Ajasin Memoirs and Memories is a life account of one of Nigeria’s Legendary leaders, Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin. He was a man of humble beginnings who scaled the hurdles of life to the Apex of his Chosen Career and Vocation. He achieved the feat through stubborn adherence to the fine principles of human dignity and action. Although he was constantly confronted with forces of social disharmony and political ‘Boil-Ups’, he calmly and decently did the battles and gallantly won the wars through the use of the most potent weapon of “Service to the Masses.” The book goes beyond the life history of Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin. It is about a people. It is a compendium of historal events of his time which generations of Nigerians will ever Cherish. This is a book that must not be Read but reverently studied by every Nigerian on all rungs of the Ladder of human endeavour.
As an Excellent Autobiography, it is Essential Ajasin:
“I am a descendant of one of the Obas that once reigned in Owo. His name was Oba Adedipe Elewuokun. My grandfather, Osula Olagbuji, was one of the children of the Oba. I lost my father in the year 1928, He died at about the age of 50 after falling off a walnut tree, the fruit of which he was trying to harvest. My mother, thus became a widow and remained so until she died in 1980 at the age of 98 years”
The men the Nation wants: – Morning Post Oct. 1966
All men of Goodwill will welcome the appointment of Michael Adekunle Ajasin as member of the Federal Advisory Council. A one time legislator, the school master from Owo is no doubt a man of high integrity, a man of impeccable character who will adorn one of the greatest chambers of the nation with sparkling lustre. He will certainly carry out his assignment with unparalleled sense of mission to the glory of the Nation as a whole. People of Ajasin’s Calibre are those the nation wants at this turbulent period in its history. If this Nation must survive, it must at this transition period look for new blood to give it guidance.”
He was a man of great humility and faith: The greatest I have learnt from my life is that we are tools in the hands of God and that he alone determines what to do with us, for what purpose and at what time. Our role in the matter is determined by our willingness to resolve to submit ourselves to the Will of God – M.A. Ajasin
During his life, Chief Ajasin had a number of honours conferred on him. He was conferred with the third highest honour of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in 1982 by President Shehu Shagari, a proud alma mater, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, made its distinguished alumnus as Doctor of Civil Laws (Honoris Causa); a grateful Ondo State University honoured itself by bestowing on its founder the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa): and an admiring Federal University of Technology, Akure recognized this great man’s worth with another Honorary Doctorate of Laws. He was a Honorary Fellow of Ondo State College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti.
He was also honoured with several chieftaincy titles, among which are: Asiwaju of Owo, Owosoyin of Ijero Ekiti, Adingbuwa of Ondo, and Obarimiyo of Akure.
Politics and Public Service
All his life, he was involved in political affairs of the people. Even from far away Sapele, he made his influence felt in the political affairs of Owo. He was by his education and experience, the obvious choice to represent Owo in the different constitutional conferences before independence. The Action Group (a Political Party which revolutionized the old Western Nigeria) of which he was Vice President was officially founded and launched in his home at Owo.
For a very long time in Owo, his political leadership was undisputed. He paid his dues in politics – rising from the lowest rank. He ran and won election as a ward Councilor, District Council Chairman, Divisional Council Chairman, Federal Legislator and Governor of the old Ondo State (an election in which he won the highest percentage of votes in the gubernatorial elections throughout the whole country in 1979). He was referred to as the ‘Millionaire Governor’ as a result of his feat of being the only governor to record votes of over one million. In 1962 he became the President of Egbe Omo Oduduwa and with the passing of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1987, the leadership of Awo’s political family naturally fell on him. The unfolding transition program of General Ibrahim Babangida saw him become the rallying point for progressive political forces in Nigeria which culminated in the victory of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the Presidential Elections of 1993 – an election that has been acclaimed as the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria.
It was the annulment of the election which brought out the best in him politically, for since June 1993, he became the arrow head of opposition to the nullification of the election and thereafter worked relentlessly for an early enthronement of democratic civilian rule as practiced in all civilized countries.
“Despite his old age, and sometimes ailing health, he continued to attend various meetings with the hope of finding a peaceful resolution to the political impasse. He dialogued with Nigeria’s Head of State, General Sanni Abacha a couple of times; convened the first ever summit of Politicians in December of 1995 – all in an effort to find a just solution to Nigeria’s problems. It was during one of the preliminary preparatory meetings for the Summit that he took ill and Dr. Alex Ekwueme had to take the chair.
While alive, his home in Owo became virtually a Mecca for leaders of all shades of political opinion in Nigeria as well as many dignitaries and diplomatic representatives of foreign countries. He welcomed friend and ‘foe’ alike.
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