Writer Odia Ofeimun Rates Awolowo Over Mandela


Nigerian Poet, writer and social critic, Odia Ofeimun
discusses Nelson Mandela’s essay to Nigeria. He dismisses the light in which
Mandela portrayed Nigeria as rather the true state of South Africa.
Matching Nigerian example of Mandela, Ofeimun chooses Late
Chief Obafemi Awolowo above the anti-apartheid legend, stating that Awolowo’s
philosophical qualities were transcendental. Praising Mandela, Ofeimun also
matched Kwame Nkruma as another icon up to the bill.
On Awolowo’s role in the Nigerian civil war, Ofeimun says
Awolowo’s action was the only expedient step in the war situation, adding that
the Biafrans were mostly responsible for the blockade that killed children
during the war.
Part of what he said was;

“I am too much of an Awolowo man not to see that the process
of moving into independence in South Africa and in Nigeria followed exactly the
same pattern. It was based on a negotiated settlement. The liberation struggle
did not create the end of apartheid. It was a negotiation and Nigerians
negotiated exactly the way Mandela negotiated.
You can hype it if you like, but the pattern was exactly the
same. You move from one meeting to the other, discussing politics and
economics, and they successfully convinced Mandela to buy the pig in a poke of
an economy and they also successfully succeeded in convincing Nigerians to buy
the pig in a poke of an economy.
The only man in Nigeria, who stood up against it, was
(Obafemi) Awolowo. He was quickly jailed and all his men scattered across the
prisons in Nigeria. Some driven abroad and the educational system that he had
put in place was smashed.”

Source: SaharaTv

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