- The alumni of WNTV/WNBS under the aegis of first in Africa television alumni association visited the Tribune House in Ibadan to honour the memory of Chief Obafemi Awolowo
- First female SAN, Folake Solanke, said the late Awolowo was the best president Nigeria never had
- The foremost legal luminary said Awolowo's contribution to Nigeria is unquantifiable
Chief Folake Solanke, the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and pioneer staff of Western Nigeria Television (WNTV), has described late premier of western region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as the best president Nigeria never had.
Nigerian Tribune reports that the foremost legal luminary lamented that people for reasons best known to them do not accept superiority or recognise talent.
Legit.ng gathered that Solanke made the assertion on Monday, April 29, when she led the alumni of WNTV/WNBS under the aegis of first in Africa television alumni association to the Tribune House in Ibadan to honour the memory of Chief Awolowo for his unquantifiable contributions to the development of Nigeria, especially the western region and to solicit support for the upcoming 60th anniversary of television in Nigeria.
She said: “Baba Awolowo is the best president Nigeria did not have and his contribution to Nigeria is unquantifiable. There are professors now who were sent to school because of the free education programme of the Action Group (AG).
"It is a pity that in Nigeria and elsewhere, talent is sometimes not recognised and for reasons unknown to others, people do not like to accept the superiority of others in every dimensions of life.
"I am so delighted to be here because God has spared my life to lead the team of WNTV/WNBS during this visit. When I was chairman in 1972\1974, we tried to implement the triple goal of broadcasting; to inform, educate and entertain.
"It must be two years ago that NTA vigorously celebrated 40 years anniversary and there wasn’t one word about the first in Africa television. I was so upset about it but there was very little that one could do."
Solanke said that in 1959, there was great excitement in the land because Awolowo established the first television station on the October 31, 1959, adding that he had the foresight to call it first in Africa.
Also speaking, Ambassador Yemi Farounbi stated that Chief Awolowo is a visionary who Nigeria cannot go on without honouring, adding that, “we need to celebrate our own, a nation that cannot celebrate its notable achievements cannot command respect outside.
"We are celebrating Awolowo for many things he thought about at a time others are not doing so, he established the first housing estate, first industrial estate, first Olympic sized stadium, first television and a newspaper organization.
“When we were celebrating 24 years of television, South Africa had no television, when we were celebrating 20 years, China was battling to have none but today, we are looking up to South Africa. If we had learnt to celebrate our own and develop on it, we won’t be dependent on others.
“We should give lofty tributes to Chief Awolowo and during this 60 years celebration of television in Nigeria, we must give him honour. Nobody cares about the heritage or inheritance of Awo in WNTV. Those of us who were made by passing through WNTV must celebrate him. If others do not do it, the Awolowo foundation, Awolowo family, the WNTV/WNBS alumni and Tribune will continue doing so,” Farounbi stated.
In her response, the chairman of African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, Dr. Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosunmu, stated that Awo’s legacy is constantly eroded in every area especially in politics and thanked the alumni for taking over because they will be able to do more in terms of depth and firsthand experiences.
She said: “Our generation and that of our children have messed up because we passed our values onto their generation,” she stated, adding that this generation have a duty to preserve the legacy bestowed on it so that the coming generation will have an option of choice."
She concluded that the Awolowo foundation would continue to stand for the purity of his ideas which is being eroded especially by politicians and pledged the support of Tribune to the project.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Senator Ayo Fasanmi, a factional leader of the Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, and Prof Banji Akintoye, an elder statesman and historian, urged Yoruba people to get ready for the presidency in 2023.
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