbe Omo Oduduwa’.  I could be close to him now and I saw things clearly.  On many occasions, he respected my view. There was a particular day we were in a meeting of the elders of the Party at Ikenne.  Chief Awolowo referred to some people as ‘Omo Okele’ meaning ‘children of free food or political gluttons’ YOU COULD DISAGREE WITH AWOLOWO ON PRINCIPLE: These were the two young men who wrote an article in the West African Pilot, eulogizing Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.  “These two men were new comers into Action Group”, I responded.  I went further, with reverence, to suggest or advise the leader to take some time to explain the programmes and policies of the party to the newly arrived sons and daughters of Oduduwa, some of whom were just arriving from overseas countries.  The influence they had received in their overseas countries of abode over the years, really informed their actions and they should be tutored in respect of the reality of African political development.  As I was making my point known, so many shouted me down,  forbiding me from ever disagreeing with the leader.  Rather for him taking an offence against me, he bade them to give me a benefit of expression. …

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