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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

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Tribute to Baba Omojola

foremost patriot and activist of the socialist bent, Baba Oluwide Omojola, died lately at the age of 75 years in Akure, the Ondo State capital. Reports said he had presented a paper at the Akure Town Hall Meeting, but slumped and died later in his hotel room shortly after the outing. In other words, Baba Omojola died in active service, doing what he knew how to do best - proffering solutions to the Nigerian dilemma. The town hall meeting he attended in Akure before he was snatched by the cold hands of death was organised by the Presidential Ad Hoc Committee on National Conference. Born on July 13, 1938 and named Adewale Babarinde Omojola Ajibola, the veteran activist was better known as Baba (Oluwide) Omojola locally and internationally. He was educated at Ilesa Grammar School, Osun State (1952 - 1956); London School of Economics, where he distinguished himself with a First-Class degree in Economics (1958 - 1961); and Central School of Planning and Statistics, Poland (1969 - 1970). Baba Omojola enjoyed the working relationship of such eminent international figures as Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader, and Che Guevara, a leader of the Cuban Communist Movement, among others. He featured in African Liberation struggles in Algeria, Congo-Zaire and Southern Africa. He worked closely with Ahmed Ben Bella, the first President of Algeria after the defeat of French colonialism; as well as Winnie Mandela in the anti-apartheid era. Former Ghanaian President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah; and Pa Michael Imoudu, the first President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), equally enjoyed his services as a revolutionary teacher, political and labour activist. He was venerated as a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple of England (1962); Fellow of the Royal Economic Society of Eng-

land (1963); Research Fellow of the United Nations Research Institute for Developing Countries (1969); Member of the Economic Commission for AfroAsian Peoples Solidarity Organization, Cairo (1970); Consultant/Specialist of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa (1975), and a life member of the Nigerian Economic Society since 1984. He was listed in the Data Bank of Social Scientists as a member of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Dakar, Senegal, 1983. Indeed, the renowned economist was rated among the 99 best economists in the world. In the Nigerian social movement and activism community, Baba Omo-

His death should spur all patriots to be more committed to achieving a fair, equitable and balanced polity jola was a critical, yet quiet organiser and strategist at different levels. These include the erstwhile Movement for Popular Democracy (MPD); Peoples Redemption Party (PRP); Socialist Revolutionary Vanguard (SRV); National Consultative Forum (NCF); which organised the 1990 aborted national conference under the leadership of the late Mr. Alao Aka-Bashorun, a renowned lawyer. He was a prominent member of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which gave military dictatorship in the country a good fight; All Nigerian Socialist Alliance (ANSA); Pro-National Conference Organisations (PRONACO); Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and June 12 Movement. Besides, Baba Omojola was an archivist and editor of several journals on

popular struggle. He was the custodian of the most extensive materials on labour struggle and social movement in Nigeria. He was the author of ‘Imoudu Biography, a Political History of Nigeria, 1939-50’, for example. Baba Omojola died as the Chairman of Eco-consultants (Oversees) Limited, an integrated economic, industrial engineering and environment-based outfit, which he established in 1988. He was a political adviser to the defunct Peoples Redemption Party-led Kano State government of the late Abubakar Rimi (1979-83). Baba Omojola’s strategic maxim of ‘working on two legs’ while remaining focused on the socialist transformation of the society led him into engagement with diverse peoples and organisations in Nigeria and overseas. In Nigeria, he worked with nationalists and patriots of different generations. Some of them include Wahab Goodluck, Dapo Fatogun, Eskor Toyo, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Aminu Kano, Obafemi Awolowo, Gambo Sawaba, Sam Ikoku, Mukwugo Okoye, Anthony Enahoro and ME Kolagbodi. Others were Ola Oni, Balarabe Musa, General KKM Kassonghor, Abayomi Ferreira, MT Akobo, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Alfred Ilenre, Gani Fawehinmi, Beko Ransome Kuti and Ambassador Olu Otunla, to mention but a few. Baba Omojola lived a fulfilled family life. He was married with children. Shortly after his demise, reports said Baba Omojola’s presentation at the Akure meeting contained the draft of PRONACO’s ‘Peoples Constitution’ adopted in 2007 under the leadership of the late Chief Anthony Enahoro. We think the document would be of immense benefit to the proposed National Conference. His death should spur all patriots to be more committed to achieving a fair, equitable and balanced polity. They should, in addition, insist on a referendum to ratify the outcome of the planned conference.

Reminiscences NOVEMBER 3 IN HISTORY 1957: Dog launched in Space

A dog was launched into orbit as the first animal in space on board Sputnik 2, a Russian spacecraft, and became the first living animal to enter the Earth’s orbit.

1960: Camerounian opposition leader murdered

Felix Mounie, the Cameroun opposition leader, was assassinated in Geneva.

1976: Jimmy Carter becomes president

Democrat Jimmy Carter won the US presidential election, defeating President Ford with his “trust me” slogan.

1986: Joaquim Chissano succeeds Samora Machel

Joaquim Chissano was chosen to succeed Samora Machel who was killed in a plane crash in South Africa as President of Mozambique.

1990: Mozambique becomes Republic of Mozambique

People’s Republic of Mozambique became the Republic of Mozambique after a unanimous vote by the People’s Assembly.

2004: Bush wins a second term

George W. Bush was elected president of the United States for a second term of office.

2007: Pakistani President suspends constitution Hundreds of government opponents were thrown into jail after imposition of martial law, suspension of the constitution and dismissal of most of the Supreme Court justices by President, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. 2011: Cuba allows private home sales

The Cuban government passed a law that allows citizens and permanent residents to buy and sell homes privately for the first time since 1959, marking an important milestone in free-market reform.

2012: Pakistan bomb attack kills politician

A bomb attack in Buner, Pakistan, killed a local anti-Taliban politician and three guards. Police stated that a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the politician’s vehicle.

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