BABA IJO, METHODIST CHURCH NIGERIA, AGBENI, IBADAN, OYO STATE OF NIGERIA, CHAIRMAN, MONDANDOLA GROUP (2nd June 1933 to 30th June 2020) (PART 1V)
Those who knew Sir Bode intimately knew he was a strict stickler for the time-honoured Yoruba values and English protocols. Well, what else did you expect from a scion of a blue-blooded Ibadan aristocratic dynasty, The Akindeles of Oja ‘Ba, who was a UAC Cadet-Manager, under English supervisors in pre-independence Nigeria?
He would not take his seat at his private/corporate parties until all his guests were satisfied. Sir Bode was an exponent of protocols
But, his famed protocol savvy suffered an embarrassing, indirect wobble, on my 60th birthday book launch/luncheon, on Wednesday, 27th October 2010, in our beloved hometown, Ibadan.
I had, six months earlier (in March 2010) formally, yes formally, written a letter inviting Sir to chair my diamond jubilee events. A duty he graciously accepted, on reading my letter in my presence.
Unfortunately, his Nigeria Office had entered the 27th October date on a Saturday in his business diary, on the general assumption that birthdays are celebrated on weekends!
Two days to the ceremony, he had called his Nigeria Office from London for confirmation of my birthday celebration date, when his Secretary told him that I would be hosting the event on a weekday(Wednesday)and not the wrong day, Saturday, entered in his diary! So, a salvage ‘job’ by him between London and Lagos started.
Sir contacted his bosom friend, Chief Bode Amao, Asiwaju of Ibadanland and an industrialist/philanthropist of note too, to kindly represent him, and act as the Chair.
But, since I had already invited Chief Amao, another role model of mine, he politely told his friend,(Sir Bode), that he was already my confirmed guest, as such, he could not oblige the request to act as the Chair. As I later learnt, all Ibadan respectable elders, who were close to him, and contacted by Sir to act on his behalf as Chair, had already given nods to my invitation.
In the end, Sir sent a high-profile delegation led by his senior wife, Chief (Mrs) Olabisi Ayinke Akindele.
We had, last January, discussed my forthcoming 70th birthday in October and his expected role. But, now death has taken Sir away to glory land.
May Sir (Chief) Bode Akindele’s kind and noble soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.