– Wole Adejumo
Though he turned 60 on December 4, 1956, Professor David Olusoji Adejumo chose to hold his birthday thanksgiving on Tuesday, 27th December, 2016. The date couldn’t have been more carefully chosen; it fell on a public holiday and thus afforded more people to join in celebrating the Professor of Animal Physiology and former SUBEB Chairman.
The Most Revd J.O Akinfenwa did a good job of overseeing the thanksgiving as the Diocesan. It was also another opportunity for at least three generations of the Adejumo Family to sing “Olorun Betel”, their family anthem, with Engr Fade Adejumo and his brother, Pa Abiodun Adejumo leading. Eme, the celebrant’s wife of about three decades carried herself with style. Her mum looked graceful, age notwithstanding and Similolwa, the celebrant’s dazzling daughter gave a good delivery of the first Bible lesson.
The organist in Professor Adejumo also came to the fore during the reception. The celebrant discarded his agbada and took position behind the three-tier organ.
From the traditional establishment, the Owa Tapa of Itapa Ijesa, Dr. Olapade Agoro was there. As the head of the C&s Church, Aladura, the respect he commands cuts across the religious, political and business spheres. The Agbaakin Olubadan, Oloye Lekan Alabi is a distinguished gentleman in the real sense of the word. He will never trade punctuality for anything under the sun. He was one of the earliest to arrive for the service at the Cathedral Church of St James the Great. And lest we forget, those who had never seen the scion of the famous Ekerin Ajengbe clan without his cap were afforded ample opportunity.
Apart from being the Baale of Ekotedo, Chief Taye Ayorinde is about the biggest ambassador of the Kobiowu Family of Oranyan, Ibadan which has produced an Olubadan and an Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland. At the service, he looked every inch like royalty.
One would not ordinarily expect former Governor of Ekiti State, Engr. Olusegun Oni to sit side by side with Dr. Doyin Okupe, a former Presidential Adviser. It is an open secret that they belong to different political camps. Politics was however put aside as everyone simply came to have a jolly good time with Prof Adejumo. Professor Tunde Adeniran, the former Minister for Education was another prominent Ekiti son who came to rejoice with Professor Adejumo.
Professor Taoheed Adedoja is no doubt a member of Ibadan’s exclusive club of intellectuals. He and the celebrant have a long-standing relationship. Adedoja was the celebrant’s predecessor as the SUBEB Chairman in Oyo State and they have history of working together before then.
There is overwhelming evidence that the celebrant cuts across almost every existing political sphere in Oyo State. The presence of Alhaji Abass Oloko, a former Vice Chairman of the Pilgrims’ Welfare Board couldn’t have pointed otherwise. And also from the National Assembly came Senator Soji Akanbi.
Prince Dotun Oyelade, who served with courage and pride as Governor Alao-Akala’s Special Adviser on Media was there too. Though he is showing the obvious signs of aging, his self-satisfied countenance is still intact. Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi, the famous physically challenged lawyer too was in attendance. He maintained a cool, collected and accomplished disposition at the event. Shina Alabi, who headed the Trans City Transport Company too was highly visible at the reception.
Wherever one sees Chief Bayo Oyero, it is assumed that it is a gathering well pleasing to Ibadan elders. He was for years the head of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, and the celebrant incidentally was the recipient of the Council’s award of excellence back in 2009.
At the reception, it was obvious Senator Teslim Folarin and Chief Olanrewaju Otiti had put the pains of the 2015 elections behind them. They took time to interact with people in the business and political class.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan was unmistakable. He stood heads and shoulders above almost all the other guests. He took time to dance with the celebrant. Not many know that they have a relationship that predates the present administration.
Alhaji Tunde Ologburo has a distinguishing principle; despite having friends in almost every political party, he has maintained an apolitical stand. That has earned him an enormous amount of respect from his friends who are politically inclined. In any case, the brotherly egbon and aburo relationship between him and Professor Adejumo has been on for years. Typical of him, Ologburo attended with his wife, Bola. They are known in Ibadan to be an inseparable pair.
Chief Bayo Adelabu, a Deputy Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank was the unusual guest of the evening. He tried to be as anonymous as he could.
The name Semiu Adenekan may not necessarily ring a bell to most people in Ibadan but mention “DJ Semite” and they will tell you he has been a consistent figure in the city’s social circles. For years now, no big event in Ibadan is complete without an input from DJ Semite; the Melody Trades lord. His job has simply brought out the best in him and he is one of the most sought after in terms of event planning and performance.
Between the Adejumos and former National Table Tennis champion and estate mogul, Waheed Ekun, there is a connection. Like the Adejumos, Ekun has his family house in Agbeni, Ibadan.
Engineer Femi “Jogor” Babalola too was there. He too has a long term relationship with the celebrant.
Radio personality, Edmund Obilo made an appearance. Mogaji Gboyega Adejumo, the celebrant’s younger brother featured regularly on his programme in his Splash FM days. In his capacity as the family head, Gboyega was more of the host as he was on his feet for the better part of the event, going round to make sure every guest was well served and attended to.
Photos: Dare Aleshinloye/Parrot Xtra
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