Samuel Ladoke Akintola: A betrayal? By Gbenga Ajani

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Anytime i read or hear people talking about how Akintola betrayed Awolowo i am always sad because that is one of the crisis responsible for disunity in yorubaland and i always curse those that killed Chief Ladoke Akintola, the last premier of the Western Region, they did not do well, because if Akintol was not killed, there would have been reconciliation and between the warring factions.

I am sure majority if not all of those that perpetrated in the senseless killing would have died now because the unjust murder of Nigerian leaders was nothing but a wasteful effort .

Yes wasteful because their efforts the senseless killing did not only escalated crisis in Yorubaland and the nation at large it also marks the begining of millitary interregnum in nigeria political system and governanve at at sams time set the country retgroessing mode.

I was not born when Ladoke Akintola , Sardauna of Sokoto and others were killed, but hisorical record put it that S.L.Akintola was killed in the prime of his life just as Ahmadu Bello and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first democratically-elected leader and Prime Minister were killed in their prime and was their sins they want to serve their father’s land they dont want to stand akimbo and be asking stupid question about why what but they laid down theiir lives and blod for Nation to grow.

As at the Akintola was killed on 15th January 1966, obviously the late premier was no longer on the good book of many people in the Western region, the unfounded information about him by Awolowo’s supporter against him was spreading like a wild fire in the harmattan, but he couldnt defend himself as expected because nobody would listen to him most brains have been colonized by Awoism, whom they consider as messiah.

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Many scholars and historiana concludes that the causes of the rift are between Awolowo and Akintola was the outcome of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s reluctance to hand over to Ladoke Akintola as Premier of Western Nigeria following the former’s resolve to contest the 1959 federal elections into the Central Legislature; Akintola’s desire to be the de jure Premier of Western Nigeria; his pointed opposition to the Action Group’s adoption of a socialist ideology on the eve of independence. the question if Awolowo was in Akintola’s shoe would he have accepted that ?

The so called ‘Coca-Cola War’ between Mama Faderera Akintola and Chief Hanna Dideolu Awolowo was another major issuw that escalated the fued, if trully the largese is for the office of premier’s wife, the most honourabke thing expected of Mama HID is to trasfer it to Faderera rather than holding on to it till the matter got escalated, If you are in Faderera Akintola’d show , would you have accepted that treatment?

Historical sources reveals that In 1961 Samuel Akintola went on an economic mission to Europe with men of his choice againt the nominations Chief Awolowo for the mission substituted Obafemi Awolowo tagged the incident disrespecting but allowed it to pass by without drawing members of the party into a fight. After the mission nominees scuffle, the two leaders got into another disagreement when Samuel Akintola dismissed the old board members in Western Nigeria’s public corporations like the printing corporations, the housing corporation, the radio and tv corporation, and replaced them with his own nominees.

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As the premier and leader of the Action Group’s parliamentary, Samuel Akintola felt he has the right to do what he did. Another factor that caused the 1962 Action Group crises was the difference in ideology. A faction of the Action Group suggested that the party should drop its ideology of democratic socialism which called for the introduction of mixed economic policies while another faction insisted it should be retained?

Akintola’s interface with the Northern People’s Congress, NPC was another source of the crisis which eventually consumed him. According to Wikipedia Akintola disagreed with Awolowo’s decision not to join the coalition government. Akintola felt the Yoruba people of the West were losing their pre-eminent position in business, university and administration in Nigeria to the Igbo people of the East simply because the Igbo-controlled NCNC had joined the government and the AG had not. He also opposed the party’s decision to adopt democratic socialism as its ideology, preferring a more conservative stance, The decision which was rejected by Awolowo’s supporters is what the Awoist are now projecting,

I am quite sure that there would be objections to my view about how Ladoke Akintola was pushed to the wall before reacted and some people says he betrayed Awolowo, he betrayed Yorubaland but with the above explanation Akintola did not betrayed Awolowo, neither did he betray the AG but he is human being with blood and water running his his veins, he has his right and entitle to his actions and inactions. if you are in his show would you have been subjected yourself to a leader who undermine your status and infringe on your right? lets put the record straight, Akintola did not betray anybody.

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Ajani writes from Osogbo


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