*His contemporaries in Awo’s political camp listed
By Olajide Fashikun
I recall I was a reporter with ThisDay newspapers in Ilorin in 2000 when Second Republic Senate leader, Dr. Abubakar Olushola Saraki, lashed out at the followers of the late political sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as well as the six governors of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) controlled states for abandoning one of the disciples of the Awolowo political school, Pa Josiah Sunday Olawoyin, even in death.
Pa Olawoyin, a foremost Awoist since the defunct Action Group (AG) days died on Tuesday 10th October 2000 at the age of 75 from a severe Parkinson disease. Saraki was very livid with rage how the Asiwaju of Offa’s political could not rise to support one of their ilks when he needed them most.
Politically, they do not belong to the same camp. They belong to diverse opposite political ideology but in sickness, the Turaki of Ilorin had to intervene twice before the leader of the opposition died. While addressing the media in his Iloffa road home, he had to drop some tears, got a white handkerchief, cleaned his cheeks, spoke glowingly about the “kind hearted politician” and seared his ilks for abandoning their own.
In the colonial era: There was the story of Chief Josiah Olawoyin, who later became one of Action Group’s leaders. Olawoyin because of his nationalist background, was very radical and he upset Alhaji Ahmadu Bello many times. So during one of the constitutional conferences at Lancaster House, the Sokoto aristocrat reported Chief Olawoyin to Chief Awolowo.
Chief Awolowo had to call Olawoyin in the presence of Ahmadu Bello and queried, “why don’t you respect the prince? Olawoyin immediately apologised and stooped to conform.
Chief Josiah Olawoyin was also charged for treason in the defence of the Yoruba people. He was picked up and jailed by the northerners for fighting for the right of the Yoruba people.
His political contemporaries: Some of his most prominent contemporaries and followers of Chief J. O. Awolowo include Chief Michael Adedapo Omisade, Alhaji Agniyu Dawodu, Chief Samuel Taiwo Oredein, Chief Ayo Akinsanya, Chief Victor Olabisi Onabanjo, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Cornelius Adebayo and Chief Ayo Opadokun.
Others include Chief Olusegun Osoba, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Richard Babalola, Mr Samuel Akanbi Onitiri, Chief Adeyiga Akinsanya, Chief Samuel Adesanya Otubanjo and Simeon Oyeshile.
The rest include Chief Josiah Oladiran Lawanson, Chief Muri Badmos, Joshua Olatunde Akinwopo, Chief Alex Tunde Amuwo, Chief James Olubunmi Aluko, Chief Alfred Ogbeyiwa Rewane, Chief Gabby Sasore and Dr Oladipo Akinwunmi Maja.