OWU HEROES PAST
Alhaji D.S. Adegbenro
Alhaji Chief Dauda Soroye Adegbenro (1909-1975)*
Adegbenro D.S was born in Ago Owu Abeokuta in 1909
He attended African School, Owowo for his elementary education before proceeding to Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta and Abeokuta Grammar School for his secondary education.
He began his career with the Nigerian Railway Corporation as a clerk. After that, he worked as a storekeeper with the United African Company.
Adegbenro did not join active politics until the 1940s. It was then that he joined the rank of Awolowo, Akintola and others in launching the Action Group party in April 1951.
The party contested the 1951 elections to the Western Region House of Assembly but lost most of the seats to NCNC that was led in the Region by Adegoke Adelabu.
Though the election results favoured the NCNC, post-elections defections gave the AG the majority.
Adegbenro, notwithstanding, was easily elected because of his popularity in local Egba politics.
Not quite long, He was selected by the Regional Assembly as one of its representatives in the Federal House of Representatives in Lagos.
He returned to the Western Region House of Assembly in 1954 to serve as Parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice
And later as Minister of Land and Labour
And then Minister of Local Government.
He was an able, trusted and articulate administrator
He built an intimate partnership with his party and government leaders, particularly Chief Awolowo who was then Premier of the Region.
He remained a devoted collaborator of the Chief even when the latter moved unto national plane as Opposition Leader in the Federal House of Representatives.
Following the Action Group Crisis that plunged the Western Nigeria into deep political crisis which subsequently engulfed the whole county,
Adegbenro was made the Premier of Western Region for a short period.
He was suspended from office
following a state of emergency that was declared on the region and the ensuing military coup of 1966.
He served as a commissioner under Colonel Adeyinka Adebayo for a while.
He was revered by his people in Abeokuta who conferred on him the titles of Balogun of Owu and Ekerin of Egbaland.
He died in 1975
Chief O B Akin-Olugbade
Chief Ohu Babatunde Akin Olugbade.
A Great statesman’ written by Prince Ade Ladigbolu.
Akin- Olugbade was born on January 15, 1913. At the age of nine, he lost his father. The task to bring him up fell solely on his mother, Ajibola Asunle, who gave him good care and education.
He attended Owu Baptist Day School, Abeokuta for his elementary education.
He later gained admission to Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta in 1926. He completed his secondary education in 1931in flying colors.
He was good in sports and debating activities at BBHS. His leadership qualities unfolded in the school and in his final year in BBHS, he was made a prefect.
Akin- Olugbade proceeded to Baptist College (a teacher training institution) Ogbomoso. He completed his teacher training in 1937, the very year his mother died.
After teaching briefly at a secondary in Ejigbo in the present Osun State, he secured employment as a clerk at the Treasury Department in Lagos, through the assistance of his uncle, Pa Meredith of Oke-Popo, Lagos.
Later, he was transferred to the Treasury Department, Zaria, where he worked under a prominent Nigerian, Dr. R.A.B. Dikko.
On January 1946, he married his wife, Gladys Ibijoke Abati George.
His thirst for higher education made him to sail to the United Kingdom in 1950 to study Law at the age of 38. He completed his course and was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1955. In that year, he returned to Nigeria.
He started his professional practice with the late Magistrate Lapite at Tinubu Street, Lagos, before setting up his own chambers at Balogun Street, Lagos.
Predictably, Akin- Olugbade, like many young patriots of his time, joined the Nigeria Youth Movement in 1946. Thus, he became a nationalist fighter protesting the evils of colonialism.
In London, he joined the Labour Party and became close to the famous legal luminary, Sir Alexander Dinglefoot.
On returning to Nigeria, he joined the AG and was appointed as the Chairman, Western Nigeria Finance Corporation in November 1957.
Under Akin- Olugbade’s leadership, the company, and its subsidiary, the Loans Board, waxed stronger. The finance corporation swam in the pool of profit, prompting the regional government to re-appoint him for 1958/59.
In 1959, the AG chieftain, who was nicknamed “Atotileto”, because of his business acumen and prowess, contested the House of Representatives seat in Egba South Federal Constituency. He won the poll.
In the federal parliament, the Owu politician became the AG Chief Whip, and a shadow minister of foreign affairs. He later became Leader of Opposition
and parliamentary leader of his party
after Awolowo was jailed for treasonable felony.
His colleagues in the House included the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Okunnowo, Chief Sikiru Shita-Bey, Canon Akinyemi, Chief Akerele and Ayo Fasanmi.
In 1964, despite the massive malpractices that marred the federal elections, Akin- Olugbade retained his federal seat.
The federal legislator was not a bench warmer.
“He contributed in no small way to the development, peace, stability and progress of the country.
He brought up reasonable points on the welfare of the masses. discipline of members in the house And also Peace and stability in Western region
“It was because of his brilliancy in international relations that made the Government of Nigeria to include him in the Nigeria’s delegation to the United nations in 1962. The delegation was led by Chief Dennis Osadebey”.
When Awo was behind bars, Akin-
Olugbade did not betray him. He participated actively in peace moves mooted by eminent Yoruba leaders and Nigerians but he did not compromise the position of the AG. He was loyal to his leader throughout the First Republic.
Akin- Olugbade left his footprints as an industrialist and employer of labour. He left behind a chain of companies, including ARC Limited, a construction company, O.B.A Transport Ltd, O.B. A Property Ltd, O.B.A Travels Ltd,
O.B.A Jewellers/Ag Tabet Ltd, and
Niger oil Resources Ltd.
He built a hospital and social centre for the people of Abeokuta.
He was adored by Owu people.
He started the National Movement of Owu people now known as Royal Union of Owu People – RUOP.
He spearheaded efforts to build a befitting palace for Olowu. His financial contribution was massive.
He gave scholarships to indigent students and gave employment to many Egba youths.
Reward for community service poured for him in torrents.
In 1958, he was honoured with the title of Aare Ona Kankanfo of Owu.
In 1976, he was conferred with the traditional title of Balogun of Owu. A year after, he was installed as the Ekerin of Egbaland. He was also the Jagunmolu of Itoku and Lisa of Iwo.
In 1987, he passed on as an elder statesman, leaving behind a vast business empire, a thriving law chamber, devoted political fans and a bereaved Egba community. His demise marked the end of an era in Owu, where he played a leading role in comunity development.
OWU LINEAGE OF ACHIEVERS
Mathew Aremu Okikiola Olusegun Obasanjo,
Owu tribe man and Retired Army General who hails from the Olusomi compound in Sokori, Owu Abeokuta is the only 3 term and longest in office Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He revamped the Owu National Movement now called RUOP which was originally founded by Balogun O B Akin Olugbade, his predecessor in the office of Balogun Owu Abeokuta. He was a one time leader of the Eminent Personalities group and contender for the post of Secretary General of the United Nations. He is the current Balogun Owu.
Dr Onaolapo Soleye
He is a Nigerian scholar and former Minister of Finance during the military regime of General Muhammadu Buhari. He was also a former commissioner for Finance and Industry in Ogun State.He sits on the board of the Obasanjo Presidential Library.
Dr Soleye attended Baptist Boys’ High School, Abeokuta, one of the earliest secondary school established in Nigeria. He trained as a Sociologist and studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science and University of Manchester.
Soleye’s major policy actions during his tenure as Minister of Finance include
- Policies preventing drastic devaluation of the Naira
- Refinancing of trade debt arrears insured by international organizations
- Supported the rationalization and restriction of imports
- Did not stop the trend of budget deficit financing
- Creating of new Naira notes to halt currency smuggling
Omo Oba Bolasodun Adesumbo Ajibola (KBE)
Born on March 22, 1934 in Owu, Abeokuta, Nigeria, to the Owu royal family of Oba Abdul-Salam Ajibola Gbadela II, who was the traditional ruler of Owu between 1949 and 1972
Bola Ajibola attended Owu Baptist Day School and Baptist Boys’ High School both in Abeokuta between 1942 and 1955. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Law (LL.B) at the Holborn College of Law, University of London between 1959 and 1962 and was called to the English Bar at the Lincoln’s Inn in 1962. He returned to Nigeria to practice the Law, specializing in Commercial Law and International Arbitration.
He was president of the Nigerian Bar Association from 1984-85.
He established crescent university in 2005 in Nigeria which is an Islamic and co-educational institution.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun
Ibikunle Amosun was born 25 January 1958. He was a Nigerian politician who was elected senator for the Ogun Central district of Ogun State, Nigeria in April 2003. In April 2007 he made an unsuccessful bid to be elected governor of Ogun State. He ran for governor again on 2011, and this time was elected on the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) platform. He ran for office for the 2nd Term under the All Progressives Congress in 2015 and was re-elected and sworn into office May 29, 2015.
Amosun was born on 25 January 1958 to a Muslim family. He attended primary school at African Church Primary school in Abeokuta (1965–1970), and then African Church Grammar school, Abeokuta (1971 – 1977). He then went to Ogun State Polytechnic, graduating with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in 1983. Amosun gained an Associate membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 1990. He became a fellow of the Institute in 1996. He also became an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (1998).
In April 2003, Ibikunle Amosun was elected to the senatorial seat of Ogun Central Senatorial district.] He was an unsuccessful candidate to become Governor of Ogun State in April 2007.
Amosun won the 26 April 2011 gubernatorial election running on the ACN platform
In 2015 Amosun stood for a second term as governor on the platform of APC. On the 29th of May 2019, Amosun handed over to his successor, Dapo Abiodun after completing the constitutional maximum two terms of eight years as a governor. However he was elected as the senator for the Ogun central senatorial district at the National Assembly.