Family members, friends and admirers of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo Wednesday gathered at his residence in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Awolowo, who was born on March 6, 1906, died on May 9, 1987.
Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) respectively all paid tributes to Awolowo, while former Chief of General Staff, Gen. Oladipo Diya (rtd); Chief Segun Oni, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Oba Sijuwade Okunade, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Mrs Kemi Mimiko and Chief Edwin Clark were equally in attendance.
Speaking at the 25th Remembrance and Patronal anniversary of Awolowo, Bishop of Lagos West, Anglican Diocese, Rev. Peter Adebiyi, said it was saddening that the Yoruba nation could not agree 25 years after the death of Awolowo, who was a true leader of the Yoruba nation.
Adebiyi charged Yoruba leaders in the country to follow the legacy Awolowo had provided by positively impacting on the lives of their people.
The cleric lamented that the Yoruba nation could still not agree on a leader 25 years after the death of Awolowo, saying politicians from the region must close ranks.
“Yoruba people, after the death of Awolowo, have not agreed to bring out who the leader of Yoruba nation should be. Politicians have ceased to seek the good of the people and are now concerned with the politics of the stomach,” he said. He said the Yoruba nation, as the largest ethnic group in the country, remained very weak and incoherent.
“The Yoruba nation is one big family. If a house is divided against itself, that house can never stand. Who shall we call upon to re-unite the Yoruba family?
“We have had 25 years of wastages, back-biting, acrimony, bitterness and self-deceit. Even our natural (traditional) rulers have taken sides. “There is nothing wrong for Yoruba political leaders to belong to different political parties. Why do we want to destroy the Yoruba nation?” Adebiyi said.
He urged former president Olusegun Obasanjo, and former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to use their leadership disposition to move the South-west forward.
“Who shall we call upon to lead the Yoruba nation? Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is a formidable leader of the Yoruba. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu can also lead the Yoruba nation. You may not agree with me,” he said.
According to him, “Yoruba people after the death of Awolowo have not agreed to bring out who the leader of Yourba nation should be.
“Politicians have seized to seek the good of the people and are now concerned with the politics of the stomach.”
“Yoruba nation, as the largest ethnic group in the country, remained very weak and incoherent,” adding that other regions had been profiting from the disunity among the Yoruba people because they knew that the strength of the Yoruba lies in unity as was experienced during Awolowo leadership.
On his part, Tinubu described Awolowo as a courageous, trustworthy and forthright leader during his life time. Tinubu said the legacy that the late sage left behind would continue to speak for him.
Also speaking, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State said Awolowo would continue to live in the minds of the Yorubas for his contribution to the unity of the race as well as the country as whole.