See The Bad Side Of Obafemi Awolowo

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Obafemi Awolowo was one of the founding fathers of Nigeria and one of the men who demanded Nigeria’s independence from the British. He is often remembered for his role in the establishment of the free education and free healthcare for children in the Western part of Nigeria.

He was also the one who established the first television service in all of Africa in 1959. He was unable to become the President after losing in the 1959 election which brought Nnamdi Azikiwe and Tafawa Balewa into power. Instead, he became the leader of opposition. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment in 1963 but was pardoned in 1966 by the new military regime under Yakubu Gowon.

After he was pardoned by Yakubu Gowon, he was appointed as the Federal Commissioner for Finance and later as the Vice-president of the Federal Executive Council which made him the most powerful civilian during Yakubu Gowon’s military regime. To me, accepting this positions under a military regime was a bad decision which contradict his support for Democracy. It shows that he was mainly fighting for Nigeria’s independence in other to become the President.

It was during the time he was appointed as the Federal Commissioner for Finance that the Nigerian civil war(or Biafran war) started, and he was the one who gave Yakubu Gowon the advice that resulted in the death of over two million people. After the Civil war started and the war reached stalemate between Nigeria and Biafra, it was Awolowo who gave Yakubu Gowon the advice to stop the movement of food or any other material from the rest of Nigeria to the breakaway region.

This was enforced and the unavailability of food from Nigeria coupled with the prevention of international organizations from supplying foods to Biafra resulted in the death of over two million Biafrans from hunger and starvation alone.
When the civil war started, the Nigerian government freezed all Igbo bank account registered in Nigeria which meant that most of the Igbos especially the wealthy ones lost most of their money at the beginning of the war.

However, after the war ended in 1970 and reconstruction began the government made a policy to return this money back to the Igbos. And the Federal Commissioner for Finance which of course was Obafemi Awolowo decided to give every Igbo an account with 20 pounds. That meant that those who have owned more than that lost most of their money thanks to Awolowo.

Awolowo would contest again in the 1979 presidential election against Alhaji Shehu Shagari, in which Awolowo lost. He died on 9th of May aged 78 years. His picture is on the Nigerian #100 note.
This is a story you can never hear in your history class….Continue Reading>>>

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