Publisher, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, the publishers of the Tribune newspapers, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, died in a United Kingdom hospital on Wednesday at the age of 70.
A statement from ANN Plc on Wednesday said Oluwole, a son of the late Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, died as a result of the complications he suffered in a car crash about seven years ago.
The statement by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the company, Mr. Edward Dickson, said, “Chief Awolowo died 5.40pm Nigerian time at Wellington hospital, St Johnswood, London, following complications arising from a car crash that occurred on September 30, 2006.
He had been in and out of hospital, home and abroad, since he was involved in the ghastly accident seven years ago on the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway.
Despite his health challenges following the accident, Chief Awolowo devoted his life to the service of God and was deeply involved in evangelical activities.”
Many will believe that with his passage, another strong pillar has departed the Awolowo Dynasty. Apart from being the only surviving son of the late sage until his death on Wednesday, he was a major force in the running of the late politician’s estate.
He had been running the ANN Plc, as the Publisher/Vice-Chairman since 1984. Family sources said Oluwole Awolowo’s tenacity of purpose, which earned him the nickname Únbreakable, given to him by his late father, guided his path till his final days.
At age 12, his independent mind led him into joining the youth wing of the National Council of Nigerian Citizens, the political party led by the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, which was opposed to his father’s Action Group. But that was not an act of rebellion, but freedom of expression and association which in fact Papa Awolowo admired in his son.
Oluwole, however, won his first elective office in 1975, as a Councillor representing Apapa in the then Lagos City Council. In 1979, he won a seat into the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Apapa Constituency on the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria led by the late Awolowo.