About half a decade after the transition of Chief Ọbafẹmi Awolọwọ, SAN, GCFR (1909 – 1987) the need to create a public institution through which to immortalise, in a scholarly and systematic fashion, the memory and thoughts of the man popularly called “AWO”, became abundantly clear.
To this end, preliminary work was carried out by a dedicated team headed by a member of the Awolọwọ family. Upon the conclusion of this work, Chief Awolọwọ’s life-long consort, Yeye Oodua HID Awolọwọ, CON, led a host of family, political associates, friends, supporters and admirers of the sage to the Liberty Stadium, (now Ọbafẹmi Awolọwọ Stadium) in Ibadan, on Saturday 11th April, 1992, where the Ọbafẹmi Awolọwọ Foundation was launched at an impressive ceremony by then President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR.
As the institutional custodian of Chief Awolọwọ’s intellectual legacy, therefore, the Foundation has, over the years, guarded its independence, non-partisanship and commitment to the promotion of a socially-edifying interaction between policy and scholarship, most jealously. We are convinced that Chief Awolọwọ translated from a partisan politician to a universal ideal the moment he departed from this mortal realm.
The Foundation has sought to actualise its mission-mandate through various outreach programmes including, but not limited to Lectures, Dialogues, Executive Leadership Seminars, Symposia and, more recently, Awo Conversations, designed to provide suitable fora for rational discussion of the ‘great issues of the day’, in order to continue to build upon the ideals that inspired the public and patriotic activities of Chief Awolọwọ. The proceedings and recommendations of most of these programmes are available as publications and/or on our website, www.obafemiawolowofoundation.org.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Foundation. Consequently, several activities are planned to mark this important milestone. Our aim is to use these events to review our journey so far, in terms of faithfulness to our mission and desired impact, and to reflect on our present realities in order to appropriately prepare for the journey ahead.
The first in the series of our 30th anniversary events will be our annual Ọbafẹmi Awolọwọ Posthumous Birthday Lecture. The event will be chaired by His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana
and our Special Guest of Honour will be His Excellency, General Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The lecture, titled, ‘Values for Africa’s Development’, will be delivered by Rt. Rev. (Professor) Adedapọ Aṣaju, scholar and former Vice Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University. The event will be anchored by Professor Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Industrialisation (AfDB), and Professorial Fellow, United Nations University.
The event is scheduled to take place, via Zoom, on Sunday, March 6, 2022, at 6.00pm (Nigeria time). Meeting: ID 851 0178 9100; Passcode: 942711.
Other events in connection with our 30th anniversary will be unveiled in due course.