Elder statesman and one of Nigeria’s leading voices, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, is set to unveil his thought-provoking autobiography titled ‘Telling It As It Is’.
The 24-chapter book which will be launched at a symposium on Tuesday, 3 April, 2018 at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos is the expression of Chief Adebanjo’s inner thoughts, experiences and the aspirations and challenges of the ‘Awoist’ philosophy.
It represents the 90th birthday celebration of the political activist and close associate of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
The symposium will also feature a panel session with the former chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega; the chief executive officer of RED, Adebola Williams, and group company secretary, Bank of Industry, Saadat Aliyu.
In a statement, Chief Ayo Adebanjo explains that the book reflects stories that have been told in response to pressures and requests by contemporaries, friends, and younger Nigerians – a narrative about growing up in a world of struggles, determination, perseverance and persistence.
“I have had the grace and privilege of experiences from the past 89 years and those years have taught me lessons worth sharing. These years have taught me significant lessons; chief of which are loyalty to a leader and commitment to a cause. And for me, loyalty is not blind, even though it has been total and undiluted. The book is about a life of travails and triumphs; an admixture of failures and successes – so no embellishments, no cover-ups, no exaggerations and superlatives, and no concoctions,” he said.
The author also explained that the book traverses several phases in the evolution and development of Nigeria, the political infrastructure in a nation struggling to establish itself, and the roles of several individuals and leaders who have been part of the country’s historic evolution.
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, one of Nigeria’s great nationalists, has been actively involved in politics since 1951 with the formation of the Action Group Youth Wing. He has dedicated his life to fighting for a better Nigeria, establishment of true federalism, and national restructuring.
About Chief Ayo Adebanjo
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, 89, is a renowned lawyer and politician. He was born in Ijebu Ogbu Oke in Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State on April 10, 1928. His parents were Chief Joel Adedairo Adebanjo and Salawatu Anomo Adebanjo. He started his education at Saint Saviours Primary School, Elegbaata in Lagos, between 1934 and 1935. From there, proceeded to Holy Trinity School, Ebute Ero in 1937. He was there till 1941 when he proceeded to Cathedral School in Lagos till 1943.
He worked in the Ministry of Health in Lagos briefly before his appointment was terminated. He also worked briefly in Ikorodu trading company under the employment of late Chief S.E Gbadamosi. From there he joined the Nigerian Tribune as a journalist under the late Olabisi Onabanjo. It was there that he was recruited into the Action Group as pioneer organizing secretary. He held the position from 1947 to 1953 when I proceeded to the United Kingdom to read Law.
He entered the Council of Legal Education and was called to the Bar in Lincocin City in 1961. He then joined Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s chambers as a practicing lawyer until the crisis of the Action Group in 1966
He then went to Ghana on exile from 1966 to 1967. Thereafter, he was released by the General Yakubu Gowon government. He then joined Chief Awolowo again to form the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). After which, he went into full legal practice. He was in the UPN mobilization group as a professional. He was made to stay in Borno State for a whole year to campaign for the party. His candidate then was Paul Bassey, who is still alive. They were together in the 2014 National Conference because he belongs to minority in the North.