ALL things being well, the remains of Engineer Olu Awoyinfa (my dearest Egbon) will be conveyed to mother earth today at Ilesa (his hometown). Bros Olu, as we used to call him, was a good man. He was very kind and loving. It is difficult to forget his life and times. He died at a time when I was receiving treatment at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Ile-Ife.When the news of Awoyinfa’s death was broken to me at Ife, I wept like a small baby. I cried not because Engineer OluAwoyinfa was not old enough to die. I did so because I knew, we would never see him again.
I also knew that it would be difficult for me to visit his wife (Bimbola) and family as a result of my own health story. It was only about ten days ago when a kind Nigerian who knew my closeness to Engineer OluAwoyinfa informed me of the date of his burial at Ilesa. I will miss Egbon until I equally answer the supreme call. Engineer OluAwoyinfa attended Ilesa Grammar School for his secondary school education. His classmates included the late Revolutionary KanmiIsholaOsobu, the late Professor Abiola Ojo of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Yaba, Uncle ‘Yinka Fayokun and others. Awoyinfa later went abroad to read for his engineering degrees. He returned to Nigeria to work as an engineer of the Shell Petroleum Company. He retired from there to establish a private Engineering company in Lagos. He managed the company until his death.
He was hard working and industrious. He was a keen political activist who never adorned his body with the toga of a field politician. He was a journalist who wrote a newspaper column with a pen name that he adopted from one of the Hausa Fulani states of Nigeria. His pen name was radical and his messages were clear and unambiguous. He preached the unity of Nigeria and never at anytime surrendered himself to the rantings of tribal jingoists Egbon was very open in his ways. He spoke the truth to all those who wanted to know the truth.
The son of Papa ‘Ologba reside in Ilesa” (his father was a farmer and a decent Christian). Bros Olu never pleaded guilty to infamy and narrow patriotism. I remember too well now that when I was arrested and detained by the Yakabu Gowon Military regime in 1974, it was at Egbon’s house along Ikorodu Road, Lagos that I had kept the night before being moved to the Force headquarters at Obalende Lagos the next day. The late M.D. Yussuf had sen Bros Kanmi Osobu to inform me that though my colleagues and I had published the radical Lagoon Echo magazine, we should expect echoes from the Lagoon from the government.
When Bros Osobu could not get me at my Sura Mogaji residence in Lagos, he had to come to Engineer OluAwoyinfa’s house where he “rightly” guessed I would be. The next day, I became a material for force Headquarters Obalende Lagos after being arrested inside my office at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba.
When I went for my 21-month detention in January 1984 under the then General Muhammadu Buhari regime, Awoyinfa never left the company of my family. He adequately supplied my wife and children with financial assistance. I will never forget his kind gestures to my family. Egbon Olu Awoyinfa is gone! We will sing his name until we too answer the supreme call!! Bros Olu Awoyinfa, Good-Night!!!
We will continue with the serialization of this book next week and you will never want to push the book aside.
God bless you all!
Senator Ayo Fasanmi is 92
On Wednesday 27 Senator (just two days ago) our own Senator Ayo Fasanmiturned 92. Senator Ayo Fasanmi has always enjoyed the grace and mercy of God. A most loyal supporter of the late Avatar Papa ObafemiAwolowo, Senator Ayo Fasanmi has never deviated from the true Awoist path for all his life. I have written countless articles on this great Nigerian of history who is second to none in his campaign and advocacy for a corrupt free Nigeria.
His twin brother friend, the late Marxist Socialist crusader Dr. TunjiOtegbeye died some years ago. They both attended Government College Ibadan for their Secondary education. They were both involved in the activities of the Nigerian Youth Congress that had participated actively in the struggle for Nigeria’s Independence, Senator Ayo Fasanmi was a Pharmacist by profession and I still remember his shop at Fagbewesa Street, Oshogbo in Osun State.
At 92, Senator Ayo Fasanmi still remains a handsome African Revolutionary who ardently believes that in truth there is justice and in justice there is the truth.
Though an Ekiti man by birth, Senator Fasanmi has always been a Pan Nigerian activist who believes that everything must be done to maintain and sustain the oneness of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
I have said it without number that it is a tragic pity that successive governments in Nigeria have found it difficult to adequately honor this great Nigerian. It is astonishing that many Nigerians without the type of credentials of Senator Ayo Fasanmi have been honoured with OFR, CFR, etc. why must we allow this to happen? I appeal to the present government headed by President MohammaduBuhari to honour this modest Nigerian who is a committed Nigerian thorough and thorough.
We celebrate and rejoice with Senator Ayo Fasanmi on his attainment of the age of 92. He is a jolly good fellow, a patriot and a fervent nationalist. I will never stop adoring him.
Good luck to you Sir as we wish you many more years of useful service to Nigeria.
NEXT WEEK, we will continue to serialize the brilliant book Professor Wale Adebanwi has written on the late Mama H.I.D Awolowo. It is a book that must be read inside out by all those who have all the details of the politics of Papa ObafemiAwolowo during the first and second republics in Nigeria.
Mama Hannah IdowuDideoluAwolowo saw all the events of the times being by Papa Awolowo’s side. Mama has told the stories through the wonderful writing of Wale Adebanwi.
Professor Wale Adebanwi was at his finest and best in this book.