Saturday, 16 November 2013

Tribute: “Baba Omojola Was A Constant Shining Light”----Fayemi

Late Omojola

Baba Oluwide Omojola began his campaign for a better Nigeria at an early age. It was as if he inherited the tradition of the fight for justice. His great grandfather was an icon of the Ijaye war of liberation. His own father who was born on the last day of the Yoruba civil war on 23rd September 1886, inherited the baton, this time, using the Holy book in the difficult period of faith renaissance, a battle he took to the Northern parts of the country and became Canon Emeritus of the Diocese of Ibadan, between 1954 and 1986.

Baba has Yoruba blood running in all his veins and arteries, he has Abeokuta tap roots, Ijesa roots, Oyo descendancy, Osogbo links and Ijaye ancestry, all now spread in about four Yoruba states. Baba attended the famous London School of Economics. He also studied in Warsaw, Poland. In spite of his attending elite schools, Baba retreated to the working people which he took as a permanent constituency.

He lived an accomplished life as a pro-democracy activist and prominent socio-economic theorist whose greatest strength was the power of praxis. He was an emissary between the late Kwame Nkrumah and Chief  Awolowo. He was an undercover agent of the revolutionary genre. He mobilised the working class for a revolution of the mind. He worked in Kano and Kaduna, with the late Mallam Aminu Kano, where the various factories were his constituencies. His greatest asset was that he worked but never wanted to be known. He was a man of great humility and simplicity that was warm and convivial with everyone he came across regardless of their estate.

Baba Omojola was a constant shining light through the darkest and most difficult  of our nation’s socio-political development. He was a consistent and courageous advocate for an egalitarian society based on the principles of justice and equity. As an intellectual and thoroughbred progressive thinker, he understood the times and was known to always speak carefully articulated words in season that addressed the core of our nation’s problems. His contributions to national discourse were from an admixture of intellectual clarity and patriotism. He was in a class of his own.

The body of work of this great revolutionary would remain evergreen and relevant to our quest for a functional society for a long time to come. Our great nation would forever remain indebted to him particularly for his scholarly work in bequeathing to the world the well-researched biography of the late number one Labour leader, Pa Michael Imoudu, entitled, The Imoudu Biography – A Political History of Nigeria 1939 – 1950.

It is sad indeed that Baba Omojola has exited this realm at a crucial point in our history, when his good work has pushed our nation to the precipice of positive change. His last outings were in the realm of the clamour for Sovereign National Conference, (SNC) which he started with the late Aka Bashorun, his colleague and comrade from his days at the London School of Economics. Baba was a stormy petrel in the national mobilisation of the Pro-National Conference, PRONACO. He contributed immensely to the living pillars on which PRONACO stands. At his old age, he took part in the practical rallies held in Lagos and Port Harcourt.

He would be greatly missed.

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