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Obafemi Awolowo and the Making of RemoThe Local Politics of a Nigerian Nationalist$
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Insa Nolte

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638956

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638956.001.0001

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(p.257) Conclusion
Obafemi Awolowo and the Making of Remo

Nolte Insa

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter presents some concluding thoughts from the author. Awolowo's political memory remains iconic. As one of the three big nationalist leaders during the time of Nigeria's independence, he still inspires pride and respect, even among those who disagree with his political ambitions and ideals. As the first Yoruba leader in national politics, Awolowo also continues to represent a mythical – or potential – Yoruba unity not only to his political heirs but also to his ideological opponents. In this capacity, he furthermore continues to arouse fear and dislike by those who are suspicious of a Yoruba ethno-national politics. But most importantly, Awolowo's rhetoric of devolution, redistribution and education continues to structure intellectual, ideological and even practical opposition to the central government in both southern and northern Nigeria, even if it is usually only attributed to him by Yoruba speakers. Thus, unlike any of his contemporaries, Awolowo has created a political legacy that includes a lasting template for critical engagement with the Nigerian state.

Keywords:   Awolowo, Nigerian politics, political legacy, Yoruba leader

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