THE HOME CALLING OF THE YOUNGER AWO

‘’Lies kills silently, if you lie consistently, it removes 10 minutes from your lifespan ’-Chief Obafemi Awolowo

SPECIAL TRIBUTE BY THE ‘PEOPLE’S WORDSMITH’’
CHIEF CERUTTI OSAGIE

It is still like dawn. Till date, over two decade after his sudden demise, the late sage, chief Obafemi Awolowo is still seen in bright light, his works and memories still lingers on
He has been described in several superlatives. Not only a hero to his people, the Yorubas of the Nigeria nation, but to the country and continent as a whole
Nigeria erstwhile military strategist and president, Gen Babangide could not have painted a wrong; picture, when he wrote in 1987 during Awo‘s death that: ‘’THIS MAN, AWO IS THE BEST PRESIDENT NIGERIA NEVER HAD, THIS I SAY WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR’’
That Awo is still being celebrated today is a result of his hard work and passion in which he served his people and the country as a whole
He was pointblank when he said of his life and likely times after death as far back as 1963  that :’’ I HAVE NO DOUBT, AND I SAY THIS WITHOUT ANY SPIRIT OF IMMODESTY,THAT IN THE COURSE OF MY POLITICAL CAREER, I  HAVE RENDERED SERVICES TO THIS COUNTRY WHICH HISTORIANS AND COMING GENERATIONS WILL CERTAINLY REGARD AS IMPERISHABLE’’
That Awo is labeled as sage. And in some quarter, a movement is not a coincidence. When he talks, he does not call a spade by a marines name, truth to him, is the greatest tool of every man
Our subject today is not on the sage, but his description of his recently passed away son, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, who is passionately called “UNBREAKABLE,” a sobriquet given to him by Papa Awolowo himself for his tenacity of purpose.
The demise of the younger Awo, who died at  7.40 p.m. Nigerian time, on Wednesday,27TH March, 2013, is no doubt a rude shock, not only to the Awo family but the nation as a whole
                   He had been in and out of hospital, home and abroad, since he was involved in the ghastly accident seven years ago on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway’’, his paper, TRIBUNE , posit in an official statement, adding that: ‘ despite his health challenges following the accident,  Awolowo devoted his life to the service of God and was deeply involved in evangelical activities. In the past four years, he authored a Christian column, OBA’S LECTERN, in the Sunday Tribune, the statement further said, adding, “He fought a good fight and has gone to rest with his Maker.
“We ask for prayers at this most trying time for the Awolowo family and for the ANN Plc.”
UNBREAKABLE WOLE AWOLOWO: HIS EARLY LIFE
Born  at Ibadan on the 3rd day of December, 1942 into the illustrious family of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was the third child and second son of Papa Obafemi Awolowo and Mama Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo. 
 He grew up among his peers without any elitist traits”  As a young man he announced himself a socialist, joined the youth wing of the NCNC, led by the late Chief Nnamdi Azikwe, in opposition to the party his father formed, the Action Group, AG, which was something of a taboo in Nigeria’s First Republic.
He followed this up in adulthood by taking membership of the United Progressive Grand Alliance UPGA, and helping elect the famous Lagos politician, TOS Benson who was something of a political enemy to his father.
Unlike his other siblings who took to active academic pursuits and professional calling, the deceased had just a diploma in Business studies from the Leeds College of Commerce.
After sojourning abroad successfully he returned to Nigeria when the inclement clouds were gathering on the Action Group party and his revered father was unjustly being buffeted by the perfidious political turbulence of that era.  Making a virtue of the necessity, Oluwole took his destiny in his own hands and set to work with several organizations at the middle level managerial cadre at the Nigerian Tobacco Company, Ibadan, the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation and the Nigerian Television Service, Lagos.  Having acquired experience in the public service, his entrepreneurial spirit propelled him into the business of transportation, petroleum products dealership and estate management and envelopments among others.

He had a stint as a career business development officer at both the Nigerian Bottling Company and later the Nigerian Television before veering into real estate, haulage, and dealership of petroleum products.

LIFE AS POLITICIAN
Though he could not sing from the same song sheet like his father politically, late Oluwole Awolowo still gives politics a shot.
In keeping with the title ‘UNBREAKABLE” given to him by his visionary father, the responsibility of manning the family forte fell squarely on his young shoulders when his father was incarcerated and his beloved elder brother and lawyer, Segun Awolowo, passed on in 1963
He eventually reconnected to the political tendencies of his father in 1979 when he ran as a candidate of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN and was elected into the Lagos State House of Assembly to represent Apapa Constituency.
After the Buhari coup of 1983 sacked the civil order, he became weary of politics, and, backed by his mother, the powerful matriarch of the Awo family, Hannah Dideolu, who was also his greatest influence and supporter, he decided to take a break from politics
During the elliptical days of the transition of “President” Ibrahim Babangida from a martial to civil order, Mr. Awolowo was made a delegate to the Constitutional Conference in Abuja, and subsequently became a member of the Transition Implementation Technical Committee, Abuja.
A successful parliamentarian, he had a reputation as a smart political operator.  With a high sense of responsibility and unusual capacity for hard work and vigor which are the hallmark of the Awolowo family, he was able to head several legislative committees on Environment, Education and Health.
He led the delegations that visited UK, Canada and USA on special assignments.  Little wonder why a famous Nigerian politician remarked that “Wole is the best politician in the Awolowo family”.
HISTORIC LEADERSHIP AS TRIBUNE PUBLISHER
The late Awo must be commended to high heaven for his ability to hold forth effectively as publisher of one of Nigerians longest serving private daily
According to a Tribune analyses, when in 1984, the Board of the African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc appointed him Publisher/Vice Chairman of the Tribune titles, a position which he held till death; he took up the responsibility with his characteristic legendary sense of duty.
As he became the Publisher, he said “I am not really interested in sitting for hours in office doing paper work. But rather, to put in place strategies that would encourage all staffers, from the managing director to the cleaners to see themselves rather as one family, who are joint owners of the business, than employees.
His style of leadership by example, predicated on his characteristic sense of duty, brought love, direction, discipline, unity, loyalty, positive progress, service and propriety to the Tribune family.  An unbreakable heritage.
OLUWOLE, A PHILANTROPIST PER EXCELENCE LIKE HIS FATHER
Said to have changed the lives of many student and less privileged , without announcing it to the world, the late UNBREAKABLE is a philanthropist per excellence, little wonders at time of his death, his awards and recognition is beyond normal proportion
His collection of award included, but not limited to the following
1. Most Distinguished Publisher of the Century in Africa and Distinguished Fellow member of ANTP, by the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
2. The Commonwealth Journalists Association, London awarded him a Fellowship.
3. The Association of Post-Graduate Communication and Language Arts Students, University of Ibadan, presented him with a Merit Award as the Publisher of the Best Managed Newspapers in Nigeria
4. The Rotary Club of Lagos, University of Lagos, and Akoka presented to him a Distinctive Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service to humanity.
5. The National Union of Printing, Publishing and paper products workers, Oyo State coordinating council presented a Merit Award to him in recognition of his excellent performance as the Most Acknowledged Administrator of Print Media House in Nigeria.
6. The Nigerian Association of Special Education Students, University of Ibadan gave him a Merit Award in Recognition of his contributions toward the upliftment of the disabled in Nigeria.
1. The Kontakts Klub of Nigeria conferred on him the Grand Patron of their Club.
2. The Anglican Youth Fellowship Aiyepe-Ijebu Branch presented an award to him in recognition of his immense contributions and his outstanding performance as the life patron of the year 1998-1999.
3. The Oyo State Games and Sports Teachers Association appointed him their Grand Patron.
4. The Youth Hunters Association of Ikenne Remo conferred on him their Grand Patron ship for outstanding contributions towards the development of their town.
5. The Ambassador Club of Ikenne appointed him their Grand Patron.
NIGERIA’S PRESIDENT, SENATE PRESIDENT,
DAVID MARK, PAYS TRIBUTE
He is worthy of emulation and surely lived a life worthy of emulation, little wonder, the Nigeria Head of State/Commander in chief, Dr Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR, BNER, GCON…. roared in his tribute to the late unbreakable that: President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday described the death of the Publisher as sad and painful, saying he was a distinguished evangelist, humanist and community leader.



The president who IS AN AWO admirer,

commended Chief Awolowo’s steadfast, life-long commitment to upholding, maintaining and continually improving the Tribune newspapers which ensured that the Nigerian Tribune and its sister publications have remained an objective voice of reason in Nigeria’s media space and continue to offer invaluable services to the nation.”

Senate President, David Mark, in his condolence, lamented the death of the Publisher, describing his death as a painful exit. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser, Media & Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, Mark said the late media guru was an erudite administrator, who lived a Godly life with love and passion for humanity.
Mark said, “I recall with nostalgia the tenacity of purpose portrayed by late Evangelist Oluwole. He never discriminated against friends, workers and even relations.
When the mantle of leadership fell on his shoulder even at early stage of life, he stood firm and made a greater impact. The Unbreakable as fondly called by associates, has passed on.
We are pained and saddened but what can we do.

“This is purely the will of God Almighty as death is an inevitable end of all mortals. We have once again lost a rare gem, kind, considerate and selfless Nigerian.” Mark lamented.”

QUOTE ON DEATH BY  SHAKESPEARE…

GOOD NIGHT CHIEF WOLE AWOLOWO

STORY: BY CHIEF CERUTTI
WITH MANY THANKS TO TRIBUNE AND AWOLOWO FOUNDATION FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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