May Flower Will Be Returned 21 Years After Solarin's Death

C. Solarin
Kingsley Momoh

Tai was known to always wear simple khaki shorts and shirt as a result of his decision to see that free primary education is free all over Nigeria which never came to pass in his lifetime.

As activities to mark the 21st anniversary of the death of the former chairman of now defunct People's Bank of Nigeria and founder of May Flower School Ikenne Dr. Augustus Tai Solarin held at the Yaba Bus-stop
27th of July, 2015, the daughter of the late human right activist disclosed to Guguru FM that indeed, the government of Ogun state has without any doubt shown its willingness to return May Flower School back to the owners.

Ms Coline Solarin who gave the keynote address at the event which was tagged 2015 Memorial Tai Solarin Memorial Walk told the gathering at the Yaba bus stop where the statue of Tai Solarin stands that Nigeria's economy status is worse than it was 60 years ago about when May Flower school was founded. She pointed that if Nigerian had developed her human potentials as the late Tai Solarin had admonished, the nation would have been far better than it is right now.

She opined that government should ensure that the education curriculum has a space for those who have impacted nationhood positively and not neglect their contributions. Noting that it obtains in other climes like the United states of America where monuments of exemplary Americans  are tourist attractions. She stated that it was most fitting to have the statue of her father at a place as conspicuous as Yaba bus stop because he was a champion of the common man. She noted that the late Tai preached all his life that human resources are the greatest asset any nation possesses.

Wikipaedia has this much to say of him: 
Solarin's exact birth date is unknown, but it is assumed that he was born in 1922 in Ikenne, Ogun State, in Western Nigeria. He attended Wesley College in Ibadan. He served with the Royal Air Force in the Second World War, and remained in Britain, studying at University of Manchester, and then at the University of London. Tai Sholarin married English-born Sheila Mary Tuer in 1951.
The Mayflower campus, which he established, is made up of hundreds of hectares of land, based in Tai Solarin's birth Place, Ikenne, Ogun State. Approximately 8,000 students are in attendance .

The campus includes classrooms, administration buildings, small houses for many of the teachers, dormitory accommodations for about 2,000 boarders, and a farm. The school is noted for very high academic achievement.

Tai Solarin is one of the post-Independence civil rights critics and activists in his native Nigeria; some others were Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (musician) Beko Ransome-Kuti, Wole Soyinka (Nobel Laureate), Ayodele Awojobi, Dele Giwa, Gani Fawehinmi (lawyer), and Ken Saro-Wiwa. For the majority of the first forty years after independence, Nigeria had no effective opposition to the mostly military government of the day. These activists acted as an effective opposition to the ruling government. In 1975, when the General Gowon Regime delayed returning power to a civilian regime, Tai published his "The Beginning of the End" statement, which he then physically distributed on the roadside. He was subsequently imprisoned for this act. Throughout his lifetime Tai fought running battles with various governments in a bid to improve the lot of Nigerians.

Mr. Solarin was an intellectual guru for Nigeria's disenchanted and disfranchised for four decades. His writings in magazines and newspapers, highlighting what he called the hypocrisy and vulgarity of the Nigeria of his day, frequently angered people in power.

He was a vehement critic of military rule in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, and an ombudsman in three states in 1976 and 1977.

As a columnist, Tai was a relentless critic of Nigerian military rule, as well as of corruption in the government and the church. He was often jailed for his public remarks.

Tai Solarin was also a well-known humanist and atheist who opposed the ownership of the schools by churches. Tai Solarin once said that "black” (people) hold onto their God just as the drunken man holds on to the street lamp post—for physical support only."[4] In 2004, the Mayflower School played host to an International Humanist Conference, commemorating the life and work of Tai Solarin. It was attended by guests from the United States, Africa and Europe. Uncle Tai, as he was popularly known, derived immense pleasure in selflessly and fearlessly advocating for a better Nigeria, an action borne out of genuine, unfettered, earnest and heartfelt feeling about the state and future of the nation and the future generation. He was dissatisfied with the mindboggling erosion of values, the misrule and total collapse of all facets of life and sectors in the country and expressed shock at the unfathomable silence and culpability of the leadership and people. He was never known to capitulate to ephemeral inducements, paradisiac accoutrements and corporeal appurtenances. Tai Solarin was unequivocal and explicit on the side of justice, truth and fair play, was always ready to suffer for the sake of others, share in their misery and stand by the weak

Tai Solarin wrote regularly for the Daily Times, the Nigerian Tribune and The Guardian.


Rare & engaging interviews and some more by a team of experienced & hungry pen users.