•City People Reported About Them 25 Years Ago
Just like yesterday, it’s been 25 years that your darling soft-sell magazine City People commenced operations. Reporting lifestyle of top celebrities and covering A-list events. The magazine dies not only pride itself as the number one soft-sell journal in Nigeria, but also the only one in that category with offices and correspondents manning those offices located across the six geo-political zones of the country, apart from Lagos which is the headquarters.
Oyo State, particularly Ibadan, the capital city of the state, like other zones, has been well covered. Of course with the diligent efforts of the highly intelligent, charming Correspondent and later South West Bureau Chief of the Magazine, late Bola Davies, the state, as well as Osun, received an unprecedented prominence as far as society coverage was concerned.
Quite a good number of top celebrities in Ibadan consistently featured on the pages of City People back then. They were successful men with cash, most of them were sociable and stylish too. The list cuts across private, business, politics and social circles.
The question now is where are these celebrities and what are they doing now? Of course, some are dead, while some have grown old. Some have really slowed down their social outings.
Those who have passed on include the likes of Chief Richard Akinjide, Chief Harry Akande, Alhaji Arisekola Alao (former Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland), Alhaji Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu, Alhaji Oyedele Ibrahim (Inaolaji), Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi, former governor of Oyo State and Alhaji Mufutau Ajadi Olanihun (Ogo-Ibadan), all of the blessed memory. They were stakeholders as far as Ibadan, Oyo State is concerned.
While Akinjide was a legal luminary in his lifetime; Chief Harry Akande; Adedibu; Arisekola and Ajimobi dominated virtually all 4 sectors (private, business, politics and social sectors). Alhaji Mufutau Olanihun dominated the business and social scenes.
Also on the list is Chief Afe Babalola, another legal luminary who has reached the peak of his profession. He has since diversified into the education sector. He is the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD). At 91, Aare Afe Babalola is still kicking and doing fine.
Chief Kola Daisi, CON too is a lawyer and businessman. He has delved into education as well, through his foundation, Kola Daisi Foundation. The Basorun of Ibadanland is the founder of Kola Daisi University. Any A-list social function that was worth its salt must have the likes of Kola Daisi in attendance back then. He is a bit old now but doing fine. He is 89.
What about the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja? In and out of government, Ladoja always appears in Ankara and till today, it has become his trademark, not only in the political circle but also on the social scene. He is the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland. At 76, Ladoja remains a political stakeholder to reckon with in Oyo State. We also have a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Chief Tunji Alapinni.
Like Ladoja, Professor Isaac Adewole is another simplicity personified individual. He is a professor of gynecology and obstetrics. He was the Provost, College of Medicine and later Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan before he was appointed as the Minister of Health. He is a close friend of Senator Ladoja. He is 66.
Chief Rashidi Ladoja also has a very good friend called Isaac Jolapamo. He is Chairman, MORLAP Group. He is the Chairman of the Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), now Nigeria Ship Owners Association (NISA). He is an Ibadan man to the core.
Not forgetting the three musketeers of the social scene back then. Alhaji Murhi Gbadeyanka, Late Arisekola Alao and the Osogbo-born billionaire, Alhaji Tunde Badmus were grandfathers of the Ibadan social circle. While Arisekola is late, both Tuns Farm boss, Tunde Badmus and Murhi International, Gbadeyanka are alive and doing good. The only thing is that their faces are very scarce at social functions nowadays. Alhaji Tunde Badmus has successfully built a business empire and has capable hands in charge. All he does now is to go on inspection once in a while. He is now more focused on humanitarian activities that he is known for.
There are also Dr. Raymond Zard of Zartech (Babalaje of Ibadanland); Oba Otudeko; Oloye Lekan Alabi, the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland; Alhaji Lateef Oyelade, a popular religious n leader in Ibadan and a retired Brigadier General of the Nigeria Army, Raji Rasaki. Both Baba Oyelade and Raji Rasaki are very close. They attended parties together back then. While Raji Rasaki is a retired soldier, Oyelade is an Oil & Gas magnate. Not much is heard about them lately though.
Both Raji Rasaki and Oyelade have a common friend in Alhaji Lamidi Ajadi, a tyre merchant. Lamidi Ajadi, ‘Alapafaari’ as he is popularly known on the social scene, is one of the most stylish men in Ibadan. Cap, sunshades and walking stickS are his trademarks at parties. He has since expanded his business frontiers and delved into the Event Centre business. He owns the popular SABLAK Event Centre in Ibadan.
The list won’t be complete without mentioning Alaafin of Oyo, HIM Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111. In fact, it can never be out of line to say Iku Baba Yeye is the number one fan of City People. He has always been supportive right from inception. He is a newsmaker anytime any day. Nothing has changed about him really, except the age. He remains as stylish as ever.
Also among the movers and shakers of political and social circles in Ibadan are former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala; Alhaji Yekinni Adeojo; Elder Wole Oyelese; Alhaji Musa Alubankudi and Senator Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland. They all dominated social scene back then and are still much around. Though age has slowed most of them down.
In Ibadan, Oyo State and indeed in Nigeria generally, there is no way you would talk about the academic world without mentioning the name. Dr. Victor Omololu Olunloyo. The former governor of the old Oyo State is a stakeholder in the State’s political and social establishment.
Do you also remember the former Chairman, Oyo State chapter of Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Alhaji Akinsola Tokyo? He is one of the prominent faces on the pages of many newspapers back then. In fact, he moved around town in a convoy then.