What led to the death of Chief Obafemi Awolowo: let’s deal! The cause of Papa Awo death raises some questions. Let's look into the history of Obafemi Awolowo and last things he was involved in before his death.
Chief Awolowo activities
Chief Obafemi Awolowo was known as a founder of nationalism in Nigeria. He was a lawyer, publisher, nationalist, and significant political figure. Obafemi Awolowo held the Premier’s chair in the Western region from 1954 until Nigeria got complete independence from the UK in 1960. Chief Awolowo took a leading role in the constitutional conferences conducted in London and Lagos which opened the path for Nigerian independence.
Obafemi Awolowo was a leader of the opposition in the first Parliament after gaining independence and was considered as a Chief of the Yoruba people.
In 1979 and 1983, Papa Awo (as he was often called) was a presidential candidate of the Unity Party. But he lost the elections to Shehu Shagari who represented National Party form the Northern part of Nigeria. When the Government of Shehu Shagari was deposed because of a military coup in the 31st of December, 1983, Chief Obafemi Awolowo moved away from political affairs.
He died in Ikenne town (Ogun State) at the age of 78 years.
For many years it was believed that Chief Awolowo died because of natural death. But in recent years, many online publications, referring to the words of the former statesmen and close to the late Papa Awo people, posted information that he committed self-murder. And, moreover, Obafemi Awolowo was pushed to this awful step. Let's try to find out what led to the death of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
READ ALSO: Nigerian heroes and their contributions
A probable cause of death
Some reports alleged that Papa Awo committed self-murder because he wanted to stop the probable growth of military tribunal into an uprising. Chief Awolowo was going to drive it with his political allies. The main reason was the intention of General Ibrahim Babangida, Nigerian Military President, to keep the helm of the country for life at that time. Obafemi Awolowo planned to remove Ibrahim Babangida from power with the help of armed people insurrection.
But, unfortunately, one of the participants in that campaign betrayed them and handed the record of the conspiracy to the military.
When everything was revealed, General Babangida held a meeting to Chief Awolowo and threatened him with prison and exile. Then Papa Awo allegedly decided to commit self-murder instead of spending the rest of his life in prison.
But before that, Obafemi Awolowo gathered his ‘comrades-in-arms’ again. At that meeting, the name of their traitor was revealed. According to Nigerian politician Mr Adebayo Adeyinka, it was Chief Lateef Jakande, the former Executive Governor of Lagos State. Although Jakande denied his guilt, the evidence was against him. To tell the truth, the former Governor still denies that they had any disagreements with Papa Awo.
Later Chief Awolowo took poison, but the public was told that he had died in the bathroom while brushing his teeth.
Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a political leader and true father of the nation. He believed that Nigeria should invest its resources into education and develop infrastructure.
Papa Awo organised the free of charge primary education for all pupils in the Western Region. Besides, he founded the first TV broadcast in Africa (1959). Also, Chief Awolowo provided electricity for Nigerian regions using earnings from the highly profitable cocoa export. He also led a children’s free health care program. Papa Awo created the name for Nigeria currency- Naira.
Perhaps, the time will come, and we’ll receive official and true information about Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s cause of death. Indeed, Papa Awo is a great Nigerian politician and founder of the nation. His contribution to the development of Nigeria is undeniable.
READ ALSO: History of feminism in Nigeria