NIGERIA AT 54: QUOTES FROM NOTABLE NIGERIANS-OBAFEMI AWOLOWO

Obafemi Awolowo was a school teacher, stenographer and reporter during his days. He was one of the prominent intellectual figures who fought for the Independence of Nigeria from the colonial masters. His cultural group cultural group known as “Egbe Omo Oduduwa” formed in 1949 and the subsequent political party, the Action Group, (AG) formed in 1951  were part of the institutions that championed social change in the South Western part of Nigeria.

obafemi awolowoHis party won the first elections ever conducted in Western Nigeria. As a result of that victory, the AG formed the first elected government in the Western Region and Obafemi Awolowo, now a Chief, became the Leader of Government Business and Minister for Local Government in 1952. In 1954, he became the first Premier of the Western Region.

Awo on Risk Taking
“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.”
– Voice of Reason, 1981

Awo On “The Courage To Look”
“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 theinsight to apprehend the light which shines, at all times and in all places, for those who make Truth the object of their daily pursuit.
Speech to University Graduands (1967): In Voice of Courage, 1981

Awo On Failure As Springboard To Success
“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.
Statement on Attaining the Age of 67; 1976

See Also NNAMDI AZIKIWE

Awo On Light and Darkness
In the presence of light, darkness cannot exist; nor can the night of misery and suffering... The
compelling urge to be a harbinger of light over Nigeria has been my one consuming passion for
more than four decades now .
.. My yearnings for the descent of light upon Nigeria became so deep that they were soon transformed into an irrepressible call to duty
Text of a Broadcast on the Nigerian Television, Ibadan, 1979

Awo’s View of The World
“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”.
– My March Through Prison, 1985

Awo On His Lifestyle As Example To The Youths
“Those who desire to reach, and keep their places at the top in any calling must be prepared to do so the hard way.”
– Awo (Autobiography). 1960

Awo On Man As The Sole Dynamic In Nature
“Man is the sole dynamic in nature; and accordingly, every individual constitutes the supreme economic potential which a country possesses. It is axiomatic that man can create nothing. But, by an intelligent and purposive application of the exertions of his body and mind, he can exploit natural resources to produce goods and service….. Therefore, other things being equal, the healthier his body and the more educated his mind, the greater will be his morale and the more efficient he becomes as a producer and consumer.”
– University of Ife Convocation Speech (/974): In Voice of Courage (1981)

Awo On Development of Human Personality
“A man whose personality is fully developed never fears anything; he cringes not, and never feels inferior to anyone; His breadth of mind enables him to exercise his freedom in such a manner as not to endanger the interests and freedom of others. He is a citizen of the world – free from narrow prejudices. He is what he is because the three main constituents of his entity – his body, brain, and mind – are fully developed. Mens Sana in Corpore Sano!”
– Voice of Reason (1981)

Credit: Quotes courtesy The Obafemi Foundation

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