On Tuesday, May 9th 2017, was the 30th death anniversary of Nigerian national and stateman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo who played a key role in the independence movement of this great nation.
Apart from his face being on 100 Naira notes, some other achievements of the late hero who hailed from Ikenne, Ogun State are listed below;
1.) He named Nigeria’s national currency as ‘Naira’ when he was the Federal Commissioner for Finance. The late sage coined the name from Nigeria.
2.) The late sage introduced free primary education for all and free health care for children in the Western Region.
3. )He established the first television station in Africa in 1959. The first TV station in Africa is called
WESTERN NIGERIA TELEVISION (WNTV).
4. )He also erected the first skyscraper in tropical Africa:the Cocoa House (still the tallest in Ibadan).
The building formerly called “Ile Awon Agbe” (i.e. “House of Farmers”) is now popularly known as Cocoa House. It was the tallest building in Africa in the 1960s. The regional administration of Awolowo was proud to tell the world, in the era before the Oil Boom, that Cocoa House was built entirely from proceeds of international trade in agricultural commodities such as cocoa, rubber and timber.
5. He is the first and only non-president to be so honoured in recognition of his sterling qualities and contributions to the service of the country.
6.) The sage was the first individual in the modern era to be named Leader of the Yorubas (Yoruba: Asiwaju Omo Oodua), a title which has come over time to be conventionally ascribed to his successors as the recognized political leader of the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria.
7.) He was believed by admirers to be the best President in Nigeria and thus was the first Leader of Government Business and Minister of Local Government and Finance and first Premier of the Western Region under Nigeria’s parliamentary system, from 1952 to 1959.
8.) In the year, 1949 he founded the Nigerian Tribune which is the oldest surviving private Nigerian newspaper. The newspaper served as a means which he used to spread nationalist consciousness among fellow Nigerians.
9.) He founded the Action Group political party which was the first political party to move the motion for Nigeria’s independence in the federal parliament. Obafemi Awolowo obtained internal self-government for the Western Region in 1957.
10.) On May 12, 1987, the University of Ife was renamed Obafemi Awolowo University in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria, whose brainchild the university was.