In this post ,we will list 10 things we need to know about the late sage ,leader per excellence, pace setter and national icon: Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo. You can read this post as a guide.
1. He attended various educational institutions in Nigeria. First, He attended the Saint Saviour’s School, Ikenne and Imo Wesleyan School, Abeokuta for his primary education.
Later, he attended the Wesley College, Ibadan for his teacher training education in 1927. After this, he attended the University of London for his Bachelor of Commerce Degree as an external student. Also, he was awarded the Bachelor of Law Degree by the same university.
2. He was bestowed with honours by some Nigerian universities and the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Some of these awards are:
a. Doctor of Law: awarded to him by the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
b. Doctor Law: awarded to him by the University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
c. Doctor of Science Degree: Awarded to him by the University of Ile Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
d. Doctor of Law: awarded to him by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State.
e. Doctor of Literature: awarded to him by the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State.
3. He was honoured with numerous chieftancy titles in Nigeria. Some of these chieftancy he was honoured with are:
a. Obong Ikpan Isong of Ibibio Land.
b. Odole of Ife.
c. Lisa of Ijeun.
d. Asiwaju of Yoruba
e. Asiwaju of Reno
The most notable among these Chieftancy titles bestowed on him was Asiwaju Yoruba which means ‘Leader of the Yoruba People’ in English.
4. He had many notable published works in Nigeria. Some of them include:
a. Path to Nigerian Freedom
b. Awo-an autobiography
c. The Travails of Democracy and the Rule of Law
5. He was an astute, intelligent, resourceful and compassionate leader and mentor. He served in the following capacities a leader and mentor:
a. First Minister of Government Business.
b. First Minister of Local Government and Finance.
c. First Premier of the Western Region.
d. Official Leader of the Opposition I the Federal House of Representatives.
e. First Leader of the Yorubas.
f. Founder and leader of the Action Group, Western Nigeria.
g. Chancellor of the University of Ife, Ile Ife.
h. Chancellor of the Ahamadu Belli University, Zaria.
6. He was a trail blazer and pace setter per excellence
a. He established the first television station in Africa.
b. He built the first skyscraper in Nigeria.
c. He constructed the Liberty Stadium in Ibadan.
d. He was the first leader to introduce free education at the primary school level.
e. He was also the first leader to introduce free health care for children.
f. He established and supervised the most effective and efficient civil service in Nigeria.
g. He established the first industrial complex at Ikeja, Lagos State.
h. He was the first person to successfully introduce and implement the first minimum wage policy in the whole of Nigeria.
7. He was a journalist
He read journalism and practised it as He also used it as a platform to fight against British colonial rule and subsequent post-independence military and civilian governments.
He was able to do theses by establishing the Nigerian Tribune in 1949. He also used The Nigerian Tribune to spread his welfare programmes and defend The Yoruba people. He appointed Edward Dickson as the first editor in chief of the Nigerian Tribune.
8. He married in 1937 and was blessed with five children.
He got married to Miss Hannah Idowu Dideolu Adelana. Their union is blessed with five children namely Olusegun Awolowo, Omotola, Tokunbo , Oluwole and Ayodele.
9. He had various working stints.
He had working stints in various professions . His working stints spanned a cross the following professions:
d. Produce brokerage
f. Shorthand typing
g. Clerical work
h. Nigerian Times correspondent
i. Business and commerce
j. Money lending
k. Taxi driving.
10. He was honoured with National awards within and outside Nigeria. These awards are:
a. Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
b. Grand Band of the Order of the Star of Africa.
c. Grand Officer del’Order National du Lion.. These awards were given to him in Nigeria, Liberia and Senegal.
d. He was made Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1978.
A brief glance at Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Timeline
He was born on 6th March,1909.
He attended Wesley College, Ibadan in 1927.
He studied Law in the University of London in 1944.
He formed the Egbe Omo Oduduwa in1945.
He was called to the bar in 1946.
He established a law firm in 1947.
He wrote his first book- Path to Nigerian Freedom in 1945
He published his first book in 1947
He formed the Action Group in 1950.
He was honoured with the Doctor of Law by UNN IN 1962.
He was honoured with the Doctor of Science Degree by University of Ife, Ile Ife in 1967.
He was honoured with the Doctor of Literature Degree by University of Lagos in 1968
He was honoured with the Doctor of Law Degree by the University of Ibadan in 1972.
He was honoured with the Doctor of Law Degree by the Amadu Bello University, Zaria.
He was honoured with the Doctor of Law Degree by the University of Cape Coast, Ghana in 1976.
He was jailed and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for treason in 1963
He published his fourth book in 1968.
He resigned from the federal military government cabinet in 1971.
He contested and lost as a presidential candidate to Sheu Shagari from 1979-1983.
He died in 1987.
Obafemi Awolowo Foundation was established in 1992 to honour him.
Some of his publications include:
Path to Nigerian Freedom
Awo – Autobiography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo
My Early Life
Thoughts on the Nigerian Constitution
The People’s Republic
The Strategy & Tactics of the People’s Republic of Nigeria
The Problems of Africa – The Need for Ideological Appraisal
Awo on the Nigerian Civil War
Path to Nigerian Greatness
Voice of Reason
Voice of Courage
Voice of Wisdom
Adventures in Power My March Through Prison
Adventures in Power – Travails of Democracy
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