Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Ibadan | 16 July 2014 | 4,662 times
The Federation of Ogbomosho Students’ Union (FOSU), University of Ibadan chapter, has conferred a posthumous award on Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Premier of the defunct Western Region and Aare Ona Kakanfo X111 of Yoruba. This was the highlight of the maiden edition of its Distinguished Ogbomosho Sons and Daughters Personality Lecture in commemoration of Chief S.L. Akintola’s birthday, held at the Students’ Union Event Centre, University of Ibadan.
The guest lecturer, Prof. Bayo Okunade, Director, Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan, was represented by Dr. Idowu Johnson of the political science department, who spoke on the theme, 2015 Election: Is Nigeria shaping up to be an eerie of 1965? He said that the topic was relevant, because “it cannot be discussed without reference to Chief S.L. Akintola, one of the critical personalities in the politics of the First Republic, whose roles have shaped the immediate post-independence era, not only in the defunct Western Nigeria, but also in the entire country with enduring legacies.”
Highlighting the pitfalls of credible elections and democratic governance in Nigeria, he explained that politicians have failed to study and learn qualities of genuine leadership from the foremost leaders. He, however, encouraged political leaders to do away with all sorts of electoral irregularities, ranging from engagement of political thugs, monetary inducement of voters, flawed electoral process, party indiscipline, violence, injustice and insecurity, which could easily lead to a repeat of the political crisis, ‘Wild, Wild West’ and ‘Operation Weti e’, that led to the abrupt end of the First Republic.
Chairman, Chief (Dr.) Victor Omololu Olunloyo, former governor of Oyo State, who spoke in a Yoruba dialect, admitted that the event was auspicious, as Chief S.L. Akintola had not been honoured commensurately with his revolutionary achievements in the socio-political history of Nigeria.
His words: “It is really painful to have noticed that many of the things Akintola did for Nigeria have not been, as expected, acknowledged by successive government. Be that as it may, I want to, today, suggest that we have Samuel Ladoke Akintola Foundation just like we have Obafemi Awolowo Foundation (OAF), so as to further appreciate his past efforts for mankind.”
Relating the past political history with the present, Dr Olunloyo, added that present politicians lack the will to do what is needful to develop the country; but do things to satisfy their parochial and families’ interests. “Many politicians today are renting the name Awolowo to deceive the masses by saying they are progressives. No, they are not. They are not even disciplined. And if these issues go unaddressed, the crisis that occurred in 1965 could recur in the forthcoming 2015 election,” he submitted.
Earlier, president of the association, Damilare Olagbende, in his welcome remark, noted that the ceremony was strategically put in place to edify one of the heroes and nationalists who have excelled greatly in touching lives of people within the state and the country at large.
“We are here today to honour a patriarch, hero, and legend: Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, and to remind ourselves of his achievements, courage, dedication and, above all, his sacrifices for his family, friends and the nation. This event hopes to foster unity and enlighten the general public on events that relate to our history as a people, while linking it with present day Nigeria, to see how we have fared.
•Photo shows, from left, eldest son of late Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Ambassador Yomi Akintola; Chairman of the event, Chief (DR) Omololu Olunloyo, and Major General Oladayo Popoola, during the event.
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