Awolowo: Centennial Celebrations

Speech by Mama, Chief Mrs. H.I.D Awolowo


It gives me great joy to welcome you all, once again, to this historic occassion, the launching of centenary Celebrationss in honour of my dear husband, Chief Ọbafẹmi Awolọwọ.

I am particularly happy and thank God for the grace that has made it possible for me to share these Celebrationss with you.

As Papa’s companion and confidante for almost fifty years, many of which were devoted to his service and the common good, I feel gratified that our labours and sacrifices have not been in vain.

I say this because of the obvious affection with which he is held today, though he is no longer with us and the unprecedented care and love that I have enjoyed from so many of you since his departure.

Almost 22 years after he left us, hardly a day goes by without glowing reference to Papa and his legacies. I note with satisfaction the excitement which the announcement of the year-long Celebrations of his centenary has generated. And the number and calibre of those present here today confirms that for many Papa remains special.

My heart sings when I see that his philosophy and ideals have remained relevant till today. Yet, my heart also tells me that much more needs to be done to move his vision forward.

I accept that today’s challenges of high office may be different but I also believe that the time-honoured goals of dedicated service to mankind remain constant through the ages.

I congratulate those in office who are trying their best to emulate Papa and leave lasting footprints on the sands of time. May God continue to guide you and grant you success.

Finally, my charge to every Nigerian today is this: you are inheritors of a worthy legacy. Use it wisely and in such a manner that you will, in turn, bequeath an equally worthy legacy to your children and generations yet unborn.

My prayer is that God in His infinite mercy will make you wise and strong so that you may be used to achieve His good purposes for this great country Nigeria.

© Obafemi Awolowo Foundation. All rights reserved. 2012.
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