Obafemi Awolowo, fully Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, commonly known as Awo

Obafemi
Awolowo, fully Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, commonly known as Awo
1909
1987

Nigerian Nationalist, Federalist and Social Democratic Statesman, Trade Unionist, Attorney and Author, Premier of Western Nigeria

Author Quotes

The Blackman shall be absolute and undisputed master in his own home, and shall enjoy unaffected and un-patronizing equality with the other races of the world.

Whether we are conscious of or acknowledge it or not, the fact remains stubborn and indestructible that poverty, disease, social unrest, and instability, and all kinds of international conflicts, have their origins in the minds of men ... It is only when the minds of men have been properly and rigorously cultivated and garnished, that they can be safely entrusted with public affairs with a certainty and assuredness that they will make the best of their unique opportunity and assignment.

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Conference in London in 1958, I had an overpowering feeling of foreboding ... that something untoward was going to happen to Nigeria. That it would happen, I felt sure; but when it would happen, I had no inkling ... At first, I felt there was nothing I could do about it. But later on, I thought I might do something about it.

It appears to me that the causes of the last Civil War lie embedded in the nether realms of such degrading and depraving evils as unemployment; mass ignorance; endemic and debilitating diseases; low productivity; abuse and misuse of power, bribery and corruption; favoritism and nepotism; ethnocentricity and tribalism; much poverty and much discontent.

The creation of the Mid- West State will be the beginning of a journey which may be short or long but which will irresistibly bring Nigeria to the goal of true federalism and more States, and of individual freedom and happiness for all our people.

While many men in power and public office are busy carousing in the midst of women of easy virtue and men of low morals, I, as a few others like me, am busy at my desk thinking about the problems of Nigeria and proffering solutions to them. Only the deep can call to the deep.

Every time we talk about self-government, the British turn around and say if we depart from your country, there will be civil strife, there will be war ... But even under their rule, how many of our sons who were taken to Burma, were decimated in a war, the beginning of which we do not know, the cause of which we do not know, and in the declaring of which we took no art or part. I challenge any Briton today to tell me whether the number of our people destroyed in their wars, are as many as those who had died in our so-called inter-tribal wars. .

It is incontestable that the British not only made Nigeria, but also hand it to us whole on their surrender of power. But the Nigeria, which they handed over to us, had in it the forces of its own disintegration. It is up to contemporary Nigerian leaders to neutralize these forces, preserve the Nigerian inheritance, and make all our people free, forward-looking and prosperous.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow, and there is radiance in the darkness, if we could but see. To be able to see this radiance, all you need to do is to cultivate the courage to look, and the insight to apprehend the light which shines, at all times and in all places, for those who make Truth the object of their daily pursuit.

You can unite but can never succeed in unifying peoples whom language has set distinctly apart from one another; the more educated a linguistic. group becomes, the stronger it waxes in its bids for political self-determination and autonomy, unless it happens to be the dominant group.

Fortified with the justness of the cause we espouse in this crisis, and trusting in the never- failing providence of God, 1 can say with confidence that there, where my blood is shed, no grass will grow again, and no life is likely to flourish again. Undoubtedly, lives might be lost if the ugly crisis continues for long. But God, who sees our hearts and knows why we have refused to bow to blind tyranny, and are, as a result, in this politically helpless plight, will protect me and my colleagues from any harm.

It is safer and wiser to cure unhealthy rivalry than to suppress it.

The seed for a future minority problem in the North has been sown by the Government. It will grow with growing political consciousness on the part of those who settle permanently in the North.

He needs a healthy body which can be reared only on good food, adequate shelter, decent clothing, a reasonable measure of comfort and luxury, and a wholesome environment. He needs a sound and cultivated mind which is free to know and meditate upon the things of his choice. He has natural, conventional and legal rights which must be protected and upheld, with impartiality and inflexible justice by government and the society in which he lives.

It is, I think, enough for me to say that life itself is, from the cradle to the grave, a series of unbroken risks. I make no boast about this, but those who know me intimately will testify to the fact that I have never, at any time, shrunk from taking my full share of the risks which life, with its unending opportunities and vicissitudes, offers.

The touchstone of what is good, be it thought, or word or action, is LOVE. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. That is the law and the prophets. Anything therefore - any thought or word or action - which falls short of LOVE is evil, and holds within itself the germ of its own eventual and inevitable destruction.

I have come to learn, from personal experience, that failure and defeat always serve as springboards for greater achievements for I, whom who never acknowledges their potency, and who is prepared to meet the challenges posed by' them - for they always pose challenges.

Let us make no pretense about it, every human being loves power; power over his fellow men in the state, or in business enterprises; or failing that; power over his wife and children, and over his brothers, sisters, and friends, or, in the case of children, power over his playmates. Of these categories of power, the desire for power over one's fellow men is the strongest.

There are four cardinal programs on which the UPN embarked in 1979. They are free education at all levels, free medical services- services to include curative and preventive services, integrated rural development which is a very wide program, and also full and gainful employment. The beauty of our program is that they are programs which embrace every aspect of our desires. All of us want education, we want health services, we want food, we want our rural roads to be developed and we want our rural areas to be developed in the same way as the cities and towns. Under the integrated rural development all these things are included. Of course all of us want to be employed, and gainfully so.

I look forward to the day - not in the far distant future - when an Ijaw would be President of our Republic, and a Birom his Vice or vice versa.

Like cause always produce like effect. In kind, we always reap what we sow; but quantitatively, we always reap much more than we sow.

There are times when even the greatest tactician in diplomatic cunning is outclassed in his own game. It is then that he discovers that all that he thought he had gained is but loss, and that what is left of national honor and dignity is but the shadow of an illustrious past that is gone forever, or of a potentially great future that will never come.

I must take the world as I find it: with its sprinkling of saints and its multitude of evil-doers, ... ; with its source of happiness and its tons of sorrow. My duty, therefore, is to view anything that may happen to me in this world with Christ- like calm and equanimity and to do all in my power to promote the progress and advancement of mankind.

Man is not born to grope in the face of adverse environmental circumstances and conditions: he is ordained, and endowed with the capacity, to comprehend the universe, conquer his immediate surroundings, and rule the world. But first, he must understand the world and all its phenomena: he must do so systematically and scientifically.

There is an urgent and massive need for moral and spiritual reconstruction: the kind which will help to demolish morbid desire for naked power and domination ... and ensure justice equity and fair play for all.

Author Picture
First Name
Obafemi
Last Name
Awolowo, fully Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, commonly known as Awo
Birth Date
1909
Death Date
1987
Bio

Nigerian Nationalist, Federalist and Social Democratic Statesman, Trade Unionist, Attorney and Author, Premier of Western Nigeria