City People Magazine is 24. And over the last 24 years, City People, the largest circulating softsell magazine in Nigeria has encountered several prominent Nigerians in the course of our job. And we have found each and every one of them to have different attitude and attributes.
Over the last 2 decades, we have interacted with them both informally and formally sufficiently for us to tell you about the kind of person they are. For instance, many don’t know the kind of person VP Osinbajo is. As popular as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is, many don’t know the real Asiwaju. We do. What kind of person is IBB? What kind of person is Alhaji Aliko Dangote? What kind of person is billionaire businessman Femi Otedola? How about Akinrogun Olusegun Osoba, Chief Bode George. How about King Sunny Ade, or, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, Alhaji Kollington Ayinla & K1? What sort of a person is OGD and BRF? How about the women? What sort of a person is Senator Daisy Danjuma? What sort of a person is Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, and Sisi Abah? How about Yeye Oge, Chief Mrs. Opral Benson?
Otunba Subomi Balogun is another successful Nigerian we admire. What sort of a person is this Ijebu High Chief? Over the last 24 years we have met many of these people, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), the great lawyer, CLAM Pastor Wole Oladiyun, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi. Some have passed on like the late Dele Giwa, Late MKO Abiola, late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, Chief Alamieseigha, late Alhaji Iyanda Folawiyo.
There are others like Otunba Adekunle Ojora, Alhaji Rasaq Okoya, Prince Sam Adedoyin, super banker Fola Adeola & Late Tayo Aderinokun, Tony Elumelu, Aig Aig-Imkhouede & Herbert Wigwe. The list is long and endless. In this Special Report, City People Publisher SEYE KEHINDE tells you his intimate encounters with these VIPs.
How many people have met Otunba Mike Adenuga in flesh? Only very few. He doesn’t go out to parties. He doesn’t go to events. He is not your everyday socialite. He doesn’t attend Glo events. There are many of his staff who have never met him in person. They only hear of him. Its only senior managers who would have met him before. His top aides usually represent him. These days it is his beautiful daughter, Mrs Bella Disu, the Vice-Chairman that represents him. The guru has only few old friends and he has not added to it since he hit it big. When he is in a party mood, he usually calls on his friends, about 7 of them. They will sit down in his compound and get KSA or Chief Commander to thrill them, as they gist about old times on his terrace.
City People met him once. And it was for about 30 minutes. He works from home. We met a brilliant & knowledgeable man. He is a man who can read the future. He is quite knowledgeable about so many things. He is into Oil, Real Estate, Telecoms, Construction, Banking. He is on top of his game. He likes to know what is going on around him. He believes Information is Power. He is Hardworking. He is Creative.
How about Vice-President Yemi Osibajo? He has always been a Gentleman, even before he became a Pastor. He has always been a straight forward person. He is hardworking. He loves to read. He loves his wife, Dolapo. He calls her Dolly. In those good old days, he would get home at 9pm just in time to listen to 9 0’clock NTA news with his wife. That is when he usually takes his dinner. He has a robust sense of humour. He likes to crack jokes. He has never been materialistic.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote is another interesting personality. He is the richest man in Africa right now, yet he doesn’t spend foolishly. He takes calculated risk. He is not wasteful. He is not boastful. He doesn’t live big. He is very modest. He has lived in his Victoria Island home for about 30 years. He likes the house. There is fountain everywhere. The house is surrounded by water. He is not into houses. He is not into cars.
Not many people have met MFM Pastor, D.K. Olukoya . We have met him. We visited him at his spiritual clinic (that’s what he calls his office) one day at Ebute Metta. Welcome to my workshop was how he welcomed City People the day we went. That day he had just come back from a trip abroad and he went straight to the MFM headquarters at Ebute Metta to meet those waiting to consult with him. At the time we got there at about 11am, he was attending to about 300 people who had come to see him for various issues, mainly challenges, health, spiritual. By the time we found our way into his small office we met about 10 VIPs, men, women on the floor in trance. “I apologise for asking you to come here to my workshop. This is where I meet those who want to see me every week. He looked like a Lecturer.
Chief Subomi Balogun is also an interesting man. He is a superbly rich banker and businessman. He is into Banking. He plays big in Real Estate. He likes to dress well. He likes to wear white. He is a man of great sartorial elegance. He loves himself. He takes good care of himself. He has a gift of the garb. He likes his full embroidered Agbada and handwoven shoes. His best friend is Chief Kola Daisi. They share a lot in common.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Jagaban Borgu is another great Nigerian who has been grossly misunderstood. He is a great man who has touched lives. He has made so many people. He has about 500 politicians who are his followers. He is the only Nigerian politician who has created 2 generations of politicians. He has a formidable political machine that works well. He is constantly helping people. He has empowered millions. The list of senior citizens he has helped is long, not to talk of young people he has empowered. He is a leading politician. He understands politics like the back of his hands. He has this strange attitude. He doesn’t fight to finish. He always likes to leave room for reconciliation. The cross he has to bear is that many of those he has helped usually turn round to betray him.
Chief Ayo Adebanjo is a highly principled man. He can be rigid over the principles he believes in. He is an unrepentant Awoist. He is stylish. And he is blessed with good looks. He is strong. He is a veteran journalist. He has politics running in his blood. He is bold. He is never afraid of any man.
Many also don’t know Kwara Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq. Before he became Governor he was a big Oil player. He has always been stupendously rich. He doesn’t like publicity. He likes his privacy. Politics and Governance changed all that. But he has always been a politician. He has always been funding political groups. He is a Master Strategist in Politics & Business.
Just like Gov. Dapo Abiodun. Many see him more as a businessman, then a Politician. He is also very strategic in his ways. He is brilliant. He is always calculated in his decisions. He is always thinking of the next move. When he talks to you for 5 minutes, you will know he is very knowledgeable about so many things. He was a big Oil player before he became Governor.
Fuji King, K1 is another personality that many think they know, but do not really know. He is brilliant and creative. Forget the fact that he is a music legend, he is a brilliant businessman. He is full of ideas. He is always thinking. He is always on the move. He likes to cook. He is a good cook. He likes equally brilliant people. He can’t stand dullands or stupid people. He is very calculating in his moves. Musically he is gifted. He has a gift for creating songs. There is a difference between K1 and Wasiu Ayinde. These are 2 different people. K1 is the one who sings on stage, Wasiu is the real man. He is rich. He is stupendously rich. He is easily one of the richest music stars in Nigeria today. He lives well. He likes gadgets. He is IT Savvy. He likes to discuss world politics. He likes to engage his friends.
Let’s tell you about BRF. That is the Minister of Works & Housing. He is a super Minister. There is no doubt that he is a very brilliant man. He loves logical thinking. He has a robust sense of humour. But he is very serious minded. He does not like noise. He loves tranquility.
How about Evangelist Ebenezer Obey? Many call him Obey Commander. He is a great composer. At close to 80, he still composes music far into the night. He is a master composer. He is prim & proper. He is a decent man. Very stylish. Very organised. If he gives you an appointment for 2pm. He will be seated by 1.30pm, he hates late cormers. He loves to associate with straight forward people.
Let’s tell you about the man many call OGD. Otunba Gbenga Daniel is a different kind of politician. When you are an Engineer trained by the late genious Professor Ayodele Awojobi what do you expect? He is too prim and proper. He likes to subject everything to logic. He is a deep in his thinking and very calculating. He is forever thinking. He likes for you to convince him. He is very brilliant. He does not suffer fools gladly. He likes to subject everything to SWOT analysis. He is vigorous in his thinking.
How about KSA? King Sunny Ade is another creative genius. He is a Master Composer. And an accomplished living legend. That is another man who many don’t know too well, but who they think they know. Beyond all his stage craft, dancing and singing, he is a very, very strict and disciplined man. He has a robust sense of humour.
We can also tell you a lot about Chief Afe Babalola the legal luminary. He is a highly principled man. He is hardworking. He is rich and down to earth. He has a robust sense of humour. He started his life as a self taught man. He did not see the 4 walls of a University but rose to become a teacher of people. He has produced many lawyers & SAN’s. He has not only served as Pro-Chancellor of a University, he set up his own Afe Babalola University.
Otunba Alao Akala, the former Governor of Oyo State is a nice man. He is well loved by many people. he is a man of the people. When he was Governor he was given so many nicknames like ATM, Oyato Governor because of how nice he was to people. He was once invited to be the Chairman of our anniversary in Ibadan, he arrived early and waited for 2hrs us to get started. It was a Sunday and he waited for us till the very end. He is down-to-earth. No pretence. If he likes you, he will tell you. If he detests you he will tell you.
There is also the man everyone calls Elizade. He is also called Mr. Toyota because he sells only Toyota cars. He built a University in his hometown of Ilara Mokin. He single handedly developed his hometown. He has empowered so many people. He is No 1 dealer of Toyota in Nigeria. Other dealers depend on him. His country home in Ilara Mokun is beautiful.
Mrs. Remi Tinubu is the wife of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. She is a beautiful woman who has been able to maintain her slim look. She looks angelic and simple. Yes, she is but she can be tough when she needs to. She does not suffer fools gladly. She is down-to-earth. She is brilliant. She has a great sense of humour. Age has mellowed her a bit.
Mr. Lanre Ogunlesi is the King of fashion. He also plays big in the Beauty business. He founded Sofisticat in 1978 and the Clothing business has been waxing stronger and stronger. He also owns a Cosmetic line that has a wide range of cosmetics. He & his wife, Modupe run the popular Adam & Eve store. Many don’t know Lanre Ogunlesi was once into Advertising. He is a good copy writer. He is a man of style. he is a man of Sartorial elegance.
Mr. Biodun Shobanjo likes his Simply Mr. status. If he had wanted to become a Chief, he would have been conferred with dozens of it. But he likes it simple. He is the Czar of Advertising. He is a godfather of Advertising. He has seen it all. He has paid his dues. He has put in about 50 years in Advertising. He started INSIGHT Communications. He has since moved on to build up other brands. He presides over TROYKA Holdings a group of about 12 companies.
Pastor Wole Oladiyun is the Senior Pastor at CLAM Church. He is an annointed man of God. When he prays the whole place shakes. His pedigree is in CAC. He is a Civil Engineer. He is passionate about the Youth. He has empowered many.
Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka is one man we admire a lot. He has accomplished a lot. He has achieved a lot. He is a man set in his ways. He does not like Buba & Sokoto. He seldom wears it. His dressing is simple. He likes his simple, pololess shirts and pants. At best, he wears Dansiki. He has kept his bushy fluffy grey hair the way it is for about 40 years. He is a literary giant. No wonder he is simply called W.S which was coined from the great William Shakespare.
Gov. Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti is a brilliant & hardworking politician. He represents a new kind of Politics. He is young and has embraced the youth. He is a highly principled, no nonsense person, by nature. He does not suffer fools gladly. Politics has changed a lot about him. He didn’t use to like going to parties. He wasn’t a Buba & Sokoto wearing person. But all of that has changed about him. His wife has also been a great influence on him. She is a grassroot leader of women. She embraced the Owambe culture. She is a great mobilisher of women.
Let’s tell you about Hajia Muinat Bola Shagaya. She is an accomplished business woman. She is into Oil. She is into Banking. She is into Real Estate. She is a woman who plays big in a mans world. She is also Brilliant. She studied Economics at ABU. She is classmates with former Emir Sanusi. She is stylish. She is a lady of great style. She wears the very best from head to toe. She loves Jewellery. She has a rare collection of Diamond pieces. Wherever she steps out she drips in Diamond.
Mo Abudu is another accoomplished woman. Her real name is Monisola. She has achieved a lot. The imposing highrise she built opposite Eko Hotel attests to all she has been able to do. She is brilliant. She is tough. She is highly principled. There are 2 different Mo Abudus. The ordinary woman and the one in the Boardroom. She knows how to close deals.
One interesting personality that is always in the news is former Ekiti Governor Mr. Ayo Fayose. Ekiti State will not forget him in a hurry. He ran Ekiti State twice. He is a no nonsense person. Although, age has tempered him a bit, he is still his tough self. When he was Governor of Ekiti State, City People was constantly reporting the activities of the State. He is not your usual Governor. He likes to do things differently. He is unconventional in his ways. He will wear Jeans & T. Shirt to work.
Senator Daisy Danjuma is another accomplished woman. She went into Politics and made a name for herself. She wasn’t satisfied just being the wife of Gen. T.Y. Danjuma alone. She wanted to represent her people in Edo State and she contested and won. She is beautiful. She is stylish. She loves to look good all the time. She likes to wear good and expensive Diamond pieces. She is a tough woman. She does not suffer fools gladly.
Senator Florence Ita Giwa is one woman who has seen it all. Mama Bakassi as she is fondly called has been a Politician all her life. She started out as a Nurse then went into Politics. She is from Bakassi area of Cross River State. The Giwa in her name is from her marriage to the late Dele Giwa.
Let’s also tell you about Sisi Abba. Tough her real name is Chief Mrs. Abba Folawiyo, she has been nicknamed Sisi Abba because of her ever gorgeous look. She is one stylish woman who has dominated the scene for decades with her LABANELLA Clothing brand. She is one of the matriarchs of the fashion industry. Sisi Abba is a nice woman. She has more young ladies as friends than older ones.
Chief Mrs. Opral Benson, the Iya Oge of Lagos is another accomplished woman of substance. She is the wife of the late Chief TOS Benson. She is Liberian by birth, but has since lived here all her life.
Pastor Chris Okotie is the Senior Pastor at the House Hold of Gods Church in Lagos. He is now in his late 60s. Age has mellowed him a bit. In his younger years he was always in the news. At some point he joined the Presidential race. He wanted to be the next President of Nigeria. He registered his own party. Many forget he started out as an entertainer. He was a singer for very many years.
Let’s tell you about the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu. He is your different kind of Oba. He likes to take things easy. He is well loved. He is not loud and frivolous. He carries royalty the way it should be. City People was the first to interview him after he became the Olubadan.
Alhaji Rasaq Okoya, the Eleganza Chairman, is also one of the celebrities we encountered in the early days of City People. The frontline industrialist is a great man. He is a practical man. He is down to earth. He will always tell you, I am a Lagos Boy.
His story is similar to that of Prince Sam Adedoyin, his best friend. Although, Chief Adedoyin is over 80, he still goes to work. He still resumes at his Victoria Island office at 9am everyday, eats Lunch at 1pm and closes at 5pm. He is still involved in the day-to-day running of Doyin Group. He is a hardworking man.
Prince Nduka Obaigbena is the definition of someone you can call a Media Mogul. He presides over a flourishing media empire made up of Thisday & ARISE TV. He is a tough businessman, who never takes No for an Answer.
There is nothing like Impossibility in his dictionary. Everything is possible. He is creative with his brands.
Another man, whom we salute his courage is the MD/CEO of Adron Homes. He has made a huge success of his ever growing real estate company. He is ably assisted by his wife, Oloori Aderonke.
Many marvel at how he has built his little real estate company into the behemoth it has grown to become today in just 8 years. He is bold. He is daring. He is creative.
The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, is another interesting personality. The King of Iwo is not your run-of-the-mill monarch. He likes to do his things differently. He like to stand out. He is what you can describe as a modern day King. He has a different view and approach to life.
Another great achiever who has been making waves for years now is Dr Bamidele Onalaja, the MD/CEO of Revolutionplus Property. His phenomenal success in the real estate sector has won him a lot of accolades. He is blessed with a wive who is quite supportive. He is also very calculative and strategic in his business decisions.
Alhaji Bamanga Tukor is an elder statesman, who has had a distinguished career in the world of Business & Politics. He is a nice man. He is a man imbued with a lot of native wisdom, which has helped him in his career both in public service and politics.
Chief Bode George, the PDP Chieftain, is another man we have interacted with over the years. The retired Naval General has been grossly misunderstood by many. He is a brilliant Officer and a gentleman and a good leader of men. He enjoys the game of politics and he has been at it for decades. The Amona of Yorubaland is an Orator. He is blessed with a lot of pasuasive skills that wins him admiration.
Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim is a successful businessman and politician. He is a 1st Class brain and an academic. He is one man, who likes to do things his own way. He is a non-conformist. He is unconventional in his ways and he does not suffer fools gladly.
He loves to subject everything to the power of logic.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun is one of the APC Leaders in the South-West. He is currently in the Senate. He is a man who enjoys playing politics. He has been in politics for decades and he knows the twist and turns of politics. He has become a formidable player in Ogun politics. Call him the strongman of Ogun State politics and you will be correct. He is an Accountant. That makes him a good manager of Men & Resources.
Dr. Wale Babalakin is another celebrity we have had long interactions with. He is a man of many parts. He is a distinguished Lawyer and a businessman. He is a goal getter. He never takes No for answer. He believes everything is possible and achievable. He likes intellectual debates.
Fola Adeola & Tayo Aderinokun are 2 gentlemen who the banking industry will not forget in a hurry. They both founded Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) in 1990. Though Tayo died a few years ago, Fola is still very active in Corporate Nigeria. He still owns substantial shares in GTBank. He and Tayo started GTB in their 30s. Now, Fola is in his late 60s. He will soon be 70.
Chief Mrs. Onikepo Akande is a successful businesswoman. She has had a distinguished career in both Public & Private life. This beautiful woman of Style loves to look good. She is blessed with a lovely soft voice that gets you to listen to her with rapt attention.
DIG Tunji Alapinni is a retired Police Officer with a difference. He is a disciplined and highly principled man, blessed with a pencil slim frame. He has always been very stylish in his dressing and ways of life.
He is always prim and proper. He is a perfect gentleman. He belongs to the set of Police Officers who are referred to as An Officer and a Gentleman.
Princess Toyin Kolade is usually called the Iyalaje of Apapa because of her big business in Apapa, where she works as a Clearing & Forwarding Agent. She has also been nicknamed the Iyalade of The Source by the Ooni. She is a big Philanthropist. She is forever willing to help people. She is a successful businesswoman many years back City People honoured her as The Businesswoman of The Year. She has been into Buying & Selling since her undergraduate days at OAU, Ile-Ife. She has the Midas Touch, turning everything she touches to Gold.
The Erelu of Lagos, Erelu Abiola Dosumu is another beautiful lady of substance we admire. She is the lady in white. She keeps a wardrobe full of lovely white outfits. She is a style Queen. She is also very intelligent. She is loaded with ideas. She lives well. She is a very refined and urbane woman. She loves Tradition & Culture.
The Otunba Adekunle Ojora is an accomplished Boardroom guru who has seen it all. He is stupendously rich and he loves his wife, Erelu Ojuolape Ojora. Both are into each other. They have come a long way. Otunba is a master of the game when it comes to corporate politics.
He has been around long enough to earn all the respect he has earned over the years. Age has slowed him down. But he is still very active social wise.
IBB is another strong personality we have met. We once visited him at his Minna Hilltop residence for an interview. Give it to him he is one of the most gifted leaders we have had in Nigeria. He understands the game of Power. He understands what Leadership means and he has a vibrant capacity for innovative ideas lacking in successive regimes. His Minna home is like Aso-Rock, befitting of a head of state.