Osita Chidoka: Awolowo Was Unforgiving, Introduced Ethnic Politics To Nigeria

A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka on Monday said he admired the late Premier of Western Region, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo despite the fact that he was too rigid and has an unforgiving nature.

In a post on his official Facebook page, Chidoka, who is currently the Special Adviser on Strategy and External Engagements to the National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus also said he agreed with his late father that Awolowo introduced ethnic politics into Nigeria.

Displaying some books written by Awolowo such as ‘My March Through Prison’ and ‘ The Travails Of Democracy And The Rule Of Law, he however described the late Awolowo as great disciplinarian, fine writer and a courageous man who modernised campaigning in Nigeria.

Chidoka wrote “Still on the box from my past. I found three books I bought between 1998 and 1999. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a great influence in my life”.

“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 same title. I am infatuated by Winston Churchill too, but another story for another day”.

“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 examplary in his personal discipline, iron cast will and determination to achieve his life goals. 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 modernized campaigning in Nigeria but most importantly he wrote copiously. He was a reader and a writer. Awo was astounding in his courage, reading the death of his son Segun while he was in prison and the way he took it left an impression on me”.

“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”.

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