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Awolowo, Victim Of His Ambition To Make Difference – Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has said that the late Premier of Western Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo, was a victim of his ambition to make a difference in the country.

President Tinubu made this remark on Wednesday at the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership event in Lagos.

Tinubu, represented by his Vice, Kashim Shettima, said the principles of Awolowo have withstood the tests of time and geography, describing the late Awolowo as a compass and guiding light for several generations of leaders.

He said: “The man in whose memory we gather here today serves as a compass for each of us and a guiding light for several generations of leaders. His principles have withstood the tests of time and geography.

“He stands as a testament to the resilience of his convictions. Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s life also provides a compelling narrative for every student of leadership—an inspiration that continues to resonate across our community, our nation, and the global stage. Therefore, I am honoured to be invited to yet another avenue to reassure ourselves of his essence.

“To comprehend Chief Awolowo’s teachings, we must confront the obscured reality of leadership. The initial trial for every leader lies in overcoming the conspiracies of mischief-makers, sceptics, and saboteurs. For the great sage from Ikenne, his enduring impact persists despite revisionist efforts.


“Time sifts through biases and lies, and through hidden agendas and propaganda. Time delivers to us the naked truth that defines the tough decisions and sacrifices every sincere leader must make to create a difference

“But, in all we do, we must always find strength in the belief of those who trust the process, those who give us the benefit of the doubt. There is no greater honour than the privilege to lead one’s people, and assuming a position of leadership during times of turbulence is the ultimate test of our mettle as leaders.

“It is in these moments of uncertainty that true character and capability come to the forefront. While the immediate judgment may be rendered by the people we either impress or displease, the long-term verdict is carved by time, the passage of time.

“In his time, Chief Awolowo fought both within and outside his political party. He faced a hostile opposition and was pushed hard to the extent of finding himself behind bars, a victim of his ambition to make a difference. With time, even his harshest critics came to realize the futility of undermining him.

He stood out even in death because of his refusal to compromise his convictions. He fought until his very last days in defence of democracy in Nigeria, and these are the examples that make him a hero of the nation.”

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