Hero Magazine International goes a step further in living to its ideals of chronicling great leaders and promoting excellence as it decides to recognize the contributions of eminent Ikales, living or dead to the development of the Ikale sub-ethnic nationality.
Herodotus, popularly acclaimed as the father of history once observed that the purpose of history is to put on record the astonishing effects of one and others, so that the great deeds of men might not be forgotten. This was the consideration of the Hero, Nigeria’s foremost news magazine when it decided to come up with a book for national consumption in its efforts to reward the noble deeds of some proud members of the Ikale sub-ethnic nationality to celebrate these wonderful human breeds who have contributed in varying degrees to the developmental strides attained in the society. In other words, the book, titled THE TITANS: MEMOIRS OF ACCOMPLISHED IKALES, is an expose on the accomplishments of these Ikale sons and daughters who have contributed immensely to the development of the Ikale nation. Such contributions could be in terms of job creation, youth empowerment, and other kinds of community development services.
Over the years, it has been observed that some of the people of Ikale land who providence has helped to attain greatness have found it very difficult to give back to the people. This was particularly apt when a human rights activist of Ikale extraction and resident in Canada, Jimi Adekanle (JAF) released a bombshell recently on the social media condemning in its entirety the antecedents of some of these people who have neglected to assist their kinsmen when they were in positions of authority. According to JAF (and this is well known to every discerning mind), people of Ikale land have hitherto had their kinsmen as Chief of Naval Staff (the same person having earlier served as governor), some had been privileged to serve as Accountant General of the Federation, some had been Major General in the Army, some others had been Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without anything to show for these. Adekanle regretted why Ikales have heard several opportunities and have abused same. He noted with dismay that he once applied to a bank with the name of a former Accountant General of the Federation from his home town as a referee on his resume and that he was given this job on the strength of this, but with a further condition to get a certain sum of money for the bank within a specified period of time. Accordingly, he approached this supposed benefactor who declined to use the influence to get through to the said bank or assist him with referrals to some people he knew for assistance on how to meet up with the “target”. Regrettably, his colleagues who did a similar thing using her kinsman’s name as a referee on her own resume was considered and she still went ahead to discuss with the said referee who helped them to meet up with her own “targets”.
Has anybody taken time to explore in a bid to expose why the Ikale people do not have scores of their children at top-ranking positions in the armed forces in spite of the fact that an Ikale man was the Naval Chief for four good years? What is the rationale behind having an Ikale man as a Minister in the Nigerian Federation and his kinsmen continue to live in darkness? These and other questions are what the authors set to address when the Hero magazine decided to constitute a selection and screening committee to look into the accomplishments of some Ikales who have lived up to (and even beyond) the expectations of the people with a view to celebrating and encouraging them to do more and changing the tempo in the minds of the younger ones coming behind that whatever they do today would become history some day in the future. The fifteen-man committee, headed by HRM Oba Festus Oyedele Olumoyegun (Monebi-Lumeko 1), Oniju of Iju-Odo, works assiduously day and night to ensure the timely production of the book for national consumption.
Meanwhile, in the course of the selection, consideration was given to those who are still alive and also those who have gone to the other side of the divide (post-humous). “Invariably, we are doing this to immortalize those whose efforts were applauded while they lived”, Oba Olumoyegun remarked.
In this connection, some of those who made the list are Hon. Sheba Abayomi (Ode-Irele), immediate past Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Abuja; Dr. Seinde Fadeni Oladapo. (Ode-Aye), multimillionaire businessman and foremost philanthropist; Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim (Igbotako), another multimillionaire businessman who doubles as a philanthropist; Mr. Modupe Olowodahunsi (Igbotako), CEO of Careerbridge Foundation, a free healthcare – US based NGO and philanthropist; Prince Jimi Odimayo (Ode-Irele), a leading governorship aspirant in Ondo State and philanthropist of note; and Hon. Mike Omogbehin (Igbotako) Former Member of the House of Representatives. Others are Pastor Segun Aiyerin (Ilutitun), former Chairman of Okitipupa Local Government and immediate past Commissioner for Agriculture in Ondo State; Bode Ojajuni (Igbotako), Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abayomi Akeremale (Okitipupa), retired Commissioner of Police; Engr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele (Igodan), another governorship hopeful; and Prince Diran Iyantan (Ode-Aye), Federal Character Commissioner. The list also includes Prof. Francis Igbasan (Ode-Irele), Deputy Vice Chancellor, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa; Dr. Bamidele Ekunsanmi (Ode-Irele), USA; Barr. Morayo Lebi (Akotogbo), legal luminary of note; Dr. Bolu John Folayan (Igbotako), Publisher of Ikale News; Barr. Remi Olatubora (Iju-Osun), Former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ondo State; Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan (Ode-Irele), Honourable Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ondo State; Hon. Afolabi Iwalewa (Akotogbo), Former Member, Ondo State House of Assembly, Professor Reuben Adeboyeje, Former Provost, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo; HRH Ipinsanmi Adekoye, Regent of Ode-Erinje; Pastor Olumide Akinrinlola (Ode-Aye) Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Nicholas Tofowomo; as well as Chief (Mrs) Modeola Akindele (Okitipupa), a respectable business and community leader, among others.
In the post-humous category are Chief Olu Akinfosile (Igbotako), Former Minister of Communications, Dr. Olusegun Agagu (Iju-Odo), Former Governor of Ondo State, Chief Amos Kolawole Akinloye (Ode-Aye) Ikale foremost business tycoon in his days. Chief Jackson Okunfolami (Ajagba), Navy Captain Babs Akinnoye (Ode-Aye), Nigerian Navy; Olajide Akinfosile (Ode-Aye); Chief (Mrs) Maryland Akindele (Okitipupa); and Chief Robert Ajibolade (Ode-Erinje).
These eminent Ikales are people whose records were outstanding and could not be contested in the effort to discredit the honours bestowed on them. For instance, it is on record that Abayomi Sheba, in the course of the several bus stops he has found himself, have facilitated employments into the federal civil service, agencies and paramilitary organizations for no fewer than five hundred Ikales. Seined Fadeni Oladapo started giving scholarships to Ikales for over a decade ago. He donates handsomely at several functions (especially in Ikale land), provides cars and other utility tools to needy Ikales, intervenes periodically in the health needs of the people. The recent provision of an ultra-modern cathedral valued at over N400 million naira to Wesley Methodist Church, Ode-Aye, is a case in point. On his own part, Jimoh Ibrahim who started giving out scholarship at a relatively tender age has intervened in the location of industries in the land. Such a gesture impacts on lives and the economy of the people. He has gone a step further with the location of the Fortunes University at Igbotako. Like Ibrahim, Jimi Odimayo has scores of his firms located in Ikale land. Mention must be made of the famous Arowolo Hotels at Ode-Irele, headquarters of Irele Local Government. He is also reputed for his scholarship awards and empowerment of the people.
Needless, we talk about the contribution of Late Chief Olu Akinfosile, Dr. Segun Agagu, and many others who made the list but have submitted to eternity. Even his most vocal critics would not deny Akinfosile the credit for superlative performance when he was Minister of Communications. The Nigeria Telecommunication Limited has its dynamic presence in Ikale courtesy of this late sage. It was Akinfosile who ensured Ikale’s a road network linkage from the Osooro axis of the area links to the Lagos express road. No wonder the road was named after him. Like him or late him, Agagu lived his office as governor of Ondo State to improve the infrastructural base of Ikale land and beyond. It is road or what have you? The Ondo State University of Science and Technology (which has now been named after him) was his brain child.
By the way, HRM Oba Olumoyegun has assured the ever anxious readers who are waiting for the early arrival of the book that it would be out as soon as the global pandemic otherwise referred to as COVID-19 is over, and that the pubic presentation would be done amidst pumps and pageantries.
The traditional ruler however submitted that the selection committee, which has completed its assignment in the selection process will be made to work on the book presentation and come up with a suitable venue for same. He however left no one in doubt that it would come up either in Okitipupa, the Central town in Ikale land, or Akure, the Ondo State Capital.
Additional Reports by Kunle Ikuyinminu