A PDP operative and former Minister of Aviation Osita Chidoka has drawn the ire of Awoists by slighting the late Obafemi Awolowo with ethnic tar and financial impropriety, though he claims he loves the Yoruba hero.
With his historical take that is neither here nor there, Chidoka may just have stirred the hornet’s nest in the southwest where Afenifere and may other Awoist organization easily flare up when any tribe smears Awolowo.
In a post on his official Facebook page, Chidoka displayed some books Awolowo wrote such as ‘My March Through Prison’ and ‘ The Travails Of Democracy And The Rule Of Law’ , and described the author as a great disciplinarian, fine writer and a courageous man.
“I started reading him in secondary school when I read his biography, ‘My Early Life’, which I later learnt was influenced by Winston Churchill’s biography of the same title. I am infatuated by Winston Churchill too, but another story for another day,” posted the adviser to te D chairman stated.
“My first conflict with my father was his disagreement with me over my choice of Awo as a role model. He told me what he did during the war against the Igbos and his introduction of ethnic politics in Nigeria. I agree with him on both counts but yet I still admired the man.
“The man Awo is exemplary in his discipline. He went to university as a grown man and read law at great personal cost. He lost his properties to an auction due to loan default and overcame it.
“He modernised campaigning in Nigeria, but most importantly, he wrote copiously. He was a reader and a writer. Awo was astounding in his courage. I love his turn of phrases. He wrote such beautiful lines like “ my jewel of inestimable value” his love of law and its practice. Reading his books gave very good insight into the first republic.
“Awo had his issues; he was rigid, unforgiving, and like his contemporaries, used unorthodox mechanism for party funding that has continued to plague Nigeria to this day. While Coker Commission of Inquiry was a witch-hunt, the facts were glaring and Awo acknowledged this much in the book Travails of Democracy pg 383 to 390.”
Awolowo was the first premier of Western Region, in the regionalist era his followers and many Yoruba leaders are clamouring for now.
He founded and headed the Unity Party of Nigeria till his death in 1987.
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