How Awolowo committed suicide

By Abdulmumini Adeku

Twenty –three years after he suddenly was reported dead of natural cause and two years shy of his golden jubilee , facts are now emerging on the reasons that led to First  and Second Republic political heavyweight ,Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo  committing  suicide

It was learned that he did it  to stem the tide of a possible military court martial into an insurrection he was planning to lead alongside his political associates at the time when it became evident that then Military President ,General Ibrahim Babangida was intending staying in power forever.
In a no-hold barred interview with FS Online recently,a grass root politician ,Mr Adebayo  Adeyinka who lives within the College Road  at Ifako-Ijaiye axis in Ogba ,a suburb of Lagos, Nigeria  was livid with rage when he learned that a key politician connected to the issue was denying the incident.

He revealed that Chief Awolowo  wanted to lead some kind of guerilla warfare  or militant campaign against the government of President Babangida  so that he can be overthrown through a popular or people -led putsch.
According to him , the Elder Statesman summoned a meeting of  his core loyalists over the issue  and this was even filmed  so as to  strengthen the extent of  commitment of each of the politician  that attended the meeting..
He pointed out that however unknown to all of those who were privy to this meeting and clarion call , Chief Lateef Kayode Jakande ,Former Executive Governor of Lagos State had a different plan  as he betrayed   them to the military .He Said:’ But unknown to them , Chief Jakande was planning to betray them, he went to President Ibrahim Babangida  and promptly showed him the tape

“Papa Awolowo  was invited  for a meeting  with President Ibrahim Babangida  who was then staying at  Dodan Barracks which was the seat of power as at then and the truth of his clandestine meetings  was revealed to him  by the gap –toothed  General

“He gave Papa some options  and that was for him to be ready to face a court martial , be ready to go to a prison or better still go on exile
“At this stage Papa felt instead of allowing some ambitious khaki boy to mess him up he should just  pack it in and call it a day ,so Chief Awolowo decide to commit  suicide  so as to  save  himself from the ignominy of going to prison for the second time in his lifetime .

“But before he did this he called his core loyalists  for a meeting ,before then he had called up Late Chief Bola Ige [Cicero],since the latter had a very strong understanding of the Hausa Language having had his formative years as a young man in Kaduna but discovered  that the late Esa-Oke strongman   was innocent after he was interrogated by Papa

“He called others for enquiries while asking them to tender the video cassettes  of the meeting  they all attended to discuss the plans to topple President Babangida  for examination ,at this juncture Chief Jakande developed a cold feet as he  could not  produce his own copy of the video which was freely distributed to all that was present at the meeting previously before the betrayal and that was how the cat was let out of the bag

“So he cursed him at this point   and pointed out that he   will never have any form of relevance politically as far as Nigeria was concerned and till today members of the Awolowo Dynasty avoids him like a plague.
“I was their when  the letter he wrote to the family to beg them for forgiveness over the unfortunate incident was read in the presence of all present ,if he continues to deny I am ready to confront him publicly again on the same issue as I can  even remember that elders  asked him to go to the grave of the late sage to plead for forgiveness
“When he was questioned he lied that the National Security Organization now State Security Services had visited his house to check on him and in the process took the tape in question but” Awoists” knew that this was a very weak argument  as he did not inform their political group of this development before their enquiry on the subject
“That was how Senator Abraham Adesanya  assumed the leadership  of the Awolowo camp of Yoruba politics after the demise of the man ,he was not even so close to Awolowo during his lifetime like Chief Jakande and that was why many called him Baba Kekere on account of this cosy relationship
“Before he gave up the ghost , he said his prayers  and then took the poison which killed him  almost immediately but the public was not fully aware as  they were given a different account of what happened.
“We were simply told that he died   while he was brushing his teeth  in his bathroom at his Park Lane,Apapa residence here in Lagos
“He was stupendously wealthy during his lifetime, infact  there is  know company at Oba Akran in Ikeja ,Lagos  where he does not  have at least a five percent equity, Dideolu Court in Ogba  alone cannot be valued at less than N10 Billion ,that was the place that he had in mind to be his Seat of power if he was elected as Nigeria’s President.
‘He owned Shonibare Estate but the man he was using as a front  and  who later went to prison over some issues which Awolowo himself was privy to  eventually laid  claim to the estate

“He got  all of this wealth due to a great measure of goodwill  and tax waivers  he gave to investors whenever they come to establish  their business.
“Anytime you buy a bottle of Coca-Cola you are enriching  the Awolowo Dynasty ,go to Ijebu Ikenne and you will discover that the price of a bag cement there is different from other parts of the nation due to the  subsidy that the citizens enjoy on account of Awolowo who was their son and I hope you know that West African Portland Cement is in Ewekoro and not Ikenne.

“On account of this great betrayal Awolowo family members regard  the “Awoist” as a group people should deal with using a long spoon till this day and this explains  why when The Peoples Democratic Party Government  gave some of them political appointment lately they accepted it without thinking twice.
“Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu was made an Ambassador by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo while  , Mr Segun Awolowo Jnr was given a plum job at the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja as a Secretary.
“Recently when Afenifere was disintegrating Mama out of concern  for her husband’s legacies decided to call a truce because as she puts it then, she did not know what she was going to tell her husband the day they meet in heaven
“He made Sijuwade rich , because  he was his business associate  and in fact some of us held very strong views that he was one of his fronts and later the  same man became the Ooni of Ife”he added

Mr  Adebayo Adeyinka   recalled his several years of following grass root politics right from the days of Action Group to the Unity Party of Nigerian era in the second republic but now lamented that he had since lost all interest in partisan politics due to the massive corruption in our polity.

He listed such blue chips like Dunlop Nigeria Plc ,Guinness Nigeria Plc, Neimeth Pharmaceutical Nigeria Plc  ,May and Baker Nigeria Plc  ,Vitafoam Nigeria Plc  ,Wahum  Nigeria Limited ,CAP Nigeria Plc  , International Paints of West Africa [IPWA],  Berger Paints Nigeria Plc  ,Berec Nigeria Limited  ,Kabelmetal, Nigeria Bottling Company Plc ,Leventis  Nigera Plc ,West African Portland Cement Company,[Lafarge ],Wema Bank Nigeria Plc, Scoa Nigeria Plc ,CFAO Nigeria Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc ,Wemaboard Estates, Odu’A Group, Livestock Feeds Nigeria Plc , Nigerian Breweries Plc as places the Awolowo family have commercial interest to mention just a few.

Apart from this stocks  analysts believe that the most visible of his investment ,The Nigerian Tribune Newspapers  cannot be valued at  less than N100billion today in terms of brand evaluation as  Thisday Newspapers was valued by the Owner ,.Mr Nduka Obaigbena at N200 Billion recently during a media chart while celebrating his fiftieth birthday sometimes last year.

Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a leader who believed that the state should channel Nigeria’s resources  into education and state –led infrastructural development.

At his own expense albeit controversially ,he introduced the free primary education for all of  the Western Region ,he equally established the first television service in Africa in 1959 and expanded electrification projects in the region using the proceeds from the highly lucrative Cocoa export industry.

The Cocoa House in Ibadan regarded by many as one of the major landmarks of Nigeria’s architectural history was built as a result of his economic blueprint which was targeted towards the emancipation of his people from poverty
He built the first stadium in West Africa  , the Liberty Stadium ,Ibadan and he coined the name “Naira “for Nigeria’s official currency ,it was previously called Nigerian Pounds.
During the 1970’s ,he was very critical of Nigeria’s military expenditure insisting that  more should be spent on development
He ran a free health care programme for children up till the age of eighteen years .

On his death on the 9th of May,1987 as a mark of respect for his legacies ,The University Of Ile-Ife  which ironically he helped to build as Premier of the Old Western Nigeria was re-named in his honour as part of a post humous celebration of his life and times.
His portraits adorn public places in Nigeria especially in his native Yoruba land where he is seen as an icon.
His picture also adorn Nigeria’s one hundred naira note.
He has been described surprisingly by some of his greatest critics and even political opponents as probably the Best President Nigeria never had.
He struck a chord with the womenfolk during his lifetime when in a rare show of public affection for his wife of several years, Chief Mrs Hannah Dideolu Awolowo told the world that the woman was his jewel of inestimable value.
How right or prophetic he was because his wife has continued to strengthen the mileage of the husband’s name even in death.

During an exclusive interview with FS Online at his Ilupeju home in Lagos last year, Chief Lateef Jakande upon being probed with questions over his relationship with Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo on account of what feelers were suggesting had denied  that they had a bad relationship shortly before his death.He insisted that those that said that they had any problems between them prior to  Chief Awolowo’s  death were not been honest as they were all telling lies.

6 responses to “How Awolowo committed suicide

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  5. Fallacies and fantasies full this piece o…Here are a few (I can’t take an attack on baba lying bad, if I come across as emotional on this).

    1. Jakande did not fall out with the core Awoists until he agreed alongside Ebenezer Babatope against their wishes in Abacha’s 1994 government

    2. Jakande could hardly be in line to succeed Pa Awo. Fact is Jakande was a 2nd republic politicians of UPN Adesanya been with Awo since the AG days of first republic. Granted, he once ran against AG as an independent (in 1953 @ the Ijebu constituency, and lost) but Adesanya was clearly an Awoist at Nigeria’s independence in 1960 after seeing the progressive work of Baba in the West.

    3. Baba Kekere title of Jakande has more to do with his diminutive size than being next to Awo. I’d say Bola Ige and Ajasin were held in higher esteem by the movement given their first republic antecedents (Bola Ige used to be Baba’s attack machine against SL Akintola..of the famed “Bi o ru ka o ba se bo, gige la o ge” retort to AKintola’s “Oruka ti bowo” blowhard after Baba’s imprisonment and his rise).

    4. The official story of Baba’s death is not that he was brushing his teeth and died- which kain story be that? Awo reportedly died in his sleep, at Ikene not even in Lagos after predicting his own death a week earlier at Rewane’s father’s burial in Warri (the Baba na wizard). It was a peaceful death, which made Bola Ige comment that “Olorun je ki ku bi Awolowo”. Unfortunately his wishes were never granted. Ige died violently.

    ” Awolowo died in his home town, Ikenné on May 9, 1987.”

    5. It is ridiculous to think even if Jakande had a video tape, he won’t make a copy and give the original to IBB (and would not have it when asked back for it). Moreover, it makes no sense for Awo to give everyone a video of a meeting where coup is being planned. Common now, dude had gone to prison for treason already and his IQ is definitely higher than 10 million Nigerians living in 2010 put together. Apparently, the area tout (so called grassroots politician) is a beer parlor menace, you know their type: with IQ of a bird brain. LOL..

    6. And this talk of Awolowo being rich is plain rubbish, or enriching himself. Awo was in government for 7 years from 1951-59 as minister for local government and premier. These were according to him, his poorest years. He was a well known business man prior to his entry to politics, being the first exporter of Garri from Nigeria to London; and being a supplier to the then military of rations at formations across the country. During his time out of government, post civil war- he achieved prominence in Law, being the first SAN in Nigeria (many forget this)..inducted few minutes before FRA Williams, the only other inductee of the first set of SANs.

    Did FRA Williams, Gani Fawehinmi, Afe Babalola and other prominent SANs not well known billionaires at their prime?

    In the words of Zik, this piece by a “sable rattling incompetent is the rants of a tattling nabob of negativism” i.e. bad belle. Great, I mean Owelle of Onitsha.


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