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El Rufai, Ezekwesili, challenge Awoists on true federalism, free education




Followers of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Awoists) were yesterday challenged by several speakers to rethink and reflect on what has been lost to progressivism since the demise of the sage 29 years ago.

They spoke at the annual Awolowo Lecture held at the country home of the Awolowos in Ikenne, Ogun State.

Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai, the Chairman of the occasion, described Awolowo as a man whose politics were governed by progressive ideas, adding that Chief Awolowo stood his ground for the common good. This is a lesson for political office holders, an admonition to do what is necessary, important and consequential, rather than the merely popular education.”

According to el Rufai, “In Kaduna State, we embrace the Awo formula for education. The outcome of the 2015 elections is both our present and our future, as it is our collective burden and opportunity. As the inheritors of the progressive legacies of Awo, we, the leaders and members of the APC, must strive as he did, to meet the expectations of our people for a peaceful, secure and corrupt-free nation that delivers social services to all, and rewards ingenuity and hard work,” the Governor stated.

For Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili Chief Obafemi Awolowo was outstanding in fiscal projects; his record of fiscal projects surpassed every imagination. I give you the numbers; in the budget year of 1950 to 1953 the revenue was 4.79 million pounds, by the budget year of 1959, 1960 it has multiplied by four, that is likely 400 percent increase in revenue generation. When Awolowo ran the affairs of the then Western Region government he was so interested in prudency that every budgetary function matters more than the size of the budget to him.”

A lecturer from Howard University, USA Prof Segun Gbadegesin, expressed regrets that the Awoists who see themselves as progressive politicians have not meaningfully contributed to “progressive maturation and practicalisation of Awolowo’s philosophy.

The don queried “How will the present chaos and confusion in the camp of Awolowo shape the future of ideas in Yorubaland, Nigeria and Africa? To him, by their inability to unite, the Awoists inadvertently have contributed to the strength of enemies of the late sage.

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