Awo and the quest for Ideological leadership in Nigeria
5/17/2012 3:58:02 PM -
Awo's life was a shining example to many Nigerians; his Ideas, Policies and philosophy gave life to many dying and lugubrious souls including the writer in terms of education and knowledge.
Five scores after his birth and a score and two years after his demise, the spirit of Chief Awolowo is still haunting the nation.
'Awo' as the late sage and folk hero was and is still fondly called was Unique in several ways. Awo was a special breed in the annals of Nigeria's history .He was highly determined and vigorous. He was a human dynamo, a colossus , a titan, scholar, debater etc . He had a lot of friends and enemies because of his political cum economic theory. He never entertained any form of mediocrity.
During his sojourned on the 3rd planet earth, he refused to have anything to do with indifferentism, apathy and anti-intellectualism. He belongs to the high intellectually class people.
In Nigeria\s political spectrum, Awo bestirred the entire milieu like an octopus.
'I am a social democrat because when I go into a meeting with my counterpart and they hold a contrary view, then of course, I have to comply'. That is Vintage Awo.
Indeed Awo was in his element when spoken about democracy, its institution and democratic processes. Surely, Awo is like human right, you can look critically at his whole life from many perspectives and various angles, including political, social, economic or business, spiritual or metaphysical as well as intellectual or academic, legal moral, ethical e.t.c.
Awo was self made, He prized education, knowledge, scholarship and excellence above materialism and hedonism.
Furthermore, not being garrulous or temperamental was more deeply a basic part Awo's natural chemistry and personality. Truly, Awo was a revolutionary firebrand.
His responsibility to the state, his philosophy of life, his patriotism or nationalism, his duty as a family men and his profession as a lawyer and calling as a political activist, yes his duty to God and humanity and above all, everything about his corporate life, his vision about the black race in particular and homosapiens in general were all underlined by his ardent belief in Almighty God. The late Sage was not a manager but a charismatic leader.
A leader is different from a manager. The disparity can be expresses in the saying that there are four types of people in the world; those watch things happen; those who let things happened; those who asked what happened and those who make things happened. Leaders are those who make things happened. The nitty-gritty of it is that Awo makes things happened, Awo innovates, Awo focuses on the plebeians, Above all, he inspires trust. At time, when the search for true democracy is being threatened with extermination by military junta when the quest for messiah has become highly relevant, Awo made contribution stupendously. It is so unfortunate that The kleptocratic bourgeoisie, kleptomaniac, political vampires, economic saboteurs and flesh-eating-vultures did not allow Awo to be the landlord of presidential villa like most of his contemporaries like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Leopold Senghor of Senegal, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania to mention but a few.
Nigeria prevented Awo and Awoism from becoming a reality in our quest for sincere, and selfless leadership, that is why Nigeria has entered into generations of oblivion and decadence, devoid of orientation, Ideology and direction. Today we have embark upon a long search for Awo and Awoism we humiliated and did not value when he was with us, that is why the social situation of Nigeria today is like what Frantz Fanon describes in his book 'The Wretched Of the Earth' 'In this great poor country of ours where the rule is that the greatest wealth is surrounded by the greatest poverty 'How I wish the sting of death can be pacify and mollify I would have taken an adventure into negotiating with the power of death for Awo to come back to life. That is why I am praying that God should raise somebody like chief Obafemi Awolowo to rule and elevate us from the generational oblivion, political quagmire, successive self centred leaders have consigned us to. It is only Awo and his democratic socialism that can proffer a lasting solution to the problem of Nigeria. This was the reason why chief Ojukwu once said that 'Awo is the best president Nigeria never had' I have a strong belief in my continuing to serve after my death' Awo told public gathering before he joined the ancestor on May 9 1987. Service to humanity is my Motto' said he in 1978 I hereby, in all solemnity, reaffirm and redeclare it, I want to asservate that, at this juncture in my life, my one and only ambition is to have an opportunity to live the rest of my life for history by means of selfless and beneficent service to the people of Nigeria, In particular and of Africa, and the black people of the world in general. Awo was a prophet in our time. After he was declared guilty of treasonable felony charges on September 11, 1963 by late Justice George sowemimo, he predicted darkness and catastrophe for Nigeria nation. Truly, Nigeria has not know peace ever since. March 7, 1985, when he was being interviewed by Dr Ogunbiyi of the Guardian newspaper, Awo said, I hope that my prediction that people of your age will never know democracy again in this country does not come true ' is Awo right or wrong ? is Awo not a prophet. In 1986, when the self style military president, General IBB named Awo to serve on the political Burean committee. Awo in his letter of rejection told IBB and the world that the Burean's job would be an 'exercise in futility'.He then asked members of Burean to read his book 'Thoughts on Nigeria constitution' for his contribution. The 1989 constitution that was fashioned out as a result of the work of the Bureau was annulled by Abacha. How prophetic was Awo!. Awo wrote a letter to Alhaji Shehu Shagari, then president of Nigeria in 1982 advising him earnestly that as the chief executive officer of the state, he should do something urgently about the dwindling Nigerian Economy, Shagari and his cohorts hardened their heart like Pharaoh Ramses, to the effect that the federal Minister of Finance, Professor Edoze boasted as saying the Nigerian economy is as solid as the 'Rock of Gibraltar' about a month later the Nigerian Economy went bananas and then collapsed like a pack of cards ever since (1982) till today, the Nigeria economy has refused to stand up and walk, Hence political and Social service begin to paralyze, Nigeria is not progressing it is infact, retrogressing and regressing into political quagmire and economic disequilibrium.how prophetic was Awo's message? Nobody has ever seriously faulted Awo's performance in public office. Nobody ever earnestly faulted his facts and figure data and analysis. Because he did his research and homework most intensively meticulously, thorough, scrupulously and spiritually. Yes, The greatest and the most enduring legacy which Chief Awolowo bequeathed Nigeria and Nigerians and the entire home sapiens is 'Home work because Awo won the Home work battle. Nigerians should do thorough homework to get rid of this dirty leadership in Nigeria. Our office holders have failed woefully in terms of human and structural development. The sadists and despot we have as our leaders instead of building heaven on earth for the masses of the people they made a colossal mess of our country. Because in their selfish materialism they allowed their private prejudices and partial affection to distort their interest to our motherland. Insincere leaders regard power as end in itself and not as a means of bringing peace, happiness and contentment to our people.
Our egocentric leaders are making life absolutely impossible for the hoi polloi in the land of their birth. The masses are still people who have no voice in the affair of the country, they are still people who are rigorously excluded from the enjoyment of the succulent fruits of their labour in the fruitful soil and subsoil of their native land. I don't know how a man that steals his country wealth. Money meant for the development of its citizen, can earn the respect from his contemporaries abroad working round the clock to develop their citizens, In lieu of giving us bread and meat as promised during their electioneering campaign, they are now giving us the contrary, they give us gravel and serpent as a quid pro quo . Oh compatriots, can we be watching this desperadoes and the enemies of the people deluding us? , God forbid.
We need leadership that will give the people a sense of orientation and understanding. Leadership with intellectual capacity not weak leadership like that of Goodluck Ebele jonathan that have render the masses to intellectual penury. No quotable quotes from our president since he assumed office. He cannot boast of any leadership adapted. Since after the demise of Awolowo. We have not gotten a leader who is the teacher of the nation. We have been devoid of leadership with universal ideology. Nkrumahism in Ghana adapted pragmatic socialism, Castroism in Cuba adapted scientific socialism, Sengorism in Senegal on Negritude , Nyerereism in Tanzania, adapted Ujaamaa which he called African socialism etc They are purposeful leadership adapted in their various countries.
Like I said supra it is only Awolowo Democratic socialism call Awoism that can save the soul of Nigeria.
Awoism is a philosophy and ideology which believes in the need to raise the consciousness of the masses, the need for enlightenment, and the need for social change which would give rise to progress. Awoism stands for egalitarianism, social justice, and situation whereby the nation resources belong to all and sundry equally and should be used for the welfare of the people not to enrich the few powerful class.
I wish to state categorically that the economic resources of Nigeria is such that can make Nigeria a great country in a short while, given the proper leadership with self ideology leading the people to the path of political righteousness and real democracy as propounded by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of America where the political future would be bright, I wish to predict in a nutshell, that if by any act of omission or commission, Nigeria prevent Awoism from becoming a reality in the quest for sincere and ideological leadership in Nigeria, She will travel to a point of no political return..
From the blind passion of those that worship power may Allah saves our country
Marxist Kola Edokpayi
Socialist Revolutionary Philosopher
Writes from Benin