FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 496
DID YORUBA BETRAY IGBO IN 1951 WESTERN REGION ELECTIONS ?
John 8:32 states that you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Corroborating this biblical injunction,Anas bin Mâlik narrated the Sunah of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) that Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim” in Hadith no 224.
I am equally persuaded by the combination of the admonition of that beautiful Swiss cum French writer,Mme De Stael, who posited that the search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man, and its publication is a duty, and the comment of Mr.Chukwuemeka Okore Ikoro on my timeline few days ago who laboured very hard to further kit the offending narrative of how the Yoruba Nation betrayed his Igbo people.
For the purpose of space and time I shall go straight to the point.
In the build up to the 1951 elections into the Western Region House of Assembly ,two major political parties namely ; AG – Action Group, a party largely owned by the Yorubas and led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and the other named NCNC – National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon, an Igbo party led by Sir. Nnamdi Azikwe were into straight contention for the 80 seats in the Assembly.
Apart from those two major political parties, there co-existed smaller community based political groupings like Ibadan Progressive Party , Ondo Improvement League, Otu Edo in Benin Division. But by and large, AG had dominant aura over and above any other political association in the Region.
McPherson constitution which regulated the 1951 Western Region Assembly elections provided for 80 seats which were equally opened to independent candidates.
While security concerns compelled the shifting of the elections into the 5 seats in Lagos Division to November 20, elections into the 3 seats in Benin Division were shifted to December 6, same year. Meanwhile elections into the 72 seats in the remaining Divisions had been conducted on September 24, 1951.
The colonial government, through its Public Relations Officer Mr. Harold Cooper an Oxford university trained administrator, had requested parties fielding candidates for the elections to submit the list of their candidates, and AG submitted a list of 68 candidates for the 72 available slots. It is worth of note that AG covertly sponsored three (3) of its secretaries and one (1) friend of the party through the legitimate window of Independent candidature.
Their names ;
1. Alhaji DS Adegbenro ( Egba Division )
2. Chief JO Osuntokun ( Ekiti Division )
3. Alhaji SO Hassan ( Epe Division )
While the friend of the party :
Chief TA Odutola ( Ijebu-Ode Division )
From among the AG submitted 68 names, only 38 were returned elected at the close of the poll on that September 24, 1951 thus :
Ijebu Remo – Obafemi Awolowo and M.S. Sowole
Ijebu Ode – Rev. SA Banjo and S.O. Awokoya
Oyo – Bode Thomas, Abiodun Akerele, ABP Thomas, TA Amao and SB Eyitayo
Osun – S.L. Akintola, J.O. Adigun, JA Oroge, S.I. Ogunwale, I.A. Adejare, J.A. Ogunmuyiwa and S.O. Ola.
Egba – J.F. Odunjo, Alhaji AT Ahmed, Rev. S.A. Daramola and Prince Adedamola
Egbado – J.A.O. Odebiyi, D.A. Fafunmi and A. Akin Illo
Ekiti – E.A. Babalola and Rev. J. Ade-Ajayi
Badagry – Chief CD Akran and Rev. G.M. Fisher
Ikeja – SO Gbadamosi and O Akeredolu-Ale
Epe – Safi Lawal Edu
Ife – Rev. SA Adeyefa and SO Olagbaju
Owo -AO Ogedengbe and RA Olusa ( RA from Ajowa )
Okitipupa – C.A. Tewe
Western Ijaw – M.F. Agidee
Ishan – Anthony Enahoro
Warri – Arthur Prest
By the above equation, AG was comfortably maintaining the controlling 42 seats, while the remaining 38 seats shared among the NCNC , IPP, OTU BENIN and certain minor political groupings thus :
NCNC – 24 seats
IPP – 6 seats
Otu Benin – 3 seats.
Ondo IL – 2 seats
Independent – 3 seats
At the inauguration of the Western Region House of Assembly on January 7, 1952, AG was due to form the government of the Western Region without the now notorious Cross-Carpet
Remember that Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe had won a seat to the Western Region House of Assembly from among the 5 seats in Lagos Division, because NCNC was in control of the 5 seats in Lagos Division. He had wanted to rely on alliance with the minority parties and some sympathetic independent candidates to form the government of the Western Region but for the obvious fact that AG had 42 seats from the first phase of the poll on September 24, scattered the thought.
In the spirit of the McPherson constitution that made the three (3) Regional Assemblies the electoral college to the Federal House of Representatives, some victorious independent candidates who had their eyes on Federal House of Representatives seats needed the numerical strength of AG to realize their ambitions pitched their tent with now dominant party in the House.
From the 6 victorious IPP in the House, only Chief Adegoke Adelabu ( penkelemes ) received and filled the House membership form forwarded to them by Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe through the National Secretary of NCNC , Chief Kola Balogun.
Other 5 chose to join AG in order to leverage on AG numerical strength in the House, their names :
1. Chief AMA Akinloye ( was the leader of IPP )
2. Chief DT Akinbiyi ( later became Olubadan )
3. Chief SO Lanlehin
4. Chief M Aboderin
5. Chief SA Akinyemi
Chief FO Awosika of Ondo Improvement League joined AG while his second counterpart aligned with NCNC.
From among the 3 victorious Otu Benin , only Chief SO ighodaro joined AG while the other 2 preferred Zik’s NCNC, They are :
1. Chief Humphrey Omo-Osagie
2. Chief Chike Ekwuyasi.
Even the 3 victorious NCNC members from Urobo/Kukuruku Divisions, moved to AG to book places at the Federal House of Representatives in Lagos but only 2 of them enjoyed the electoral largesse of AG thus :
1. Chief Kensington Momoh
2. Chief JG Ako
While Hon. Awodi Oritseremi lost the Federal House of Representatives seat to an older AG associate , the very reason he decamped to AG, he immediately went back to NCNC.
By time the dust of alignments and realignments settled AG had added 15 Members to its rank making 53 Seats for AG against the 27 of NCNC. NCNC had entered the Western House with 24 seats and added only 3. This arch rivalry between AG and NCNC prevented Zik from clinching his much desired seat in Federal House of Representatives in Lagos.
Dr. Azikwe basking in age superiority over Awolowo and wider inter regional spread of his NCNC over AG had to resign from his Lagos seat that brought him to the Western Region House of Assembly, and blamed Chief Awolowo and the Yoruba for betraying Igbo Nation.
The blame game became intense when Zik had to displace a hard working NCNC Eastern Assembly member who had campaigned vigorously for a seat in the Region in the 1953 Eastern Region Assembly elections.
Dr. Azikwe needed ethnic sympathy, picturing himself a victim of betrayal and ethnic hatred whipping up huge sentiments against Awolowo and the Yoruba among the ignorant Igbo voters.
Dr. Zik told his igbo non investigative minded electorates that the Yoruba prevented non-Yoruba in the Western Region House of Assembly from going to the Federal House of Representatives, an allegation that only existed in the mind of a politician Zik, revved in the understanding of his Igbo brothers and a very unstatesmanship campaign of desperation. The obvious fact is that non-Yoruba were actually elected to the Federal House of Representatives from Ibadan Western Region House of Assembly. The dou of Chief Frank Oputa-Otutu and Chief Denis Osadebey enjoyed the Federal House of Representatives seats courtesy of Western Region House of Assembly electoral college.
The current pervasive national distrust and distraught were a consciously engendered divisive selfish political preservation of a politically threatened profile.
Let the truth be told no matter the age and the distance of the falsehood.
FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 497
The Moneylender and the Merchant’s beautiful daughter
Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a Merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of Money to the Moneylender.
FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 498
Rotimi Williams vs Gani Fawehinmi : When a Degree is not who you are.
Gani Fawehinmi was the best legal mind of his time in Africa but he was not even the best in the University days, truthfully, he had ordinary pass in his Law degree, not even a third class degree. He could be classified as “let my people go” in those days.
After Gani left the University and passed his Law school , there was nothing ordinary again in his life, he was the best in everything he touched. He wrote lots legal books and journals in Nigeria. He visited Courts more than those who made First class in the same school with him or those who became SAN before him.
Gani’s presence in any court was a big news to the Press and the nation, he was delightful and reassuring to watch, he spoke the language of his profession like an angel and every judge knew him as a man of integrity.
Gani was the most honorable lawyer Nigeria ever produced, to most Nigerians particularly the poor and middle class,he was their hope, and epitome of graceful expectations of how to prosecute cases, he made legal profession honorable.
Gani’s most memorable case to the Oracle was against Rotimi Williams over integrity. He made a mockery of the man Nigeria called *Rotimi the Law* the Chairman of the 1979 Constitution drafting committee of 49 wise men. It was supposed to be 50 wise men until Awolowo pulled out of the committee.
The first appointment given to Rotimi William as Attorney General of Western Region was by Awolowo as Premier. It was the mistake of the Head of State Gen Muritala Mohammed to think Awolowo could serve under Rotimi unfortunately, he never consulted Awolowo before the announcement on the radio.
Rotimi Williams had sued Gani over his integrity and like Shylock he wanted a pound of flesh, the flesh that will show the nation Rotimi was the law. He also wanted an open apology in the court with the Press and new radicals of media like Dan Agbese, Dele Giwa, Mohamed and Ogunsanya around. He got more than what he bargained for.
When Gani stood up, the poor and middle class stood up with him, if Gani had failed lots of his fans would have cried openly in the Court but he turned things around. He took few steps towards the Judge and demanded to put Rotimi the Law on the witness stand for cross examination.
No one had ever done that in the history of Nigeria, probably in Africa. Rotimi was not a short man either probably around 6.2 ft, tall and huge with sharp penetrating eyes, broad shoulders, his presence took away the oxygen in the room, he was the attention in any Court.he was indeed the Giant of legal profession.
Rotimi wore his robe like a rag and if the event could be biblically assessed it was like David standing next to Goliath. Rotimi had everything his profession could offer, fame, money and power, Judges bowed before him and who would not? He wrote the law of the land.if not why would he be called* Rotimi the law*
To the surprise of the nation, the presiding Judge granted the request of Gani to have the man that was greater than life on the cross-examination box. Gani had a mischievous smile on his thin lips, he knew he had Rotimi by the balls, he was going to tear down the wall to show Nigerians how coleric his adversary was.
The hate was glaring, we knew the occasion would be historical as we were about to witness how David of Nigeria legal profession would defeat the Goliath of the learned colleagues.
Gani asked if Rotimi ever attended the popular High School in Lagos, he mentioned. Rotimi had no choice than to confirm he did. Gani told the Court to look at Rotimi Williams as a student of the High School who stole a calculator or so and was sent out for stealing if such a thief had any integrity?
Rotimi never had any integrity he said infact he lost it from his High School days and wondered what he wanted to protect as an adult. Gani Fawehinmi concluded. Rotimi was almost in tears.
The Judge called the two lawyers to his chambers and Rotimi withdrew the case. He never recovered from the bruised of the shame which the Press sensationally reviewed on the pages of the newspapers and talk radio.
From Gen Gowon to Military President Babangida, they were all scared of Gani Fawehinmi. Gani was a friend of the sick and the poor, a philanthropist with special attention to education where he noted his own weakness, he gave Nigeria his all, energies and commitment to the rule of Law and love for humanity.
If his profession were to be military, Gani would be more than a four star General. He was indeed what a Lawyer could be, to this Oracle, Gani was the Perry Mason of Nigeria law.
The Oracle says, what you make out of your University education depends on what you put into the society. Your degree is not a waste it is template for you to understand life and contribute meaningfully to the society, the man who made a difference is the one with education to improve his environments not the paper qualifications.
I beseach you my readers to have a renewal of spirit and mind in how you see life, let you goal in life be guided with your contribution to your your society and never looked down on anyone who came out of the University with ordinary pass. He could be the one to make a difference.
Credits : Zents Kunle Sowunmi
FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 499
FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 501
WORLD ECONOMIC/POLITICAL SYSTEMS VS AFRICA
FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 503
Find Below Naira to Dollar Exchange Rate History
1972 $1 = N0.658
1973 $1 = N0.658
1974 $1 = N0.63
1975 $1 = N0.616
1976 $1 = N0.62
1977 $1 = N0.647
1978 $1 = N0.606
1979 $1 = N0.596
1980 $1 = N0.550 (0.900 Black Market Rate)
1981 $1 = N0.61
1982 $1 = N0.673
1983 $1 = N0.724
1984 $1 = N0.765
1985 $1 = N0.894 (N1.70 Black Market Rate)
1986 $1 = N2.02 (N3.90 Black Market Rate)
1987 $1 = N4.02 (N5.90 Black Market Rate)
1988 $1 = N4.54 (N6.70 Black Market Rate)
1989 $1 = N7.39 (N10.70 Black Market Rate)
1990 $1 = N7.39 (N10.70 Black Market Rate)
1991 $1 = N8.04 (N9.30 Black Market Rate)
1992 $1 = N9.91
1993 $1 = N17.30 (N21.90 Black Market Rate)
1994 $1 = N22.33 (N56.80 Black Market Rate)
1995 $1 = N21.89 (N71.70 Black Market Rate)
1996 $1 = N21.89 (N84.58 Black Market Rate)
1997 $1 = N21.89 (N84.58 Black Market Rate)
1998 $1 = N21.89 (N84.70 Black Market Rate)
1999 $1 = N21.89 (N88-N90 Black Market Rate)
2000 $1 = N85.98 (N105.00 Black Market Rate)
2001 $1 = N99-N106 (N104-N122 Black Market Rate)
2002 $1 = N109-N113 (N122-N140 Black Market Rate)
2003 $1 = N114-N127 (N135-N137 Black Market Rate)
2004 $1 = N127-N130 (N137-N144 Black Market Rate)
2005 $1 = N132-N136
2006 $1 = N128.50-N131.80
2007 $1 = N120-N125
2008 $1 = N115.50-N120
2009 $1 = N145-N171
2010 $1 = N148.21-N154.8
2011 $1 = N151.05-N165.1
2012 $1 = N155.09-N161.5
2013 $1 = N153.21-N162.9
2014 $1 = N170-N199
2015 $1 = N199-N300
2016 $1 = N300-N320 (N310-N370 Black Market Rate)