Home Articles REMINISCENCES; OBAFEMI AWOLOWO WAS NOT A YORUBA – PROMINENT POLITICIAN

REMINISCENCES; OBAFEMI AWOLOWO WAS NOT A YORUBA – PROMINENT POLITICIAN

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One striking occurrence in the politics of the First Republic in Nigeria was the spirit of tolerance that promoted dialogue, peaceful coexistence and the attendant development witnessed in that glorious era. The fire of nationalism that radiated on the faces of politicians apparently made them very cosmopolitan.  They were more interested in development of their various constituencies because they had to report back to their people with whom they spent much time because the Parliamentary system that was operated made Hon. Members of Parliament part time members. The Regional Premiers, and thePrime Minister wereelected by Parliamentarians from the elected government.The prime minister and the regional premiers, together with their ministers were, with a few exceptions, elected members of their respective legislatures. They were directly answerable to the public thought their elected representatives in parliament on the activities of the government. The premier, and the prime minister’s ‘Question Time’ in Parliament was particularly fruitful in terms of the right of constituents to know what the government was doing by way of questions raised through their representatives. And largely, politicians worked together in harmony. There were occurrences in those days that were conducted peacefully, which today, might have resulted into riots as a result of intolerance. One of these is the comment of Chief Adegoke Adelabu, then regarded as the stormy petrel of Ibadan politics that Chief Obafemi Awolowo was not a Yoruba. And he made the comment in the vicinity of Awolowo’s OkeAdo residence, Ibadan, without thugs engaging themselves in scuffles. The account as narrated below is contained in the autobiography of a First Republic politician, Chief S.T. Adelegan who witnessed it all. TERRIFIC HEADLINES in the second part of the account also brings you a report of an act of patriotism by the author of the book. CHIEF ADEGOKE ADELABU My very good friend, Ero Phillips, was a tenant, directly living opposite Adegoke Adelabu’s residence, visited him constantly.  In one of such visits, we went to Adegoke Adelabu’s apartment to felicitate with him during one of the annual Muslim festivals.  He did not hide his indignation and contempt for those who were not Ibadan indigenes.  On that occasion, I had cause to mention the name of Awolowo, as a great Yoruba leader.  He quickly stopped me by calling me ‘Ohanran’ meaning a bush man.  He asked if I was a Yoruba person and I told him I was and that…

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