Nigerians across various strata of the society, on Tuesday, converged on Ikenne-Remo for the 36th memorial anniversary of Chief Obafemi Awolowo where Bishop Olusina Fape of Remo Diocese (Anglican Communion) asserted that no one, nothing can be done to erase the name, Chief Obafemi Awolowo from history.
Contained in his sermon at the memorial church service and patronal day held at Obafemi Awolowo Memorial Anglican Church, Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State, Fape said the name Awolowo continued to resonate from generations to generations because of what he stood for.
He said Obafemi Awolowo continued to stand out because his name remained synonymous with truth, justice, fairness, equity, straightforwardness, egalitarianism, dynamism, innovativeness.
Not only in the political space are Awolowo’s ideals a reference point, Fape noted that the late sage has remained influential in relation to economy, religion and virtually all aspects of society and human endeavour.
Fape said: “As generation passes, the name Awolowo continue to flourish. I have said several times and will say it here again that though baba was called home 36 years ago, he continues to be relevant in the activities of our nation, in every way, politically, socially, economically even religiously.
“Until Jesus Christ comes back, from one generation to another, papa Awolowo’s name will continue to ring a bell. There is nothing anyone can do, the name Obafemi Awolowo cannot be erased. No matter the plan orchestrated, the name Awolowo will continue to resonate.
“36years after the death of baba Awolowo, his name continues to resonate in the politics of Nigeria. That name is synonymous with truth, justice, fairness and equity.
“The name Awolowo is synonymous with egalitarianism. No wonder he made available free education for all.
“Dr Omololu Olunloyo once told Awolowo that he cannot win election in Nigeria because of his straightforwardness and truthfulness. He told him that it is deceitful people that can rule Nigeria.
“Is there any day that passes without the mention of the name Obafemi Awolowo?”
Further into his sermon, Fape bemoaned the many politicians mouth the name Awolowo to gain political office but assume office never to abide by Awolowo’s ideals in their actions in governance.
“When you mention the name of Awolowo till tomorrow, you talk about a man of integrity, a man of truth. He is not someone who makes bogus promises during campaigns but wins and does opposite of what he or she promised.
“The name Awolowo continues to resonate on the lips of our present politicians during electioneering campaign though they actions are contrary to what Awolowo represents,” Fape said.
Reminiscing Awolowo’s foresight and leadership ideas, the Anglican Bishop said Nigeria would have attained gigantic heights in the comity of developed nations if it had Awolowo-like leaders at the helm of its affairs.
As against Nigerians leaving the country almost on a daily basis, in what is now popularly called ‘japa’, Fape said the migration would have been into Nigeria if the nation had semblance of leaders with Awolowo-like foresight.
Fape added: “The name Awolowo is synonymous with dynamism and innovation. No wonder he saw to the establishment of the first television in Sub Saharan Africa was in Nigeria, back in 1959.
“Imagine if Nigeria had these kind of leaders with foresight till date. We would not have had people wanting to leave the country, what is now called japa. Nigeria would have stood stand by side with other developed countries.”
The service had in attendance a plethora of Anglican clerics; Ambassador (Dr) Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu; family, friends and associates of the Awolowo family; the Alakenne of Ikenne, Oba Adeyinka Onakade; community and church heads among others.
After rendering songs of thanksgiving, Awolowo Dosumu, in her remarks at the service, glorified God for answered prayers amid trials over the course of the last one year.
She called for continued prayers for the Awolowo family, adding that she looked forward to a much more joyous memorial celebration next year.
Some other attendees at the memorial service were Baba Ijo, Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Ikenne-Remo, Pa Emmanuel Osinbona; Baba Ijo and Mama Ijo of Obafemi Awolowo Memorial Anglican Church, Ikenne-Remo, Chief Folami Owolana and Mrs M.O. Ajayi respectively; President, Ikenne Development Association, Are Adedoyin Adesina.