I am always too happy to write about people who inspire history. I am ever excited to write on people who will always be at the centre of history and epoch making events. Senator Ayo Fasanmi is definitely one of them. My readers will note that it was announced last week that today’s Political Panorama will be on Comrade Bari Adedeji Salau, who will burn 70 on October 10, 2016. We have decided to shift the focus on Comrade Bari Salau of Okun-Owa, near Ijebu-Ode, for another date soon. It will afford us the opportunity of bringing out available facts on a Nigerian who without doubt is one of the authorities on Papa Obafemi Awolowo’s life and times. We have nearly forgotten that a senior Awoist and a highly respected Nigerian politician of the Papa Obafemi Awolowo School (Senator Ayo Fasanmi) would have his birthday celebrated within the bracket days of the Bari Salau event. We assure our readers that details on Comrade Bari Salau will be released on this page within the next one month to justify the life and times of this man who knows a lot about the legend, Papa Awolowo himself. Every sentence pronounced on Bari Adedeji Salau is a sentence uttered on the fame of the glorious pages of Papa Awolow’s history.
And so too is the one we are doing now about Senator Fasanmi.
We write today about a Nigerian political leader who has done a lot to make Nigeria a great country for progressive people who believe that the poor people of Nigeria must be encouraged and supported to create a life of hope and meaning for themselves. Senator Fasanmi has remained for many years a political associate of the Sage – Papa Awo. He has campaigned with Awo’s name to the poor people of Nigeria. He has for many years been at the leadership of political parties founded by Awo to serve as vehicles of progressive change for Nigeria. Talk about the Action Group (AG) that was deeply involved in the nationalist struggles of the Papa Awolowo, Senator Fasanmi was there as a principal witness.
Talk of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) that was the political platform created by Papa Awo to dictate the politics of the Second Republic in Nigeria, Senator Fasanmi, was fully there equally as a witness. Mention the progressive politics of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Jomo Kayatta of Kenya, Leopold Sedar Senghor of Senegal, Awalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Modibo Keita of Mali, “Madiba” Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Seku Toure of Guinea and a host of others, Senator Ayo Fasanmi’s comments and recitations on the above political giants of Africa can never be pushed aside. I say it with pride today that Senator Fasanmi remains an effective link between the events of the past and present in Africa.
Senator Fasanmi was born 91 years ago at Iye in Ilejemeje area of Ekiti State. He became a revolutionary at Ilejemeje and established an unshakable Pan-Africanist life there. Senator Fasanmi attended Government College, Ibadan, where he met and embraced the friendship of his bosom friend, the late Dr. Tunji Otegbeye. They were political “Siamese” twins when Otegbeye was alive. They were inseparable in all they did as dedicated leaders of the African revolutionary movement.
A Nigerian, Dr. ‘Muyiwa Oladimeji from Orokiland, Osogbo, who also attended Government College, Ibadan (years after Fasanmi and Otegbeye), has also attested in writing about the progressiveness of these two illustrious sons of Africa. In Trade Unionism of the Socialist blend, Ayo Fansami and Tunji Otegbeye were simply inseparable. As Socialist politicians of the Papa Obafemi Awolowo blend, Ayo Fasanmi and Tunji Otegbeye were thoroughly united. Ayo Fasanmi and Tunji Otegbeye were great names in the progressive history of Nigeria and Africa. These men were simply great.
The 91st birthday of Senator Fasanmi will be specially marked this year with the celebration of a chieftaincy title conferred on him by the Oba of Ido-Osun Kingdom, the Obalufon. The title Asiwaju of Ido-Osun Kingdom was conferred on our own Senator Fasanmi on August 27, 2016, by the Obalufon himself.
The title was to honour Senator Fasanmi’s history as a progressive and militant fighter of the rights of the oppressed people of Nigeria for many of his years on earth.
On 27, September (few days from now) Senator Fasanmi will host at his residence in Osogbo, the Obalufon and many of his Chiefs in appreciation of his gratitude to them for the unique honour.
I have a little history with the Ido-Osun people. My first daughter, Gbonjubola (now Mrs. Gbonjubola Alao) was married to an Ido-Osun son, Mr. Biodun Alao, some years ago. Biodun’s parents from Ido-Osun live in Ibadan. I love my son-in-law and he has continued to let me know that he is very fond of his birth connections with Ido Osun. I hope, I will be able to attend the “Egbon” Ayo Fasanmi event on September 27 for the Ido-Osun people at Osogbo.
Though, an Ekiti by birth, Senator Fasanmi remains till today a name worth mentioning several times in Osogbo as a citizen of Oroki land in Osun State. He has stayed several years in Osogbo. Senator Fasanmi has a “Midas” touch. Anything he touches immediately becomes successful. He has been a result oriented pharmacist of Osogbo with a flourishing pharmaceutical shop at Fagbewesa Street in Osogbo. As a foremost fighter against corruption in Nigeria, Senator Fasanmi has used Osogbo as the launching pad of his crusade years ago. This great son of Africa means a lot to many people of Africa. He is today 91 and he will definitely be remembered as a successful and proud Nigerian.
I hope Senator Fasanmi’s many years of socialist struggle will continue to rank him as one of the most brilliant fighters of his generation.
May God continue to bless Senator Ayo Fasanmi as he turns 91 years on earth for he has been a jolly good fellow. I know Nigeria will eventually be able to plan how to honour this great man of history.
EBINO TOPSY – 0805-500-1735
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