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Personality in Focus

Ebenezer Obey: Between Music and Philosophy: Celebrating a Living Legend

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By Femi Kehinde

In a society where we celebrate the dead, at the expense of the living, it is desirable to celebrate the living, who had impacted into our lives and essence.

In the music industry, Ebenezer Olasupo Remilekun Aremu Fabiyi-Obey, is worthy of mention and deserving of accolades and encomiums.

Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi did not create JuJu music, but he and some of his friendly competitors, gave JuJu music its soul, breath and life.

Juju is a popular Nigerian music, derived from traditional Yoruba percussions. The name comes from the Yoruba word- JuJu or jiju- meaning- throwing or something being thrown.

Juju music is played in clubs, taverns, halls and at parties across Nigeria and its neighbouring countries of Republic of Benin, most especially the Yoruba speaking parts of Ajase-Ipo, Cotonou ,Ghana, the Gambia, Senegal etc.

Juju was believed to have been created and popularised by Abdul Rafiu Adekunle king, popularly known as Tunde King who waxed his first JuJu Album in 1937, followed by some other itinerant musicians, most especially, the blind minstrel-Kokoro. Ayinde Bakare, also waxed his Juju album in 1937.
Life beamed into JuJu music, with the entry of Ernest Olatunde Thomas (Tunde Nightingale), an Ibadan native. Tunde Nightengale and His Agba Jolly Ochestra, held regular performances, at the West African Club, Ibadan. He pioneered Sowambe dance (is it there?) possibly, a reference to the beads (Ileke), usually worn on the waist of dancing women. Despite sounding like a Nightingale, he always kept a live bird in his house. Fatai Rolling dollars, from Ede, but lived in Lagos, Dele Ojo, Ayinde Bakare, Adeolu Akinsanya (Baba eto) and his Western Toppers Band, Victor Olaiya, IK (Isaac Kehinde) Dairo and his Morning Star Ochestra, later known as Blue Sports Band, were early pathfinders. H

HoweverEbenezer Obey and Sunny Ade, made this genre, the most popular music by bringing in spectacular innovations.
JuJu was popular then, in places like Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan

In the immigrant neighborhood of Ekotedo, Adamasingba, Mokola in Ibadan and the Lagos city centres- in their tavarns, dance halls, night clubs , hotels and brothels, JuJu began to compete heavily with the imported highlife from Ghana.

This was the music, that Ebenezer Obey, popularised and took to a greater height, from the level of its forebears, and from obscurity to prominence.

Human Life is certainly propelled by interests, talents luck, opportunities and the ability to discover a deposited latent power. Ebenezer, made a quick discovery of a life, that would be dominated by music. Ebenezer, was born on the 3rd of April 1942, as Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Fabiyi in Idogo, in Egbado division of present day Ogun State, to Abigail Oyindamola Abeke Toriola Fabiyi an owu woman, from Ago Owu, Abeokuta and his father- Nathaniel Olaseewo Fabiyi, an Egba man, also from Keesi in Abeokuta.

The circumstances surrounding his birth, was quite interesting, amazing and divinely inspired. Abigail his mother, was earlier married for over 20 years to her first husband, without the fruits of the womb, that is, without a child. She had travelled round the northern part of Nigeria with her husband, as a wife, of a Senior Station Manager (SSM), with the Nigerian Railways, before they finally settled in Lagos. The family of the first husband, at a family meeting, proclaimed her a barren woman, and advised her to seek her fortune elsewhere. This shocking news was almost a death sentence, being suddenly discharged, from a man she had married for over 20 years. The family however acknowledged, that she was a good woman, but what does a good woman do, without the fruit of the womb? She was distraught and melancholic. But a man of God had told her, that Gods mercy endures forever and that she would eventually be blessed with her own children.

She left Lagos for Idogo, an agrarian community and Railways train station, in Egbado, present day Ogun State, whose produce from the Idogo community, usually crashes prices of agricultural commodities, food stuffs, vegetables, yams etc. in mainland Lagos, on market days, whenever the Idogo train (Oko Idogo) smiles into Lagos. In melancholy, she moved to Idogo, to stay with her elder brothers, who were farmers.

Around this period, Ebenezer’s father, a carpenter and also a farmer, had also relocated to Idogo, from Lagos. It was in Idogo that Nathaniel Fabiyi met Abigail, his friends sister. Jovial and rich in Egba dialect, he had jokingly proclaimed himself, husband of Abigail and that he was aware of her story. He further prophesied, that Abigail would give birth to both male and female children for him. To her, it was infra, (infra dignitatem), for an ex-wife of a Senior Railways Station Manager, to marry a carpenter. But nonetheless, they became husband and wife, and she gave birth to her first child- Obey’s elder sister, and because this miraculous delivery was a product of Gods grace, she pleaded with Fabiyi, that the child should be called- Grace (Anuoluwamipo) Olasumbo Fabiyi…
Grace was almost 80 years, when she died.

The birth of Grace heralded another bouncing baby boy, that was instantly named- Ebenezer- (God has helped me thus far )- (titi de yi, l’ oluwa ran mi lowo de), with the permission of her husband, who also gave him additional names- Olasupo, Remilekun, Aremu.

In Idogo, they lived in a rented apartment- the first storey building in Idogo. Coincidentally, Fabiyi was the carpenter that roofed the house. Shortly after Ebenezer’s birth, Fabiyi disappeared into Lagos again, where he already had two other wives, and could not surface into the Idogo community, until after 7 years. As a matter of fact, Ebenezer did not meet his father, until he was 7 years old.

In this intervening period, Abigail was making tremendous success in her clothes selling business (Iya Alaso). She decided to build her own house in Idogo, and her neighbour, who assisted her, became her next husband and this union, gave birth to her third child- that was named Clement Oluseye Olusegun Akanni Kembi, who died in November 2018, at the age of 73.
In parenthesis and sweet juxtaposition, Zulikat Wuraola Abiola, was the mother of Moshood kashimawo Olawale Abiola, an Egba woman. She got married to a man in Ikirun, in present day Osun state, and for several years, the marriage could not bear fruits and she was also pronounced a barren woman. She was advised to move back to her home town- Abeokuta, to seek a new pasture.

In Abeokuta, she was introduced to Salawu Abiola, who had also suffered 22 “abikus” that is, none of the 22 children stayed. Salawu, then of advanced age, heard of Wuraola’s case too, and decided to marry her, at least, if for nothing else, but companionship. Wuraola instantly became pregnant and gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, that was given an “abiku” name- kashimawo- let’s see if this one would stay.
Kaahimawo stayed and was only given further names- Moshood Olawale, when he was 13 years, having been assured, that this one would stay. Kashimawo, like Ebenezer, also became hugely successful. They eventually became brothers and soul mates. M.K.O became a business partner and perhaps, mentor of Ebenezer’s music and both bought over Decca West Africa Ltd.
Salawu in his life time, was always happy, that the very first time, that he would enter an aircraft, it was Kashimawo’s aircraft.
Ebenezer grew up in Idogo and Idogo discovered him and his musical talents.
Ebenezer went to Methodist Primary School, Idogo and later finished at the Methodist secondary Modern school, Asero, Abeokuta, in 1958.

In the primary school, he was a band leader. He was a member of the choir in his church- Methodist Church, Idogo.
Obey and his friends, later formed the Idogo boys and girls’ club and also Ifelodun Mambo Orchestra in 1957, that finally gave birth to Royal Mambo Orchestra. Abigail saw these musical talents in Ebenezer and dissuaded him from taking to music as a career, but that she would rather encourage him to become a lawyer or a doctor(Ise ti mama miba mi da moran ki nse) The mother told him that in their own family, people sing their praises and not vise versa – “Kiki ni won ma nki wa Ni’le wa, awa kii ki eniyan.” After much pleadings, Abigail gave Ebenezer her blessings, according to her- nobody knows tomorrow. (Mama lo so wipe, ko se ni keni, to mo ojo ola).

In school, Ebenezer, being a class monitor, was nick named “Obey…” i.e. Obey first, before complain, being his usual admonition, when punishing a rebellious student. The name- “Obey”, then stuck. With the added name- Ebenezer Obey, he relocated to Lagos.

In Lagos, he got a job as a clerk on a monthly wage of three pounds (£3) and lived in Bolade Oshodi Lagos. He was able to buy a guitar. He was at this time, already calling himself a star and afuture star.
It was in Bolade Oshodi, that he saw two itinerant singers-Akinyomi Savage and Bamgbose Jumoda, whom he later helped to secure an amplifier, for a show and also became a part time member of their band, with a rewarding patronage of two pounds (£2) per show and five shillings every day for feeding. It was through J.O Araba, an Agidigbo musician, that he met Fatai Rolling dollars, a minstrel and roving guitarist. This relationship led to the formation of the Fatai Rolling Dollars band, which obey helped to put together. In 1964, he formed his own band- Ebenezer Obey and his International Brothers Band and started with Samson Ogunlade, Vasco Da-gama, Salawu, Oke Aminu and others.

Obey had difficulties in getting a musical promoter/label. After much hassles, he signed on with DECCA WEST Africa limited in Abibu Oki, Lagos.

He married Juliana Olaide Olufade, his heartthrob, in 1963. Juliana, died on the 23rd of August, 2011 and left with several children and grandchildren. However, because of Obey’s insistence that he was a star and a future star, the MD of Decca West Africa- Mr. C.K Kres, showed interest in Obeys music and career.

The first album “Ewa wo ohun oju ri” sold 506 copies, in 1964, after the MD of DECCA, had ordered for 25 copies to enable Ebenezer Obey secure future patronage, by hitting the target of 500 copies. He actually sold 481 copies.

His second album- “Olomi Gbo Temi” (my dearest wife, listen to me) “baby mi, jowo jeka Jo ma gbadun, Aya to mo yayi lo nsefe Oko re, telegan ba ntan e, ko ma ma see gba,” was a slight improvement. His third album- “Palongo, which he also released in 1965, gave him breakthrough and commercial success.

As a result of this commercial success, Obey began experimenting with Yoruba percussion style, expanding the band by adding more drum kits, guitars and talking drums.

Obey’s musical dexterity, lies in weaving intricate Yoruba axioms, idioms and proverbs, into danceable music. Obey started with small Albums (SLPs) and later brought in big Albums(BLPs) that had sold 500,000 copies and received a gold award, and also 1 million copies that also received platinum award.

After the London trip, and in the early 70s, Obey changed the name of the band from International brothers, to inter Reformers band and his fans named him- “Chief commander Ebenezer Obey.”

In 1966, when chief Awolowo came back from prison, after the military take over, he had an album- “Awolowo, Baba wa ti de,” to welcome Chief Obafemi Awolowo. In 1987, when Chief Obafemi Awolowo died, he released an album, to mark his exit- Aaa a o ma se, ile njeniyan” what a great loss!
In 1968, Obey had a hit album- “Ore mi e se Pele Pele.” He also released- “Gbe be mi oluwa, olowo laiye mo,”- Answer my prayers oh Lord and followed with further commercially successful Albums, and in 1970- Ala taja ba la,” 1971- Ija Pari” to mark the end of the Civil War, 1972- Aiye Wa a Toro”, 1973- The Horse, the man and his son, 1974- “Eko Ila”, 1975- Mukulu Muke maa jo” Etc, further entrenched his foothold in the music industry.

Obey had said of his music- “my lyrics are beneficial to society, either in form of prayers or good wishes, and furthermore, that his lyrics are meaningful “with moral lessons and philosophy”

Obey’s music, also brought in his trail, petty envies and jealousy.

He was said to have drank “lukudi” (a fetish local preparation, for wealth)- Ogun Owo and that he had undergone surgery, when a mysterious bird flew out of his tummy.
In London, on a musical tour, he was said to have planted Marijuana (Igbo) in his musical instruments. He had a rich musical band, comprising of- Samson Ogunlade, Vasco Da-Gama, Oke Aminu (who died on Saturday, the 25th of August, 1972, in Lagos, in a motor cycle (vespa), accident. He had left for his house, to change his clothes, to the uniform outfit, worn by other members of the band. Obey was a stickler for band discipline. He died on his way back to join the show.)

Mitui Kekere, Gabriel Adedeji, Giwa Ojo Arigidi, Matthew Baba Legba, Akanbi Oloye, Monday John, Bode Akiwowo, were also band members.

Obey does praise singing of people_- inclusive of non Yoruba people- (Michael inegbese, Alhaji Danjuma in Agege, Osawaru Igbinedion, Alhaji shehu Arikose in Ajase-Ipo, (Republic of Benin) Samuel Ogundele Adedoyin, Abiola Ogundokun, Chief. MKO Abiola,- in three different Albums, and a host of others, which also served as advertisement, for his fans.

Remo carpets, Teju foams, for Tejoosho, adverts for Datsun motors- Datsun 120, 140, 160, 180, for Alhaji Arishekola Alao, Lawyer Omoni, Yinka Rhodes and praise singing of Board Members- Odunaike insurance controller, Adewuyi Barrister Folly Tairu, Bode Osinusi, Chief Samuel Okunowo, Bisi Lola Edionsere, Henry Fajemirokun and a host of others. In these praise singing, he had also, philosophical muses- Owu alantakun, ko seni ti o le fi ranso (nobody can sew clothes with cobwebs)
“kini mama Alaso nta to yegba Dani abi ewure nje lace ni”- i.e.- what is a cloth seller, doing with cane or does goats eat clothes?
And that God gives wealth- “Nibi ta lagbara gbe tin sise, to nse wahala, aro ti o le dide a si ma rise.”

In his album, “ketekete”- the man the son and the horse- he had also philosophically advised- you can never please the world!
He had also advised people not to bury their talents- ma se ri talent re mo le and gave examples of footballers- Teslim Thunder Balogun, Haruna Ilerika, Althlete Deji Obayemi and lady Athlete- Dupe osikoya. He had advised his fans to take it easy. Ore mi, ese Pele Pele- Easy does it and- “so re ni wan”- be careful of being extremely generous. He had also in his 1983 hit album, emphasized and encouraged hardwork- saa maa sise gba ti gbogbo eniyan ko re jo kaluku ni baba pase fun pe sii se, looni
In “oro Kan ni mo fe bi yin?”- he had asked of choice, between parents and the wife- (ninu obi eni, pelu aya eni, ewo lo se Pataki to se koko?)

Obey’s vote was for the parents.
In his philosophical preference, in eniyan ti mofe ran ju”, he had given preference to Iya, Baba, iyawo, omo… i.e. mother, father, wife and children in that order of importance…
Obey does enormous praise singing and Christian praise worships.

He sings- “Baba wa tin be ni orun, (Our Father who hath in heaven) in sweet melody, Oluwa ni agbara mi,(The Lord is my strength)Oluwa ni o, oluso aguntan mi, emi, ki yoo sala I ni o (the Lord is my shephard) and “a njade lo loni” as an early morning prayerful wishes, Mo ma yin oluwa titi laiye” (I will praise the Lord forever) and a number of inspiring gospel songs.

Obey also does Miliki- “e sa ma Miliki o-, ko ma rotate, lo o were were, ko ma circulate lo o were were…”
He does daily prayers, he sings love, he sang the Paulina story in the Bar beach Lagos, episode.

Paulina was a ravishing beautiful lady, whom he saw at the Bar beach in Marina. He sang- “Mori Sisi Kan ni marina to ni nkaloo…”
O

“Obey said-I was love struck, I lifted her off her feet, singing about her bewitching beauty.
Obey also sang of the sexual innuendo in – “Ina ma wa tan o, Akanbi, 2ce O pe mi wole o… o tilekun mo mi, o ti lekun mo mi ofaro idi mi, terepa ba doyun o, Obey lo loyun oo jare…”
The lady said, he asked me inside, asked me to put off my clothes, and to these, obey said- “when I was a youth, I behaved as a youth.”
Yes, Obey sang praises of Olanrewaju Omo Badmus- Larry publicity and Estate consultant- Fatai Irawo.In 1972, the music legend, celebrated Olabisi Ajala in his 8th Album- Board Members. He had also celebrated the Association of Brothers-UP ASSO.
Obey sang the praises of Olabisi Ajala in the Album-
“Ajala travel all over the world (2ce) Ajala travel (2ce) Ajala travel(2ce) Ajala travels all over the world, alajala mi Omo olola, Ala Ajala mi Oko Alhaja shade, Alhaja los’obokun fun alajala, emi Meje o, emi Meje.”

After a successful music career, yearnings to serve God in HIS vine yard, became real and apparent and this call was spiritually confirmed by the late Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa.

At the peak of Obey’s musical career, he heeded Gods call and for 17 years, he was completely out of secular music and was now majorly, involved in the Decross evangelical ministry. He was in the ministry and he never looked back.

He had troubled and challenging moments. He lost a factory in Ota, Ogun state that produced cassettes. The company was into debts and he had to sell three of his houses, to offset the mortgage. He bought shares and stocks, that went bad.

There was then, another interface in Obey’s life. He had a programme in London, with the late Myles Munroe, where they both ministered.
There was a concert after the ministration. On the day of the concert according to Ebenezer Obey- “when I was performing, a lot of people turned out and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere. So after my performance, he collected the microphone from me and told me that music is my ministry. He said God told him to inform me not to quit music, because that is my ministry. He said it was what God had wanted me to do. He further advised me to preach less, but sing more, that I should preach through music. I prayed about it and that was how we started special appearances. That was when I began to charge fees ranging from N2.5 million and above and before I knew it, I had made millions. I would take a million for my ministry and the remaining would be shared between me and the band. When you listen to GOD HE would always provide for you.”
Obey had a chequered and distinguished career.
He said- “whenever I hear my music being played, it is like looking into the mirror. Whenever I hear my voice, I tell myself, that is me sounding, that is me singing.”
Obey said of his musical adventure- I am the musician that has the largest number of music tracks, of music released. I agree with the research.”
His versatility in music composition, has certainly endeared him to the world, as one of the best music composers.
Despite the disability of not singing in a universal language, those who do not understand Yoruba, still find it easy, to dance to his music and the melody- e waa gbo melody mo tun gbe melody mi dee”-Come and listen to melody, I have come with my melody.

According to him- “if you do not understand the language, once you hear the melody, you start to nod your head and move your hand, that means the music has entered your body.”
Ebenezer Obey is currently a Professor of music at the Ogun State University, Ago-Iwoye, a recipient of the National award and Doctor of philosophy at the Oral Roberts University, USA.
Life, certainly defines roles, labyrinths and its contours, and has defined that of Ebenezer Obey as a singer, band leader, composer, guitarist, philosopher and a man after Gods own heart. The album celebrating his 70th birthday in 2012, – “Obey at 70”, was also a master piece, after a very long absence.
Ebenezer Olasupo Remilekun Aremu Fabiyi-Obey, stand up and take your EVERGREEN medal… at 77. May you continue to enjoy your life, in good and robust health and continuous prosperity.
ARTICLE BY:-
HON. (BARR.) FEMI KEHINDE
FORMER MEMBER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, ABUJA,
REPRESENTING AYEDIRE/IWO/OLAOLUWA FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY OF OSUN STATE (1999-2003)
&
PRINCIPAL PARTNER, FEMI KEHINDE & CO (SOLICITORS)
IBADAN OFFICE- NO 84, IWO ROAD, IBADAN.
LAGOS OFFICE- PLOT A, OLUWALOGBON MOTORS BUILDING,
OBAFEMI AWOLOWO WAY,
IKEJA,
LAGOS.
ABUJA OFFICE-
NO 8, SUEZ CRESCENT,
IBRAHIM ABACHA ESTATE,
WUSE ZONE 4,
ABUJA,
FCT.

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Personality in Focus

Adesola Adeduntan: Award Winning Financial Game Changer

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By Eric Elezuo

Only a few persons would believe that the Managing Director of FirstBank Nigeria Plc, the indefatigable Dr. Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan is just 50 years old. He was 50 on May 7, 2019. This is as a result of the achievements that have trailed his young life. Just a few days ago, Dr. Adeduntan bagged an international award as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by Cranfield School of Management, United Kingdom. This is even as FirstBank was named biggest mover of 2019 according to KPMG Report within the same period. It is not incorrect to say that Adeduntan is a creative achiever.

Born Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan on May 7, 1969, in Ibadan, Oyo State, the banker started his early education at Ibadan Municipal Government Primary School (IMG), Adeoyo between1975 and 1981, for his primary education before proceeding to Urban Day Grammar School, Old Ife Road, Ibadan, where he had his secondary schooling. His excellent to duties created a space for him to become the Deputy Senior Prefect in his final year in 1986.

In the same year, he was admitted to the University of Ibadan in to study Veterinary Medicine, and qualified in 1992 as a Veterinary Surgeon, a profession he hardly practiced before switching over to financial management.

Consequently, in 1994 he joined Afribank (Nig) Plc., and was posted to the Ibadan Main Branch as a graduate trainee. He spent 18 months there learning the ropes, and working in various areas of banking operations including cash management, clearing, credit risk management, and foreign operations.

Between September 1995 and May 2002 Adeduntan worked with Arthur Andersen Nigeria, rising to become manager in the firm’s financial services industry business, leveraging on the 18 months mentorship he received at Afribank. In this role, he led and managed the statutory audit of a number of leading Nigerian banks.

In August 2000, he served as an instructor at the Andersen World-Wide Induction training for new hires in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. He also served as the lead instructor for the Local Office Basic Accounting Training and Induction course in 1999. It was while he was with Arthur Andersen that qualified as a chartered accountant in 2000.

With more feathers to his cap, Adeduntan moved to the financial services industry in KPMG as a senior manager in June 2002, and served diligently till October 2004 when he bowed out. At KPMG, he co-pioneered the firms’ financial risk management advisory services. He was also a KPMG-accredited Trainer and facilitated several internal training programmes.

When he left KPMG in 2004 to study, he pursued a Master’s degree in Business Administration at the Cranfield School of Management, where he was a British Chevening Scholar. He graduated in September 2005.

Armed with yet another great feather, Adeduntan moved to Citibank Nigeria Limited in 2005 where he became the Senior Vice-President (General Manager) and Chief Financial Officer. He was saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the bank’s financial and product control functions, quality assurance and operational risk management. he was on hand to assist the bank in its recapitalisation during the banking consolidation era.

In October 2007, he called it quits with Citibank, and a month later, pitched tent with the Africa Finance Corporation, as the pioneer Chief Financial Officer and Business Manager.

His achievement at the AFC includes leading the team that secured an A3/P2 investment grade international credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service in March 2014. This made the Africa Finance Corporation the second highest-rated lending financial institution in Africa.

In July 2014, he was appointed an Executive Director/Group Chief Financial Officer of FirstBank, where he was responsible for the bank’s financial control, internal control and enhancement, business performance management, treasury and procurement functions.

On Monday January 4, 2016, Adeduntan succeeded Bisi Onasanya, and assumed duty as Managing Director of FirstBank of Nigeria Limited, and its commercial banking subsidiaries including FBN UK, FBN Ghana, FBN DRC, FBN Guinea, FBN Gambia, FBN Mortgages, FBN Senegal, FBN Sierra Leone and First Pension Custodian Limited.

He coordinated his functions so professionally that on December 7, 2016, he was awarded the 2016 Banker of The Year award by the Leadership Newspaper “For refusing to ‘go with the flow’ even when the temptation was high and the reward substantial, and for reminding his colleagues that banking is nothing without integrity”.

A man of many beneficial and influential parts, Adeduntan currently sits on the board of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, and as a non-executive director on the boards of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), FBN Bank U.K. Ltd., Universal Payments Plc., and FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

In just four years at the helm of affairs at FirstBank, Adeduntan has turned the tables and rewrote banking narratives, delving into all aspects of human endeavour to see to the development of SMEs, youth entrepreneuship among many others.

In his speech at the kick off of FirstBank’s celebration of 125 years of unbroken business operations, Adeduntan hinted as follows:

“From that very modest beginning in 1894, First Bank has traversed an incredible journey of delivering impeccable financial services to its customers and supporting the building of the modern-day Nigeria and indeed, West Africa, including our early pivotal role as the monetary and fiscal policy regulator for the entire West African region,” he said.

“As a long-standing institution, which even predates Nigeria as a unified entity, FirstBank is entrenched in the nation’s development; woven into the very fabric of society, with our involvement in every stage of national growth and development.

“At the amalgamation, independence and through the seasons ever after, we have been here marching hand-in-hand with you and our dear nation. We have enabled financial, technological, industrial and societal advancements, achieving very many firsts over time.”

Adeduntan has seen to the sponsorship of prolific enterprises to guide the youths on the right path. These include the African Fashion Week which took place at the Oriental Hotel and Youth Empowerment Seminar at the Harbour Point Event Centre. These shows among a whole lot have a lot of testimonials following.

Adesola is married to Mrs. Adenike Adeduntan and together they have three wonderful children.

For your ability to change the game, and make positive impact in the economic advancement of Nigeria, and very many other countries, especially where FirstBank domiciles, you are our Boss of the Week.

Congratulations sir!

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Personality in Focus

Gbongan Celebrates Joel Oyeyinka Popoola’s Creative, Technological Ingenuity

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As many that knows the agrarian town of Gbongan will not be surprised that yet another wonder in the person of Joel Oyeyinka Popoola, Founder, Digital Democracy Project and Rate Your Leader app, has been produced for the good of humanity. This is because Gbongan is famous, you can say notorious if you like, for producing egg heads who have stood the test of time in terms of proficiency, research, achievement, academic prowess and inventions.
Gbongan is a small community in southwestern part of Nigeria, Osun State to be specific. But as small as Gbongan is in size, she has produced more academics than any community in her category.
As a convention, Gbongan is in the business of crowning only the academically best as paramount rulers, and it is on record that its obas have had a minimum qualification of Ph.D. From the days of late Oba (Dr.) Solomon Babayemi Akinrinola 1, who was an Associate Professor of African Studies, University of Ibadan to the present Kabiyesi,  Oba (Dr.) Adetoyese Oyeniyi Odugbemi 1, an Agronomist, only the best has sat on the throne. The town could as well be described as a harbinger of Professors and Doctors of Philosophy. This has been since the 1950s.
Among prolific academics produced by the great Gbongan community include: Late Dr. Akinrefon, a Molecular Biologist;  Late Prof. Timothy Adegboye, a Professor of land Economics,  who during his life time was always referred to as the Professor of Professors; and at a point, was christened ‘Baale UI’ because he was the oldest in the University Community; this was the man who founded the Agric Economics Department of the then University of Ife,  now Obafemi Awolowo university. There was also Late Dr. Akintola, a renowned Consultant to WHO, UNICEF, FAO; Prof Akinwumi, former Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, University of Ibadan; Prof Dupe Makinde, Prof. Alani Adeagbo Amusan, Prof Ojewole, the first Professor and Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University; Prof Ilori; Prof Lekan Dairo; Prof Lekan Oyeleye, former Dean Faculty of Arts University of Ibadan; Prof Seye Bolaji; Prof Wale Ajayi; Prof Ademola Olaniran; Prof O.B. Ajayi; Prof Clement Adebooye, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics Osun State University; Prof Tunde Makanju; Prof. Ekanade, among many others.
Gbongan’s prowess is not only in the academia, the town is also home to jurists and legal luminaries such as Justice Oyegoke Bolarinwa Babalakin (Honorable Justice of the Supreme Court, Federal Republic of Nigeria); Late Barrister Adedeji; Dr. Olawale Babalakin SAN, Barrister Funminiyi Oyebamiji Agbaye and Barrister Dapo Adekunle.
In the field of Medicine, Banking, Insurance, Media and Security, Gbongan boasts of citizens.
The rave of the moment in the person of an accomplished Techpreneur, Joel Oyeyinka Popoola, who had been described by Sunderland Echo as ‘the City man’, is a proud product of Gbongan.
Popoola is a United Kingdom citizen, who has developed an App to solve one of the challenges confronting democracy, even in developed democracies like the United kingdom. The App is meant to bridge the gap between elected leaders and the electorate, and at the same time eliminate the hassles of physical town hall meetings. He has put in place electronic platform through which Electors and Electorates will constantly interact to discuss matters relating to their constituencies in an abuse-free manner and bringing a win-win situation to both the leaders and the subjects.
The rate of acceptability of the app in the United Kingdom has been encouraging, making Yinka, as he is fondly called the cynosure of all eyes among all levels of communities and nationalities in the country. In all these, Yinka is always quick to make reference to his country, Nigeria; and his town of birth, Gbongan as opportunity presents itself.
His Rate Your Leader App has solved the problem of accountability among political office among holders. And will open channels of interactions between the elected public office holders and the electorates thereby mitigating challenges associated with lack of communication between a particular representative and his/her constituents, fake news and fabrications or half truths, which are known to be the bane of democracy.
With constant interactions between the elected officials and people of their constituencies, needs are therefore prioritised and even development across borders ensured.
Popoola, in a chat with Score Express Magazine, said that “the irony is that the technology is now in place to allow both the electors and elected to connect at the touch of a button but that technology all too often falls into modern mob rule. Whether it’s Brexit in Britain, Trump in America or Jeune Gillets in France, voters no longer believe that politicians represent them– it’s time to take back democracy with technology.” .
Popoola stated further, “Across the world, democracy is changing forever, and Nigeria would not be an exception. Voters expect to have more influence on politics than our traditional representative democracy can necessarily accommodate. As a result, voters are either defecting to anti-establishment parties or becoming more and more attracted by direct action.”
He also averred, “People’s political priorities and motivations are becoming more and more disparate and unpredictable, and politicians are clearly failing to ascertain what voters really want.”
The Publisher of the Score Express Magazine, who also is a childhood friend of Popoola, called on all Gbongan citizens, home and abroad, to rise and honour one of their own, Joel Popoola, as he arrives Nigeria this January to launch the App.
“if Ijebu people could honour Anthony Joshua, being their own, then Gbongan people wouldn’t fail in doing more,” he said.

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Personality in Focus

Ex-Local Government Chairmen Confers Grand Patron Honours on Prince Ned Nwoko

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The body of Ex-Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria, has decorated prolific businessman, Prince Ned Nwoko as its Grand Patron at a well attended event, which took place at the prestigious Mount Nwoko, Idumuje-Ugboko, Delta State.

Prince Nwoko, who has served Nigeria in various categories including as a member of the House of Representatives and a senator, is the husband of delectable actress, Regina Daniels.

The honour, which has created a jolly good mood in the billionaire business man, is not unconnected to his philanthropic gestures toward humanity.

Sources revealed that one of the major reasons for recognizing the Prince from Delta State was his singular act of assisting the 774 local governments in Nigeria to pursue and recover over deductions (Paris club funds) from foreign lenders and governments, which benefited the three tiers of government.

The source further added that all the former Chairmen from across states and political parties were on hand to honour the iconic Philanthropist and grassroot politician.

Prince Ned Munir Nwoko is a lawyer, politician and businessman. The Nigerian billionaire has been involved in politics for a very long time.

Ned was a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003. He represented Aniocha North-South and Oshimili North-South in Delta State, Nigeria .

Prince Ned Munir Nwoko, who is popularly known as Ned Nwoko was born on December 21, 1960 into the Royal Palace of Idumuje-Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. The 59-year-old dark skinned man is a Muslim, and has been described in the media as a ‘sweet old wine that young Nollywood actress, Regina Daniels, is sipping happily’.

He currently has six wives including Regina Daniels, the sixth, who is excited about it. Their marriage caused an uproar in the media as result of their age difference, but the man of wealth and the young movie goddess were basically in love.

Recently, at the convocation of the University of Petroleum Resources, Efunrun, Warri, Delta State, he gifted 20 first class students with N20 million to kickstart their career. He also gave out 5million naira to 50 Instagram followers as start up.

He also singlehandedly bankrolled the blockbuster iconic movie THE ENEMY I KNOW to the tune of N180million. He’s a lover of sports and education who find fulfillment in doing good.

Hear him: “I feel great doing good and creating opportunities for others”

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