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A CRITICAL STUDY ON THE LEGACIES OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO 1909-1987

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

The present political regime has learnt a lot from its predecessors, the legacies of the heroes of the past speak for them in today political system of Nigeria.

Among all the greatest leaders in Nigeria with their legacies respectively, the legacies of Chief Obafemi awolowo tend to be the most discussed and most noticed In Nigeria.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo had his primary school education at very early stage at St. Saviour’s School, Ikenne, he also attended Imo Wesleyan School, Abeokuta. His education was interrupted at a very early stage for several years by the sudden death of his father in April 1920, an ugly incidence that left him without financial assistance; this compelled him to fetch firewood for sale, and do similar jobs, to support his schooling. He had his higher education at Wesley College, Ibada in 1927, and finally attended the University of London as an External Student. He obtained the degree of Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) and then Bachelor of Laws by the same University in London. He was then called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple on November 19, 1946.

On 26th December, 1937 Chief Obafemi Awolowo got married to Miss Hannah Idowu Dideolu Adelana. They remained each other’s best friend to the end; they both fought for the cause of justice and for the release of their fellow man’s mind from ignorance, illiteracy and the freedom on his body from disease. Obafemi Awolowo and wife had 5 children: although Olusegun, Omotola, Oluwole, Ayodele and Tokunbo Awolowo, although Olusegun pass on in 1963(1939-1963).

The true legacies of the Chief Obafemi Awolowo started when he came back home from Britain, Awolowo formed the cultural group known as “Egbe Omo Oduduwa” in 1949 and it is regard as a political party, the Action Group, (AG), in 1951 also known as Egbe Afenifere in Western part of Nigeria as part of the Social Programme for the complete emancipation of Yoruba race. Action group party won the first elections ever conducted in Western Nigeria. As a result of the victory of the election, the AG formed the first elected government in the Western Region and Obafemi Awolowo, now a Chief, became the Leader of Government Business and Minister for Local Government in 1952. In 1954, Awo (as he had come to be fondly known within his party) became the first Premier of the Western Region. His party won the elections again in May 1956 and Awo retained his position as Premier. He voluntarily gave up that position when, on December 12, 1959, he was elected into the House of Representatives where he became the Leader of Opposition in Nigeria’s central legislature. The study will take a deep view into the legacies left by Chief Obafemi Awolowo during and after his reign in Nigeria.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The Nigeria political system tends to forget the footpath of their past leaders, the zeal to lead and the desire to fight and defend her citizens is no longer there. Back in the 60’s, Chief Obafemi Awolowo stood up stoutly against mediocrity and drift in government, and began to define alternative channels along which Nigeria’s government should go. His own concept of a Nigerian nation was probably too advanced for his opponents, who began to see the Awolowo-led opposition as a major threat. Following a trial for treasonable felony, he was jailed for 10 years in September 1963. Every day Nigeria and her citizen pray for another Chief   Obafemi Awolowo; but their dreams tend to diminish by the continuous drop in the political standard of Nigeria.

1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The aim of the study is to examine the impact of the legacies of Obafemi Awolowo on the promotion of peace, education, health and rise in the political standard of Nigeria. The specific aims of the study are stated below as follows:

  1. To examine the effect of thought on the perfection of the Nigeria political system
  2. To examine the role of Obafemi Awolowo in the provision of free education
  3. To examine the role of Obafemi Awolowo in the promotion of modest life style and women empowerment
  4. To discuss Obafemi Awolowo Reform of the electoral system as part of his legacies
  5. To proffer recommendation for the present government and the future political leaders

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The study will be of immense benefit to the federal government of Nigeria, the present political leaders and the future political leaders as it will serve as a role model or kind of a guide to a better political administration, the study will be of immense benefit to citizens of Nigeria, the western part of Nigeria; the study will also influence the studying and writing habit of literature students that want to follow in the footstep of Obafemi Awolowo during his time as a writer.

1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY

The study the legacies of Obafemi Awolowo will cover his eventful life from the 1909 to 1987

1.6 ORGANISATION OF STUDY

The study will consist of five chapters the chapter of the study will include the background of the study, the statement of problem, the objectives of the study, the significance of study, the scope of the study, the limitation of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two of the study will consist of the review on the eventful life of Obafemi Awolowo, his contribution to the development of Nigeria. The chapter three of the research work will consist of the of the legacies of Obafemi Awolowo and the challenges of the political leadership from the past to the present day. The chapter four of the study will consist of the impact of the legacies on the governance, the impact on the military system of organisation. The chapter five of the study will consist of the summary, conclusion and the recommendation.

1.7 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature.

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERM

LEGACY: in accordance to the study is regarded as an amount of money or property left to Nigeria and her citizens by chief obafemi awolowo

REFERENCES

Adegbesan, P.R.A. (1988), “Awolowo and the Politics of Education in Nigeria” Obafemi Awolowo: The End of an Era? (ed) Olasope .O.Oyediran et al., Ile-Ife: O.A.U. Press.

Adekola, A. (2002), Obafemi Awolowo: The Colossus, Ibadan: Shiloh Publishers. Awolowo, O. (1968), The People’s Republic, Ibadan: Oxford University Press.

Awolowo, O. (1981), Voice of Courage, Akure: Fagbamigbe Publishers.

Makinde, M.A. (2007), “Political Scepticism: Nigeria and the Outside World”, African Philosophy: Demise of a Controversy, Ile-Ife: Obafemi Awolowo University.

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