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Ezekiel Bolarinwa Ajayi: Mentor, Philanthropist Revels at 80

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By Eric Elezuo

The ancient town of Ile-Ife was agog weekend, when Professor Ezekiel Bolarinwa Oladele Ajayi, a renowned educationist, accomplished mentor and elder brother of veteran journalist, Dele Momodu, pulled all the stops to mark a resounding entry into the octogenarian club, celebrating his 80th birthday with fanfare, pomp and class.

The event, which attracted family members, colleagues in the academic world, friends and well wishers, was another testament in the expression of influence, clout and connection.

Held at the Rock Rehoboth Cathedral in the centre of Ile-Ife, the event brought out the best in the Stanford trained PHD holder, as beamed with contagious smiles, absorbing accolades from a crowd of well wishers and dignitaries, most of whom traveled half  way across the world to felicitate with the newest octogenarian.

A lavished reception followed after heartfelt prayers were said for the celebrant flanked by his wife of many years, children and grandchildren. The reception witnessed guests savoring the best of continental and local delicacies as well as dancing happily to the old school tunes.

The highpoint of the event was the cutting of the gigantic cake by the birthday boy around whom were dotting family members.

As guests expressed their profound, hearty and sincere congratulations towards the octogenarian, whose event changed the landscape of Ife, many recalled how they have come a long way from their very humble beginning in Gbongan Olufi.

Fondly called Ladele, Prof Ajayi was born on March 23, 1944 in Gbongan, Osun State, where he had his earliest beginnings.

He statted his education at the Saint Paul’s School Gbongan, before moving on to Saint Judes School, Ebute Metta, and later to Saint Stephens School, Ile-Ife, where he completed his primary education.

After his elementary education, he was admitted into the Government College lbadan, where he was described as having  ‘passed out in exceedingly bright colours’. As many that knows him has confirmed that Prof Ajayi was a walking encyclopedia, and vibrated with intelligence while at school.

It was not therefore, surprising that he later proceeded to the United States of America, after his secondary education, where he attended various prestigious Universities including Stanford University. It is worthy of note that all his appearances for university education were on different scholarships. It was also at Stanford that he bagged his PhD honours.

On the completion of his PhD programme in Stanford, Prof Ajayi was recruited by the University of Ife, as it was then known, before its transmutation to Obafemi Awolowo University, where he later became a Professor of Physics, a position he jealousy guarded until retirement from active classroom duties.

According to a very close family member and confidant, Bola Adeyemo, who spoke glowingly about their fond relationship, Prof Ajayi “also became active in things of God. Like a proverbial gold fish, he has been recognized as a Pastor. Ladele played a mentoring role in the final years of school for my twin daughters who both graduated from the medicine program in the same University.

“The mutual fondness between Ladele and I remains very much intact. Ladele and l share common ancestry. His father who was the Otun Olufi of Gɓongan was a much older cousin to my mother and was fondly referred to as baba mi ile ASORO. They both had the same tribal marks. Ladele can be classified as belonging to the royal class as his father was the OTUN OLUFI while his mother was the daughter of the ÒOSA, first class chief in Gbongan.”

A life of Prof Ajayi without a mention of prolific publisher of the Ovation brands,  Chief Momodu, remains incomplete. It is worthy of note that apart from both sharing the same mum as siblings, the Prof was instrumental in shaping and mentally mentoring Momodu on the path of education. His 80th birthday was a reminder of how it used to be in times past as it marks a form of reunion for the Ajayi extended household.

Among those who attended were his daughter, Kemi Ajayi-Ingram, who flew in all the way from the United States of America, with her entire family; his niece, Yejide Ajayi among a host of others.

We wish the ebullient octogenarian a splendid birthday, and many ore years of splendid celebrations.

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Atiku Sympathises with Tinubu over ‘Unfortunate’ Fall on Democracy Day Parade Ground

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By Eric Elezuo

A former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has sympathized with President Bola Tinubu over his fall while trying to board a parade truck to inspect parade at the Eagle Square on Wednesday.

The former Vice President expressed his sympathies via his verified X account, describing the fall as ‘unfortunate incident’, and hoping that all is well with the President.

He wrote:

“I sincerely sympathize with President Bola Tinubu over this unfortunate incident as he was set to review the parade on Democracy Day. I hope that all is well with him -AA”

Recall that while Tinubu attempted to mount the open truck for inspection of parade, he slipped and fell. But he was quick to pick himself up again with the help of his aides, who came to his rescue.

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Democracy Day Parade: Tinubu Slips, Falls, Recovers

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President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday slipped and fell while boarding the parade vehicle at the venue of the 2024 Democracy Day.

The President had approached the vehicle shortly after he arrived at the Eagles Square, Abuja venue of the programme.

Our correspondent observed that the President lost his footing momentarily as he was about to step into the vehicle.

However, despite the slip, the President quickly regained his balance and continued with the proceedings.

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Glo Maintains 18 Years Tradition, Sponsors Ojude Oba Festival Again

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Digital solutions provider, Globacom, has announced that it will again be partnering with the organizers of the popular Ojude Oba festival this year in continuation of a tradition it started 18 years ago.

Speaking at the pre-event press conference held at Awujale’s Palace in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Globacom’s representative, Mr. Kazeem Kaka, restated the company’s commitment to uplifting Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

“Our sponsorship of festivals is aimed at identifying with the cultures and traditions of the Nigerian people, as an indigenous brand. Our involvement in the celebration of Ojude Oba festival is therefore geared towards promoting the unique tradition and custom of the Ijebu people”, Kaka said.

Globacom’s collaboration with the custodians of this festival, Mr. Kaka explained, underscores the company’s commitment to the rich heritage of the nation which is externalised through these festivals.

“It is our belief that our continued support for Ojude Oba will further strengthen the festival and entrench it as a world class carnival which will attract even more tourists from across the world. We are convinced that this partnership will further foster a symbiotic relationship with immense benefits for both Globacom and Ijebuland”, he added.

In his speech, the Chairman, Ojude Oba Planning Committee, Chief Olu Okuboyejo, paid tribute to Globacom for its massive support for the celebration which he noted serves as a reminder of the historical antecedents of the Ijebu people.

Themed: “Unity and Harmony in Ijebuland…The gift of Ojude Oba”, the 2024 edition of the festival is the 18th time that Globacom will be partnering with the Ojude Oba Planning Committee as the main sponsor of the festival.

Ojude Oba is celebrated annually two days after the Islamic  Eid El-Kabr festival and it’s a social gathering where all divergent issues affecting the lives of the Ijebu people are addressed. It is also a cornerstone for the development of the community socially, politically and economically.

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