Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo was a Nigerian Statesman, Political Leader and one of the tripod founding fathers of modern Nigeria. Others were Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo was born on Saturday, March 6, 1909, in Ikenne, Western Region, British Nigeria now Ogun State southwest of Nigeria.
Obafemi Awolowo was a Nigerian political leader and author who was a key participant in Nigeria’s independence struggle against British rule.
Affectionately known as ‘Chief Awolowo’ or ’Awo’, he also took part in the ‘First and Second Republic and the Nigerian Civil War’. He is one of the founding fathers and a national hero of modern Nigeria. He is remembered for his nationalist ideas, social and economic reforms and federalist beliefs.
Born in a small town, he was educated in various mission schools and took up many jobs to support his higher education. He got his first taste of politics when he became involved in the youth movements of that time.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, he got his law degree in London. Upon his return, he got actively involved in the independence movement, founding trade unions and the ‘Action Group’ political party. He became the premier of the Western Region but was later imprisoned for sedition.
He held several important positions in subsequent years. He authored many political books on Nigeria and was honoured for his numerous achievements and contributions.
Awolowo once said that he attributes his success in life to three major factors; the grace of God, his Spartan discipline and his good wife, Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo (nee Adelana) whom he described as a jewel of inestimable value.
Awolowo died on May 9, 1987, at the age of 78.
He was described “as the greatest statesman in Nigeria’s history and the best President that Nigeria never had.”