Samuel Ladoke Akintola: In The Eyes Of History By Hon. Femi Kehinde ESQ

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Femi Kehinde’s Samuel Ladoke Akintola: A Biography and Postscript is a credible addition to the historical reconstruction of that “fierce and howling storms,” again apology to Mr. Awolowo. The storm swept off peace from the prosperous and hitherto peaceful Western Region and eventually became the fire that burnt into ashes Nigeria’s first, and I dare say, only successful practice of an appropriate system of governance fit for her plural peoples – federalism.

Divided into nineteen chapters, the book, which apparently set out to be a biography of one of the most misunderstood, yet most formidable politician in the history of Nigeria, unwittingly became the rendition of the history of Nigeria’s immediate post-colonial government and the most incendiary political turmoil that engulfed Nigeria shortly after the lowering of the Union Jack. Scholars have posited that the years between 1962 and 1966 could unarguably be said to be the most politically tumultuous for the Western Region. Nigeria eventually partook of the turmoil, with the overthrow of the First Republic by the military and since then, in the words of John Keats, things have fallen apart for the country as the centre has found it difficult to hold.

The 19 chapters of the book are divided into themes like, the growing up years of the young Ladoke, Ogbomosoland, the people and society, Mr. Akintola as teacher and youth activist, his early political career, his voyage into politics and sojourn at the federal parliament, his time as Premier, the crisis in the Western Region, among others.
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