A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, has said the late Premier of Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo had a great influence in his life, adding that he never intended to portray the late sage in a bad light.
He had described Awolowo someone who was rigid and had an unforgiving nature, which attracted a fierce backlash on social media.
Chidoka has, however, stated in a release by his Media Assistant, Ikechukwu Okafor, that Awolowo was a great influence in his life.
The former minister stated that he admired the late premier, while describing him as a fine writer and a courageous man who modernised campaigning in Nigeria.
The release partly reads, “The post which aimed to encourage and reawaken the youths interest in history was never in any way intended to portray Awolowo in the manner so published.
“The headline in its entirety was a misrepresentation of the character of Awolowo as portrayed by Chidoka in his post, where he noted that he admired the late premier, while describing him as a fine writer and a courageous man who modernised campaigning in Nigeria.
“The former Minister went on to say that Awolowo was a great influence in his life.”
Meanwhile, Chidoka had said in his Facebook post that although he admired the late Premier of Western Region, he was too rigid and had an unforgiving nature.
Chidoka, who is currently the Special Adviser on Strategy and External Engagements to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, also said he agreed with his late father that Awolowo introduced ethnic politics into Nigeria.
“Still on the box from my past. I found three books I bought between 1998 and 1999. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a great influence in my life.
“My first conflict with my father was his disagreement with me over my choice of Awo as a role model. He told me what he did during the war against the Igbos and his introduction of ethnic politics in Nigeria. I agree with him on both counts but yet I still admired the man.
“He modernised campaigning in Nigeria, but most importantly, he wrote copiously. He was a reader and a writer. Awo was astounding in his courage. I love his turn of phrases. He wrote such beautiful lines like ‘my jewel of inestimable value’. His love of law and its practice. Reading his books gave very good insight into the first republic.
“Awo had his issues; he was rigid, unforgiving, and like his contemporaries, used unorthodox mechanism for party funding that has continued to plague Nigeria to this day. While Coker Commission of Inquiry was a witch-hunt, the facts were glaring and Awo acknowledged this much in the book Travails of Democracy pg 383 to 390,” Chidoka had written.