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How Awolowo, Akintola Destroyed Action Group | By Idowu Ayodele



Awolowo and Akintola (filed photo)

NIGERIA has witnessed a number of political crisis since independence, such as the Action Group crisis of 1962, the census crisis of 1962/63, the civil war of 1966-1970, the Federal election crisis of 1964/1965 amongst others.

In 1945, a group of Nigerian Students who were by the time studying in Britain came together to form a Yoruba socio- cultural group named ‘Egbe Omo Oduduwa’. However, in 1951, led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the party was formed and Christened ‘Action Group’, AG. Other members of the party were Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Chief Sonibare, Sir Adesoji Aderemi and Chief Bode Thomas. It is believed that the Egbe Omo Oduduwa metamorphosed into the Action Group.

Chief Awolowo later became the Premier of the Western Region on the platform of the party until 1955 when he moved to the central to become the official opposition leader of the parliament. The main objectives of the Action Group Party, AG were among others to bring and organize within its fold, all nationalists in the Western Region, so that they may work together as a united party, and submit themselves to party loyalty and discipline. Also, to prepare and present to the public programs for all departments of government, and to strive faithfully to ensure the effectuation of such programs through those of its members that are elected into the Western House of Assembly and Federal Legislature.

The Action Group which was the party in government in the Western Region was plunged into serious crisis early in 1962 over a number of irreconcilable differences between the leader of the party, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his deputy, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola who by then was the Premier of the region after Awolowo had assumed the position of the leader of the opposition at the federal level. Unfortunately, in 1959, Awolowo failed in the federal election and his ambition to become the prime minister was frustrated . While he was still nursing this anger, the prime minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa requested him to form government of national unity which he turned down.

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The reluctance of Chief Awolowo to support his deputy, Akintola as the Premier of Western Region when he was made the leader of opposition in the Federal House of Representatives in Lagos, also ignited the crisis as  the newly appointed Premier, took independent decisions without consulting his leader who was then at the center as leader of opposition. Akintola and some others supported the move to join the ruling Northern People’s Congress, NPC, to form a government of national unity which did not go down well with Chief Awolowo.

Another circumstance that threatened the existence of the then  Action Group, (AG) was the adoption of Democratic socialism as its ideology  which was also not well received by the premier of western region, Akintola.

It is interesting to note that intra-party disagreement and mutual suspicious were the remote causes of this crisis. The intolerance within the rank and file of the leaders that later spread to other members of the party. The accusation and counter accusation of the leaders clearly revealed a deep seated hatred they had for each other.

In a related development, the Action Group’s leader, Awolowo had allegedly instructed the Premier of the Western Region, Akintola to refer important matters to him before any action was taken. This was considered to be an undue interference in the office of the Premier. Similarly, Awolowo had earlier suggested a nation-wide political campaign to create sufficient awareness for the electoral preparatory to the Federal Elections of 1964, but turned down by his deputy, Akintola who wanted the campaign to be restricted to Western Region alone. This increased the suspicion between the two leaders and Chief Awolowo believed that his deputy wanted to overthrow him as the leader of the party.

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The ideological disparity between the two leaders could be likened to the event of Cold War when the United States of America led the West, and the East controlled by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, this was indeed a great challenge which Awolowo and Akintola failed to resolve.

However, the crisis brew open at the party’s Annual National Congress held on 2nd February, 1962 in Jos, when the Premier of the Western Region, Akintola and a few of his ministers failed to attend. The party broke into two factions, Chief Akintola and others having charged with anti party activities was advised to resign which he refused to and was consequently sacked by the Governor of the Region, Oba Adesoji Aderemi and replaced by Alhaji Dauda Adegbenro as the new Premier. Chief Akintola did not stop there, he went to court to challenge his removal as the Premier of Western Region.

When the newly appointed Premier convened the meeting of the House of Assembly, fracas broke out and the mace, a symbol of authority was destroyed. Thereafter, the police was called to maintain order and lock up the House of Assembly. Violence ensued between the two factions (Awolowo and Akintola’s loyalists) and there was widespread killings and burning of houses. The federal government, for the first time in the history of the provisions of the constitution invoked the emergency powers and declared a state of emergency in the Western Region. By the time the state of emergency was lifted after six months, Chief Awolowo, other Action Group leaders and their aides were jailed for treason.

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After the collapse of Action Group, AG, Chief Akintola later formed the Nigerian National Democratic Party, NNDP. It should be noted that the crisis weakened the power of the opposition in the House of Representatives and made mockery of the parliamentary system of government. This portends that our political leaders cannot tolerate the opposing views of their colleagues. This crisis led to series of events and subsequently in the country before the military took over in 1966.



‘No informed mind would celebrate Makinde over NUC’S ceding of LAUTECH to Oyo’ – APC



The All Progressives Congress in Oyo state has faulted state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over an alleged shameless attempt to mislead the public on the decision of the National University Commission (NUC) to cede the full control of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso to Oyo state government.

The NUC, had on Friday, announced that the joint ownership of the 30 year-old Ivory Tower had ceased to be following a mutual agreement between the two states who were hitherto responsible for its funding and management.

It is recalled that the University was founded by the military government of the old Oyo state in 1990 while Osun state was carved out of Oyo in 1991 but the Institution was not among the assets shared between the two states as at that time.

Meanwhile, agitation for ceding of the University to Oyo state began to gain momentum from a section of the state when Osun state established its own state University in December 2006 and the then administration of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola made a multi campus institution. The call was heightened recently when funding became an issue for the Institution even though governments of the two owner states blamed poor utilization of resources by the school management for this.

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In a statement issued at the weekend and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, Oyo APC described the NUC’s proclamation as a welcome development even as the party cautioned that “it ought not to be celebrated by any reasonable person, group or government in view of its unpleasant implications which could be understood by only discerning minds.

“We received the news from the NUC with mixed feelings; on one hand, it could address the issues of buck passing and under funding of the great academic institution but on the other hand, the development underscore the fact that a lot still has to be done to entrench unity, love and brotherliness among the peoples of Oyo and Osun states who have just demonstrated lack of trust and cooperation amongst them over this LAUTECH issue.

“As a matter of fact, Gov. Makinde or Oyo PDP did nothing to actualize the sole ownership desire as what happened last Friday was the completion of a process started by a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala whose people in Ogbomoso pressurized to pursue the goal for obvious reasons. Late Senator Abiola Ajimobi who governed the state between 2011 and 2019 could not have toed the same line because he probably felt it was reasonable for LAUTECH to remain a joint heritage of Oyo and Osun states.

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“Meanwhile, it is a height of insincerity and immorality for Gov. Makinde and his lackeys to embark on any celebration over the termination of joint ownership of LAUTECH between the two brother states during his own time. And if anything, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun state deserves kudos for being magnanimous enough to let go since there are no indication that Oyo state government paid any compensation for taking what is seemingly a greater share from the facilities.

“A snap check with NUC would reveal that Makinde did nothing concrete or special to claim the University from Osun as what essentially worked in favour of the Pacesetters state was the location of the University on its soil in Ogbomoso while Osun also claimed the Teaching Hospital located in its own state capital – Osogbo. We, therefore, challenge Gov. Makinde to make public his strategy deployed to defeat Osun state in the last 18 months as he now claims through his bootlickers.

“It is worthy of note that Gov. Makinde would only make a hero if he could replicate the magic which produced LAUTECH in its early days or the one that manifested the first Technical University in Nigeria. And as the whole world waits patiently for the aftermath of the dramatic cutting of ties between two brother states, we urge Oyo state government to take full advantage of whatever opportunity available to them and ensure that the University does not suffer on account of fake promises which is the pastime of the current PDP administration”, APC submitted.

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Enough of lies, propaganda – Oyo APC UK caucus chair replies rebels, debunks sack rumour



Chairman, Oyo State Caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in  the  United Kingdom, Elder Kolawole Saidu has  dismissed  rumours of his purported sack by some members of the group, describing it as a misrepresentation of fact and efforts by some party members to instigate unnecessary  crisis.

Saidu also described the alleged sponsored  report as a deliberate smear campaign and a ploy by some excessively ambitious elements to tarnish his image and that of the party  ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The Caucus chairman added that those using his allegedly overstay in office  as a propaganda has only “joined us or became active recently after or in July this year”.

In a chat with newsmen on Thursday from the United Kingdom, Saidu advised that the orchestrated campaigns of calumny, cheap propaganda, outright falsehood and mundane attempt to malign the group and its executives will not benefit the sponsors and the party.

He disclosed that the rebels are desperate to hijack the leadership of the Party for  personal benefits; both in Nigeria and the UK.

In his words, “there is nothing bad if you do not believe in the leadership of a group. You can leave without rocking the boat as a man of conscience and gentleman instead acting deceitfully and embarrassing everyone on the social media using deliberate mistruth.

“Those we took with open arms as brothers who have never been active in the caucus before July this year are the one that have constituted themselves to a group that think they are superior to the rest of us flouting the constitution of the party in a very fragrant way making spurious allegations. I reached out to a number of them but they are recalcitrant and adamant to reasoning and have never offered any best way forward to the one I offered. It has be their way or never

“Social media cannot legitimise illegality. It will only embarrass the party and all of us”, the Chairman counseled.

Saidu continued, “Contrary to what our detractors are pedalling, I have never gone against my promise. I said election would take place and we all agreed way back in January this year.

“He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. The people who accused us of lack of transparency when the “rules of the game” of election was still being perfected two months to the election time are the same people who rushed to the social media perverting the constitution and arrogating power they do not have to themselves. What an irony!

“We will follow and defend the constitution in all we do. You do not become the Chairman of a group through the backdoor. You work for it and pay your dues as at when due and not engaging in “fire brigade” approach fuelled by inordinate ambition to destroy or rubbish what others have built over the years.”

“When you maligned or have to destroy the reputations of others to get to the top, be rest assured that there is law of retributive justice waiting for you as well.

“I want to assure you all that those who are causing mischief among us will be identified and dealt with based on the Party’s constitutional provisions for anti-party activities. No one begs anyone to belong to the party. If you can not respect the rules, be decent enough to leave without causing disaffection”.

The Chairman, however assured that the constituted electoral body will soon come out with their guidelines which will strictly be informed by the provisions of the party’s constitution, maintaining that there would be no bending of rules or provisions of the constitution to suit the whims and caprices of anyone in the name of peace.

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“The Party Chairman in Nigeria has advised that we should follow the  constitution and ensure that we carry along party echelons both in the UK here and Nigeria”, Saidu submitted.

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Oyo APC group to Makinde : Don’t divert attention from your govt’s monumental corruption



The Integrity Group, a group within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, on Monday advised the state gaffer, Engr. Seyi Makinde not to divert attention from the endemic corruption in his government with the news of investigating the construction of the Oba Akinbiyi High School in Ibadan.

Integrity group also called  on the people of the state not to be deceived by the ploy of Governor Makinde to divert attention from the massive corruption uncovered in his government.

Contained in a statement issued in Ibadan, the state capital  and made available to newsmen by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Ajibola Adewale, the group described the news of the school as a fraudulent attempt to divert attention from the uncovering of monumental corruption in the Seyi Makinde – led government by the Independent Corruption and other practices Commission (ICPC).

Ajibola in the statement also called attention to the arrest of four local government chairmen in the state who were arrested and indicted for leasing government tractors at N80,000 per day without remitting the proceeds to the account of the government.

The statement read, “We have it on good authority that the four arrested chairmen are not alone in this fraud. Many other local government chairmen are involved. The chairmen reportedly resorted to such act of corruption because the Seyi Makinde Administration refuses to release federal allocation meant for the local councils to them.

“We call on the ICPC and EFCC to beam its searchlight on other councils to uncover the monumental fraud going on in the councils under the watch of Seyi Makinde

“We also implore them to beam their searchlight on the federal allocation to the local councils since May 2019 to establish the feracity of claims that it has become a slush fund in the hands of the Makinde government.

The statement continued, “While we are not making a defence for the past administration which is duty-bound to defend itself in the spirit of accountability, the timing of the Makinde government’s sudden discovery about Oba Akinbiyi High Sxhool is not only suspicious but confirms the neophite strategy of the government to always attempt to play kn the intelligence of the people of Oyo State.

“This is more so when Makinde had commissioned the same school as part of the achievements of his 100 days in office.Did the government not inspect the school to certify that is was in good condition before commissioning it?”, the group questioned.

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