At last, the 70th birthday celebrations of Oloye ‘Lekan Alabi, Ekefa Olubadan of Ibadanland and the first Culture Ambassador of the National Museum and Monument, Ile Ife, were held at the NEW INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, on Sunday,6th December, this year, among glamour and elegance.
It will be recalled that the celebration of the landmark ceremony was postponed by the Alabi Family from the actual date of Tuesday, 27th October 2020, out of sympathy with the families and comrades of those Nigerians who were killed/injured during the volatile #EnDSARS protests in the country in October.
At the Sunday, 6th December ceremony in Ibadan, all the invited dignitaries performed their fixed roles, except for the Chairman, Dr Victor Omololu Olunloyo, first-class mathematician, engineer, philosopher, wit and a former Governor of old Oyo State, who was indisposed. Alabi, out of respect and in keeping with time-honoured tradition paid a get-well-soon visit to Dr Olunloyo at his Molete, Ibadan home, on Tuesday,8th December.
The HOST GOVERNOR’ was Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, the HOST ROYAL FATHER OF THE DAY was the Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogunguniso 1, while IKU BABA YEYE, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola, Adeyemi 111, not only graced the ceremony but chanted the IWURE(Traditional prayers) for the celebrant, his family, well-wishers and guests.
The two-time Federal Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr(Chief)Nike Akande, OON, CON, and Ashipa Iyalode Ibadanland, was the MOTHER OF THE DAY, while the 80-year old veteran broadcaster and queen of the tube, Chief Julie Coker, the Iya Eto of Lagos, was the CHAIRPERSON. Also in attendance was a former First Lady of Oyo State, Alhaja (Chief) Mutiat Olayinka Ladoja, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, the governorship candidate of the APC in last year’s gubernatorial election in Oyo State, Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu,
Iyalode Alaba Lawson, the Iyalode Egba and the first Iyalode Yorubaland was represented, while the Iyaloja of Ibadanland, Alhaja (Chief) Amirat Ameringun, led a powerful team to the ceremony. Oloye Alabi’s darling aburo (younger sister)Ambassador Ibironke Adefoope, a former High Commissioner of Nigeria to Zambia and Malawi, was at hand to support Chief (Mrs) Tokunbo Alabi, the celebrant’s wife, in making the guests comfortable.
Apart from guests from the Ibadan Traditional Council, the Iyalode Ibadanla d Traditional Council, the Ndi Igbo, Ebira, Hausa and Ilorin Communities, were Comrade Ademola Babalola and Mr. Banji Ogundele, the Chairmen of the Oyo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ)and the League of Veteran Journalists (LVJN) respectively, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ)B ZONE, of which Oloye Alabi is her first Patron, the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes(CCII), led by its President-General, Mogaji Yemi Soladoye, the Omo Ajorosun Club, of which the celebrant is a member and the Adaba Oluyole Social Club, of which Oloye Alabi is Patron.
There were, also in attendance, representatives of the ODU’A INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED, of which the celebrant was the pioneer General Manager of Corporate Affairs, the banking, academic and political circles.
Former Secretary to Oyo State Government and the Ekefa Balogun of Ibadanland, Senior Chief Sarafadeen Alli and his wife, the Chairman of Ilaji Hotel and Resort, Mogaji Dotun Sanusi, successful businessman, Engineer Oseni, Dr Femi Majekodunmi, Alhaja (Chief) Bose Adedibu, Alhaji Gbolagade Ajimobi, younger brother of the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Alhaji Musa Alubankudi, Alhaji Sufi Kazeem, Mrs Tayo Ikotun, Mr & Mrs Boye Oni, Mrs Taiwo Odunlami, Princess Ronke Olayiwola Adeyemi,Mrs Kunmbi Adelabu-Egwaoje, Princess Femi Adegbite, Princess Ronke Usman, Ms Adewunmi Osagie, Dr & Barrister (Mrs) Roberts, Chief (Mrs) Durosaro, Senior Chief (Mrs) Taiye Soyege, Alhaji Olawuwo, Mogaji Adenrele Lekan-Salami, Mrs Funke Treasure-Durodola, Mrs Bolatito Joseph, Mr Dayo Adetunji-Adebayo, Professor Remi Raji-Oyelade, Professor O.B.C Nwolise, Mrs Nike Ajobo, Mrs Ibukun Otesile, Mr Lanre Alabi, Mr Diran Alabi, Mrs Bukola Okesola, Mr Muyiwa, Chairman of ABLE TV, Mr Semiu Adenekan, Toyin Adegbola, Erelu Funmi Rotiba,Mrs Vicky Falope,Mrs O. Babalola, the Arigbabuwo Family from Ijebu-Ode.