Adunni Oluwole was the female politician who fought for workers’ rights during the Nigerian general strike in 1945.
Born in Ibadan, Adunni’s family relocated to Lagos and lived close to St John’s Church, Aroloya, Lagos, and the church’s vicar, Adolphus Howells played an important role in Adunni’s family.
Adunni’s taste of education was through the vicar even though she did not finish her primary education.
She was involved in leadership and dramatic roles at St John’s Church and soon became an itinerant preacher.
As an itinerant preacher, Adunni was skillful in public speaking and enjoyed great success from it.
Adunni’s participation in politics came after she saw how poor masses were treated. She became known as a human rights activist who was committed to social justice.
When the colonial government stopped the payment of workers’ salaries, during the workers’ general strike of 1945, Adunni gave some money to the workers’ union even though she was not a wealthy woman.
In 1954, Adunni founded the Nigerian Commoners Liberal Party, which had men as its majority members.
Barely five months after the formation of NCLP, the party won a seat in Osun North (Ikirun), defeating bigger parties like the NCNC and the Action Group.
Adunni believed that the only way Nigeria could be progressive was through unity and so, she opposed all forms of regionalism.
She opposed the transfer of power to Nigerians at the price of ‘dictatorship’ of some over the others.
As a result, her message resounded well among the rural people who were already complaining about heavy taxation.
Adunni also championed the cause of women and she constantly demanded
the representation of women in all constitutional conferences.
She promised that her party would oppose any constitution that seemed likely to exploit masses and cause disunity in Nigeria.
Sadly, her party did not last long enough to fulfill all its promises due to lack of funds amongst other things.
Adunni died of Whitlow in 1957.