Yoruba Leaders Hall of Fame
YORUBA LEADERS HALL OF FAME
Generation after generation, Yoruba has always had individuals or group whose contribution to events during the time they live helped shape the course of history. From pre-history there were several of such men and women, and to date, there are still many of such individuals, whose contribution to the growth and development of Yoruba nation cannot be forgotten; while we may not list every individual, at least some will be mentioned and their contributions.
Contributions to Yoruba Nation
Possibly, the last generation of conservative banking school of thought, a man who knows so much about banking and worked in all banking institutions- retail, wholesale, specialized and capped his banking career as the governor of Central Bank.
A retired three star general and a former chief-of-Army staff. A man of calm, simple, and articulate miem, a pro-democracy advocate. Unlike elites of the privileged group (Retired Military). Lt.Gen. Akinrinade is always on the side of voiceless, the defender of defenceless, and the hand that strengthens the weak. His weapons are not tanks, guns, or tough talks, rather intellectual and morally laced speeches at local and international fora with practical formula to address Nigeria social ills.
Did you remember all the tale stories- about good manners, hard-work, faithfulness, love for others and leaving vengeance to God? This question summarizes “Alawiye Books 1-6” of late Pa J.F.Odunjọ- a great patriot, humble and hard-working educator. These books were pace-setters, which had produced several generations of physicians, engineers, teachers, economists, bankers, lawyers, administrators, academia, scientists, and even leaders. Pa J.F.Odunjọ will be remembered for those ageless stories with daily significance and meanings such as: “Abẹbi Ati Obe,” “Aworawọ,” “Ijapa ati Yarinbo,” and the popular rhyme “Mu ra si iṣẹ rẹ ọrẹ mi, iṣẹ la fi n di ẹni giga, bi-a-ko-ba-ri-ẹni-fẹhin-ti-bi-ọlẹ la n ri….”
A former chief justice of the federation who oversaw military hand-over in 1979 to democratically elected government. Supreme Court of Nigeria was under his leadership during the controversial 12⅔ electoral formula of 1979 presidential election. The court under him made many land-mark judgments-prominent was the 5% derivation judgment in favor of old Bendel State under Ambrose Alli. Besides, the court had many brilliant/independent minds whose contributions to jurisprudence will always be reference point in Nigeria.
Did you remember the role Nigerian Students played during Nigeria-Anglo Defense pact of 1961? Did you remember the role of Nigerian Students shortly after the civil war in 1971, when Kunle Adepeju of University of Ibadan was killed? If not, did you remember “Ali-must-go” of 1978? Ṣẹgun Ọkẹowo, a former students’ leader led Nigerian students againt hike in feeding fee, in this protest-Akintunde Ojo of University of Lagos was killed. Nigeria will always remember the meaningful contributions of his generation and generations after (through students’ unionism) to the growth and development of the geo-political confine known as Nigeria
Chief Akinloye son of Ibadan cocoa merchant was a lawyer and politician. He formed the Ibadan Peoples Party in 1951, merged the party with Action Group (AG) to form government in Western Region. Played significant role in the government as minister of agriculture and natural resources. Elected chairman, Ibadan City Council in mid-fifties. Parted ways with AG in the ‘60s during the western crisis. Elected chairman, National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1979, went on self exile in 1984 when military struck. Came back much later, and died in 2007.
Late Ọba Adesọji Aderẹmi was one of the leading traditional figures of 20th century Nigeria. He was enthroned as Ọọni of Ile-Ifẹ in 1930, his era marked significant political, economic transformation, and development in Yoruba land. At a time, he served as the President of Western House of Chiefs and Legislative Council of Nigeria. He became the Governor of Western Region between 1960 and 1962, the critical time in Yoruba history. He died in 1980.
Ọba Lamidi Ọlayiwọla Atanda Adeyẹmi 111; the 43rd Alaafin and the great-great-grand-son of Ọranmiyan- the first Alaafin of Ọyọ needs no introduction. He became Alaafin on November 18, 1970, two years after Ọyọ Mesi had concluded his election to the exalted throne as the next Alaafin. A man of many parts-as a historian, a sportsman, and more important-a Cultural Anthropologist. As a leader, Ọba Lamidi Adeyẹmi has become Yoruba culture ambassador- he has championed the promotion and the preservation of Yoruba culture home and abroad.
On several occasions he has defended the defenceless, even challenged military regime- at a time when no highly placed Nigerian would do so, because of the associated risk. A fearless, courageous, and people oriented Ọba, who has impacted his domain positively. From 1970 to date, Ọyọ-Alaafin has witnessed economic, social, educational and infrastructural development. Like Alaafin Atiba, who brought far reaching reforms to Ọyọ in mid 19th century, Alaafin Adeyẹmi has brought changes to the traditional institutions in Oke-Ogun area- where several traditional rulers have been elevated.
Ọba Okunade Ṣijuade, Ọọni of Ifẹ (Olubuṣe 11) mounted the throne of his fore-fathers more than three decades ago. A grass-root and progressive Ọba. Ile-Ifẹ has witnessed so much development under his rulership. Under him, Ọṣun State carved out of Ọyọ; he is the Permanent chairman, Ọṣun State Council of Ọba and chiefs.
Ọba Sikiru Kayọde Adetọna, The Awujalẹ of Ijẹbu-Land needs no introduction. He is the longest reigning monarch in Yorubaland, and by extension in Nigeria. Ọba Adetọna ascended the throne of his forefathers in 1959 and witnessed Nigeria becoming a free nation. From his exalted stool, Ọba Adetọna has seen Nigeria from the beginning to date, guided by wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and discernment, Ọba Adetọna is always with the people. No wonder the Ijẹbus home and abroad see him as their overall father.
Ijẹbuland has witnessed phenomenal development under his rulership. From few schools (primary/high) and agro-allied industries in 1959, Ijẹbu-land can boast of four universities, numerous primary and post primary schools. A large number of industries from sole proprietorship to public quoted companies, some of which are owned by Ijẹbu sons and daughters. Besides, Ijẹbuland has witnessed remarkable infrastructural development. A culture ambassador, he introduced Ojude-Ọba carnival- a yearly organized exhibition to show-case Ijẹbu, and more important, rich Yoruba culture to the outside world.