BY OLOYE LEKAN ALABI
IBADAN – A Chinese sage, centuries ago, postulated that people, not necessarily blood relations,are bound to relate closely if they share similar philosophies, ideas,interests etc
Such is the great bond between my humble self and the following seven ‘sisters’ of mine,with whom I share deep, clean, relationships, due to the deep respect, mutual, cultural and social relationships between us.I call the ‘sisters’ ‘BBC’ for their Beauty,Brilliance and Culture.
These respectable ‘sisters’ include Chief (Mrs) Mutiat Olayinka Ladoja, Ambassador Ibironke Adefope, Chief (Mrs) Tina Ogundoyin, Princess Folashade Haastrup, Dame Ibironke Olubunmi-Thomas, Hon. Justice Tokunbo Majekodunmi, Dr. (Mrs) Funlola Dare, etc.
Why this story? The recent coronation of the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Senator (Dr) Moshood Isola Olalekan Balogun, Ali Okunmade 11 and the current biting petrol scarcity in the country triggered this epistle.
Pictured: Top photograph captures the two issues raised by me, the 42nd Olubadan coronation ceremony and fuel scarcity, vide the photograph taken at the Olubadan coronation on Friday, March 11, 2022, showing Chief (Mrs) Mutiat Olayinka Ladoja, the Ekefa Iyalode of Ibadanland and former First Lady of Oyo State of Nigeria, (left), Chief (Mrs) Tina Iyabode Ogundoyin, a successful businesswoman and mother of the Honourable Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Debo Ogundoyin and my humble self at the coronation ceremony at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
Chief (Mrs) Ladoja,a former First Lady of Oyo State and Ekefa Iyalode of Ibadanland, is my dear sister and wife of my respected egbon – Senator (High Chief) Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland and a former Governor of Oyo State of Nigeria.
When Chief (Mrs) Ladoja, assumed office as the First Lady of Oyo State, in 2003, she consulted me over who to appoint as her Press Secretary. I confided in Princess Folashade Haastrup, a veteran journalist and thoroughbred professional, who was then in the service of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), before retiring as a General Manager.
Sade and I had worked together at the NTA Ibadan, in the 1970’s. Together, we conducted the interview for some female journalists and recommended Mrs. Lola Makinde of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), Ibadan, for the post of Spokesperson for the Oyo State First Lady.
Our choice, Mrs. Makinde, got the job. Chief (Mrs) Ladoja (right), in the picture, sits on the floor at my formal installation as the Mogaji Oyetunji Olundegun Family, Isale ‘Jebu, Ibadan, in November 1994. My wife, Chief (Mrs) Adetokunbo Mojirade Alabi, the first Yeyemeso Lalupon, Ibadanland, is seated on the left.
Next is Chief (Mrs) Ogundoyin. Whenever there is fuel scarcity, Tina, who has interests in the petroleum and gas business, is always offering me a free supply of petrol. She still does.
Tina is in the background in the photograph taken at the dinner hosted in December 1999, by me and Tokunbo in honour of Ambassador Adefope, on her appointment as Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Zambia and Malawi and King Sunny Ade (KSA), MFR, as the President of PMAN.
Ambassador Ibironke Adefope, a former Nigerian High Commissioner to Zambia and Malawi, who recently celebrated her 70th birthday in London, Great Britain and Ibadan, Oyo State, shares similar human rights, socio-cultural and political values with me.
She and I discussing an issue at the coronation ceremony, in 2007, of the 40th Olubadan of Ibadanland, the late Oba Samuel Odulana, Odugade 1
Ambassador Adefope and my wife were classmates at the famous Saint Anne’s School, Molete, Ibadan, in the 1960’s. Besides, their revered fathers were friends, a family link that continues till date.
Hon. Justice Majekodunmi, a younger sister of my former schoolmate, Lola, continues to be an aburo since I first set eyes on her, through Lola, in 1973.
Princess Haastrup, a granddaughter of the late Olubadan Salawu Aminu, and I at the 50th remembrance anniversary of the late Olubadan Aminu.
As for Dame Thomas, she and Ronke Faloyin, the left-handed Sketch smash reporter, played good Samaritans, when one day in 1978, after my return from studies in London, UK, I fell to an acute attack of malaria fever in the Newsroom of the now-defunct Sketch Publishing Company Limited, Oba Adebimpe Road, Dugbe, Ibadan.
They both, despite our meeting for the first time, played the good Samaritan, when they volunteered to buy me antimalarial drugs, from their pockets, at the now-defunct West African Drugs Company Limited (WAD) Gbagi, Ibadan. From that day, the duo of Dame Olubunmi-Thomas and Ronke, sorry her marital name is uncatchable now, have remained my chums.
Dr Funmilola Dare, has remained my dear aburo, since that day in 1986, when her revered late father, Chief Jossy Olajoyegbe, the owner of the famous JOFABRO recording company, ‘handed’ her, as it were,to me while she and the now-retired Colonel Yomi Dare were dating.
Yomi was the ADC to the late Brigadier-General Adetunji Olurin, then the military governor of the old Oyo State. I served Governor Olurin as Press Secretary. And I compared the wedding reception of Yomi and Funlola.
People are bound to meet, if they are ‘related’, to the extent that the uninitiated keep asking: “What’s between them gan nan?” There is NOTHING better than a clean bond.
One has come a long, beautiful way with stars.