•President, Chief AYODEJI RANDLE Tells City People
There is a social club that is currently making waves in Lagos right now. It’s called Ikeja Club. It is a 56-year-old prestigious club made up of prominent personalities in Lagos.
A few days back, City People met with Chief Ayodeji Randle, the easy-going President of the club and he revealed how his Executive Council has taken the club to greater heights.
The club is strategically located around Ikeja Bus Stop, opposite the famous Computer Village in Lagos.
Chief Ayodeji Randle is an illustrious son of Lagos, from the noble and notable Randle family.
For those who don’t know, one of the greatest, most successful and most popular family names synonymous with Lagos is the Randle family. And one of the distinguished descendants of the late Dr. John Randle is the new President of Ikeja Club who is being celebrated today is Chief Ayodeji Idowu Randle. Born over sixty-seven (67) yrs ago in Lagos State, he started his education on Lagos Island before proceeding to Victory High School, Ikeja for his WASC and later Anwar-ul Islam College, Agege for his higher school certificate. He graduated as a Chartered Insurer and Aviation Consultant. Chief Ayo Randle is a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers.
Between 1978-1985, he rose to the position of Lagos Area Manager of Amfa Insurance Consultants. And since 1985 till now, he has been the Chairman and CEO of (1) Ayo Randle Insurance Consultants. (2) Ayo Travels Ltd and (3) Ayo Randle Farms Ltd.
Chief Ayo Randle is a member of (1) Lagos Country Club – Life member & Past Co-ordinator of Arena Group (2) Ikeja Club – Past Vice President and the current President (3) Club Select – Past President (4) Great Pyramid – Past President (5) Lagos State Public Service Club and (6) Social Reformers Club.
Ikeja Club is a foremost socio-cultural club established in 1966, and the Club has carved a niche for itself as a very unique club.
Its Objectives include, but is not limited to, the promotion of the intellectual, social and recreational interest of members, inter-ethnic, good fellowship and interracial understanding among people. Part of it also is to maintain friendly relations with similar Clubs by promoting of inter-club sporting competitions and games of all kinds.
There is a vibrant Sports Section available in the club and it provides Domestic Games, Swimming, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis & Billiards/snooker. Others are Badminton, Volley & Basketball. Among its vision and mission is the pursuit of excellence in all the programs and events of the club. Not too long ago, the President revealed a lot about his role.
His emergence as the 21st President of Ikeja Club took place in August 2020. According to him ” My ascension to the leadership of Ikeja Club as its 21st President was providential. It has been a ding-dong affair because men will have their say but Almighty God will always have His way. My emergence, therefore, was a clincher for the best available material. Ever since the inception of the new Executive Council of our great Club, we have instituted and introduced, as a matter of policy and practice, discipline and hopefully, an enduring legacy of a better image of the Club. Thus, the formalization of the mandatory format of compulsory presentation, necessary consideration and final approval in all our administrative and financial management activities. This indeed is a major achievement for a 55-year-old Club.”
“We have deliberately introduced courtesy visits to corporate organizations and government agencies within the Ikeja Division of Lagos State as a matter of sensitization of our presence as a veritable Centre of Recreational Excellence. This in effect has enabled the Club to explore possible and positive areas of partnership and collaboration with our hosts for the benefits of residents of the Ikeja Division.”
“Our potentials are still enormous, notwithstanding the fact that we came into office in the turbulent year 2020 with its attendant Covid-19 pandemic. In all our endeavours, the goal remains constant, Ikeja Club this time around ranks among the topmost 5- star Clubs in Lagos within the next two(2) years. Our firm conviction is that it is DO-ABLE and ATTAINABLE.
“Our mission is to choose the best practices and decisions from the options available and convert them into targets for which results can be measured precisely, that is Re-positioning of the Club’s administrative system. Improve quality membership drive visions
The new Ikeja Club administration is not a copycat nor a stooge. It absolutely detests any mediocrity, zero budgeting, panic and any semblance of self-enrichment at the expense of the Club. Selfless service shall remain our own goal throughout our tenure.”
“Consequently, our management style is unique, purposeful and result-oriented. The Executive Council operates on specific management principles, concepts and general guidance. This is as enunciated in our visions i.e. Constructing a befitting Club entrance gate, Resurfacing of our car park and the surrounding space, Diverting flood, Provision of Badminton and Aerobics sections, Modification and renovation of our administrative block.”
Since he came in, the President and his Management team of executives have been working assiduously to make the club a place to be, making it the toast for many people in and around Lagos.
“In terms of Achievements, we have done a lot like (1) Refurbishment of our Guest House, fully airconditioned for members in Transit and their visitors (2) Refurbishment of all sections to an enviable level. Table Tennis, Darts, Billiards etc (3) Reconstruction of the Lawn Tennis Court to international standard (4) Completion of joint administrative Block for the Swimming and Lawn Tennis Sections (5) Procurement of 40KVA generator to complement the existing one (6) Successful and profitable disposal of the largely unused and non-functional 275 KVA generator (7) Creation of an additional septic tank to effectively serve both the Lawn Tennis and Swimming Pool sections. (8) Procurement and installation of 32 units of split air conditioners (9) Effective re-plumbing and rehabilitations of the club’s water drainage and sewage systems for a neater premises (10) Employment of competent Accountant and Internal Auditor which has facilitated good account keeping and internal control (11) Successful demolition and excavation of rubbles of the old shopping plaza (12) Turning of the sod and laying of the foundation of the new plaza by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2021
(13) Procurement of materials to continue the construction of the new plaza (14) Weekly social events which have largely revived the club’s social life, especially the Thank God Its Friday (TGIF) (15) Regular visits to homes of the less privileged in the community (16) Visits other clubs and interactions with their officers (17) The gymnastic section and the Badmington section are under construction (18) Regular inter clubs sports competition
We asked him to tell us a bit more about the club.
He explained that Ikeja Club is a place where members recreate and socialise with one another. “It’s a family club and we have various sporting facilities that encourage both males and females to exercise and relax he explained.
“Every Friday, we have one or two things to celebrate; Thank God It’s Friday and birthday parties. During the week, we organize Seminars and have weekly group meetings.
Last August, we held our 55th-anniversary celebration which was chaired by Prince Stephen Ademola Dada, a past President of the prestigious Island Club and the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR was the Father of the Day. The amiable Iyalode of Yoruba Land, Chief Mrs Alaba Lawson was the Mother of the Day and the First Elected Female Deputy Governor in Nigeria and former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu was the Special Guest of Honour. An accomplished chartered accountant, Chief Tajudeen Akande FCA, a past President of Lagos Country Club was the Chairman of the 55th Anniversary Lecture; while the Doyen of the accounting profession in Nigeria, Bashorun JK Randle delivered the fantastic anniversary lecture. It was indeed a very successful anniversary. For 7 consecutive days, we had different wonderful programs and events”.
What is Ikeja Club out to achieve, we further asked him?
“Ikeja Club is a place for friends to come and socialise and relax. We relate with one another and we promote business opportunities.
That’s what clubbing is meant for and that’s what we are doing. There’s no discrimination. As long as you pass our interview that you are of good character and you have your own acceptable means of livelihood, we admit you as a member. Every August, we induct new members and the world-renowned musical giant, King Sunny Ade, has been yearly entertaining members and guests for more than four decades now”.
“No. Our club is open to anyone within Nigeria. Once you are able to pass through the interview process, you are good to go, If you also want your wife to be a member, you will pay 25% of our annual subscription and your wife becomes a financial member of the club. We encourage both males and females to come and relax in the club. It is a place of joy. Our members are happy and they take it as their second home. Every Friday and Wednesday, we are always in a celebration mood”.
What makes Ikeja Club unique among the other clubs?
“Ikeja Club is at the centre of Lagos State. It is the capital of Lagos State. We have a large parcel of land which we are still developing and upgrading its infrastructures to ensure that they befit the standard of our name. People are happy to join Ikeja Club and we are better for it. The club is 55 years old. It will be 56 this year. We have gone through a lot of experiences that we are continually improving on. Ikeja Club, perhaps within Ikeja, is the most modern club that you can rely on and be happy to join. We are encouraging corporate organizations to register their Senior Managers to join the club for the opportunities to recreate and ease daily tension and enjoy good health. It’s not a place where people womanize or get drunk. It’s a place where friends with like minds interact and also promote beneficial business opportunities. So, Ikeja Club is a bubbling and healthy club”.
What prepared him for his present role as the club’s President?
“I was formerly the Vice President of the club for 3 years. During the Covid-19 period, our election season came up. I picked up the form for the presidential post which I campaigned vigorously for. You know during Covid 19, we were more or less doing our activities on the Internet. I thank God that at the end of the day, I was voted unopposed. I became the President unopposed. By the grace of God, I’m doing my best to uplift the standard of the club to be one of the most enviable clubs in Lagos State and in Nigeria as a whole”.
What has his administration done to advance the cause of the club since he took over?
“By the grace of God, I became Ikeja Club President in August 2020. So, I’m more or less one and a half years in office. Since I came on board, we have changed the entire outlook of the club. We have renovated most of the premises. We have installed various kinds of equipment, where friends have a place to exercise in 8 different Sections and recreate as necessary. We have our halls modernized. We have two event centres that members now use to socialize. Ikeja Club is bubbling with lots of activities.”
“Since I came on board, we have brought important personalities like the Alake of Egbaland to Ikeja Club. He came and prayed for our success. We have brought in Baba Obasanjo to come for one of our events. We brought in Bashorun JK Randle who gave us a lecture on 26th August 2021. Presidents of other known clubs have been with us for one reason or the other. Even outside Lagos State, members of other clubs have been coming to interact with us for social and sporting activities. So, Ikeja Club is a place to be. I will also use this opportunity to appreciate our dear Grand Patron, His Excellency, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu, for his various supports to the Club and our activities. May God continue to bless his tenure for the good jobs and the development the state is witnessing”.
We asked him to tell us a lot more about Ikeja Club… “It is a great club. Last year we celebrated 55 years of Recreational Excellence. We would be 56 in a matter of months, in August. Ikeja Club is a place for social, sporting and recreational activities. The club opens from 11 am to 11 pm daily. All Public Holidays are celebrated with activities to mark Ileya, Itunu Awe, Valentines Day, Xmas, Easter and many more. From time to time, the club is full of activities. We also ensure that the welfare of our Club Members and Administrative Staff are adequately taken care of. We also give Welfare Packages to some of our staff and honourable members. Like during the Covid-19 period we gave palliatives.
“We have Insurance benefits for our members, like Life Assurance, Burial Support Benefits for our members. We also extend financial assistance to seriously sick members.
Recently, we received a kind gesture of 20 scholarships for children of our members. Also, during the conferment of the fellowship award on Sir Kesington Adebutu, he offered a Special Prayer for the club.
City People gathered that the biggest challenge facing the club today has always been the issue of Flooding. Any time there is a heavy downpour, the club premises gets flooded. “Since the inception of the club, from the time of Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson, the 1st Governor of Lagos State, excessive flooding has always been an issue.
We pump the water out of our premises here on a daily basis. Flooding has been our major problem. We have sent out letters to the state government that we have had to help us solve this problem permanently. I want to seize this opportunity to thank past Governors and the present governors for their regular assistance on Infrastructure”.
One commendable thing about the leadership of the club is how it generates good income to sustain the running of the club. Because of its prime location, around Ikeja Bus Stop, it is embarking on the construction of a new ultra-modern multi-million naira plaza facing the road.
How has he found being the President of the Club? “It has been exciting”, he revealed. “It has been a beautiful experience. I was first elected Vice President for 3 years (2014-2017) before I became President. That prepared me for the election of July 2021, in which I ran unopposed.
I have also held the presidency of 3 different Clubs.
Since he came in August 2020 he has done a lot with his Executive Council. For instance, during Covid-19, the club gave a substantial amount of money to support the Covid-19 pandemic.
The club also supported the fire disaster victims at the Abule Oki Gas disaster. “We also visited several handicapped homes, and those of abandoned children. We gave moral and financial support”.
“In 2022, we celebrated and gave awards to some of our icons, like DIG Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, Commissioner of Police O.T. Olokode of Osun State, Dr. Olubunmi Afolabi, Force Medical Officer (Force Headquarters & Chief Medical Director, Nigeria Police Force and Surveyor Olutomi Ajose Sangowanwa (Surveyor General of Lagos State & Permanent Secretary) Lagos State Public Service.
It is our own way of celebrating distinguished members”.
“It is unfortunate that we lost 2 of our Board of Trustee Members, namely Hon. Afolabi Osisami (last year) and this year we lost Chief Dr. C.F.I. Olaniyan at the age of 92”.
What are the major celebrations the club holds? Does the club hold constant celebrations? “Oh, yes we do. We celebrate members’ group birthday on the last Friday of the month. We also have Achievers Group Governors Night, sponsored by all the senior members of the group. We also have Thank God Is Friday Celebration”.
How large is the club, in terms of membership? “We have about 1,500 members. We have Male members. Their wives can also join by simply paying 25% of annual dues”.
What are the requirements for joining the club, we asked the President? “It is a simple process. As for the admission of new members, you collect the membership form. After completion, you will be posted on the Board for 21 days for any objection from both members and outsiders. If no complaint you will then be invited for an interview. After passing the interview, you will then be admitted”.
“After admission, you will then be inducted. And induction is done once a year”.
Since he took over as President, the club has hosted a lot of Very Important Personalities in society who have honoured the clubs’ invitations to attend its events which are mainly social and sporting activities.
Some of the dignitaries are Presidents and Chairman of Associations, Clubs within the South-West.
They include Gbenga Olowo who honoured the activities marking the first 100 days in office, Chief Dr. Oluyomi Abayomi Finnih, Aare Kola Oyefeso, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Retired I.G. Mike Okiro, Mr. Olufemi Pedro (former Lagos Deputy Governor), Mr. Olusegun Dawodu (who represented Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu).
There is also Bashorun J.K. Randle who gave our 55th Anniversary Lecture and Hajia Bola Muse”.
We have also had other big dignitaries like Iyalode Alaba Lawson, the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe the Osinle of Okeona, Oba Dr. Adedapo Tejuoso, the Alake of Egbaland, Chief Tunde Lemo, HRM Dr. Halimat Adenike Tejuosho and Oba Wasiu Gbolahan Lawal, the Oniru of Iru Kingdom”.
The Club is run by a powerful team led by Chief Ayo Randle-President, Prince Musedik Adeleke-Vice President, Barrister Gbenga Ajisafe-General Secretary, Elder Samuel Olanrewaju-Treasurer, Chief Olatunji Awoniyi-Social/Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olatunji Julius -Financial Secretary, Mr. Shola Adeleke-Bar Secretary, Chief John Patrick-Welfare Officer (Premises), Mr Mustapha Dawodu-Welfare Officer (Members), Mr. Fatai Hammed-Sports Secretary, Barrister Lukman Imam-Ex-Officio Member, Abayomi Akin Omoyinmi Esq-Legal Adviser, (Mr. Micheal A. Samuel-Assistant General Secretary, Mr. Tolulope Oredope- Assistant Social/Publicity Secretary, Mr. Segun Faloju -Internal Auditor, (Dr. Femi Balogun-Chairman, Billiards/Snookers, Otunba Sunday Ogunwande-Chairman Darts, Prince (Barr.) Yemi Adetiba-Chairman, Domestic Games, Engr. Semiu Abolade-Chairman, Lawn Tennis, Surv. David Taiwo-Chairman, Swimming, Prince Olalere Shoyombo–Chairman, Table Tennis.
PRESIDENTS OF IKEJA CLUB & YEAR(S) OF SERVICE
(1) Chief A. Akerele-1967-1973 (Late) (2) Mr. B. Olowu-1973-1974 (Late) (3) Chief T.o Akinwolere-1974-1975 (4) Prince E. Akinola Ajose-1975-1977 (Late) (5) Engr. Chief E.O. Oluwole-1977-1980 (6) Chief Idowu Ogunbanwo (Late)-1980-1982 (7) Chief Akin Cole (Late)-1982-1985 (8) Chief A Omoyinmi (Late)-1985-1987 (9) Otunba R. Komolafe (Late)-1987-1990 (10) Chief C.f.i Olaniyan-1990-1991 (11) Chief M.K.O Fayoyin (Late)-1991-1993 (12) Chief G.A. Bickersteth-1993-1996 (13) Chief Shola Ogunsanya-1996-1999 (14) Alhaji M.O Adenusi-1999-2002 (15) Mr.s.a. Fadire-2002-2005 (16) Alhaji Y.P.o. Sholarin(late)-2005-2008 (17) Aare Francis Tola Odunuga Jp (Late)-2008-2011 (18) Engr. Oluwanishola Olaofe-2011- 2014 (19) Prince Ademola Adunola-2014-2017 (20) Elder Sunday Ajilore Jp-2017 – 2020 (21) Chief Ayo Randle-August 2020 Till Date
GENERAL SECRETARIES OF IKEJA CLUB & YEAR(S) OF SERVICE
(1) Alhaji A.t. Animashaun-1967-1973 (2) Mr.itan Omoniyi-1973-1976 (3) Mr. Y. Abiodun-1976-1977 (4) Chief C.f.1. Olaniyan-1977-1980 (5) Chief. A. Omoyinmi (Late)-1980-1983 (6) Chief O. Ogunsaya-1983-1986 (7) Chieftayo Kehinde (Late)-1986-1988 (8) Mr. O. Osholake-1988-1989 (9) Mr.A. Ayeni (Late)-1988-1990 (10) Mr.D. Aderinola-1990-1993 (11) Mr Alfred Ewuola-1993-1996 (12) Mr.Idowu Kuyinu-1996-1999 (13) Mr.s.q. Ologbe (Late)-1999-2002 (14) Mr. Tunde Adejuyigbe-2002-2003 (15) Engr. Albertsosu-2003-2005 (16) Mr. Ademolaadisa (Late)-2005-2006. (17) Chief (Barr.) P.U. Uzoka (late)-2006-2009 (18) Barr. Abayomi Akin Omoyinmi -2009-2010 (19) Barr. Prince Adekunle Ajasa-2010-2012 (20) Otunba Sunday Oladokun-2012-2015 (21) Barr. Lukman Imam 2015-2018 (22) Barr. Gbengaajisafe-2018-2021
THE PATRONS OF IKEJA CLUB
(1) High Chief S.A. Olawore (2) Alhaji M.O. Adenusi (3) Alhaji Baale R.a.a. Seriki Aro (4) Elder Samuel Fadire (5) Otunba (Engr.) Oluwanishola Olaofe (6) Prince Olusegun Adedoja
The current Exco is lucky to enjoy the support of the past President, especially the last 3 Presidents namely: Engineer Oluwanisola Olaofe (2011-2014), Prince Ademola Adunola (2014-2017) and Elder Sunday Ajilore (2017-2020).
The Exco also enjoys the confidence of the Board of Trustee members like Chief T.A. Akinwlere, Prince A. T. Animashaun, Chief Aremu Akindele, Surveyor Chief Olukunle Akinola and Chief Ayodeji Randle.