culled from PUNCH, December 16, 2004
Much had been said and written on the wrong accusation of the Yoruba on a false allegation of preventing the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe from taking office first as leader of government business and later Premier of the West. Again, in Godwin Nzeakah’s column: “Historical reflections,” in The PUNCH of November 10, 2004, an article which ostensibly was meant to be a tribute to Zik, devoted 95 per cent of space to reminding Nigerians for the umpteenth time the 1951 incident.
The Action Group (led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo) went into the 1951 elections as a relatively young but well organised party with brilliantly articulated manifesto against the much older and better known the NCNC (led by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe). The Yoruba loved the Owelle; they flocked the NCNC rallies at Balogun Square, Anola in Isalegangan, Campos Square and Amuto, mainly to see and listen to “Zeek”. It was therefore no surprise that all the five seats in Lagos were won by NCNC candidates i.e. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Ibiyinka Olorunimbe, Prince Adeleke Adedoyin, T.O.S. Benson and H.P Adebola. The party also won seven of the eight seats in Ibadan; it won seats in many other towns such as Abeokuta, Oyo, Ife, Ilesha and Oshogbo.