PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and other eminent Nigerians will, today, celebrate with the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba (Dr) Samuel Odulana, as he marks his centenary birthday anniversary.
The president is to attend a thanksgiving service at the Cathedral of St Peter’s Anglican Church, Aremo, Ibadan, to usher in a series of activities lined up to celebrate the Olubadan.
Homage paying by the three lines of the Olubadan-in-Council, the Mogajis and the Baales will precede the church service.
Oba Odunala will also confer chieftaincy titles on prominent Nigerians, including the Senate President, David Mark and his wife; Nobel and Awo laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and erudite historian, Professor Toyin Falola.
According to the organising committee of the
anniversary, Mark was being honoured for his
contributions towards strengthening the unity of the country, while Soyinka was to be decorated for being made the pride of the entire black race largely in Ibadan, which prides itself as the intellectual capital of the country.
Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Olajumoke Akinjide, while speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, thanked God for Oba Odulana as he reached the 100 years milestone.
Akinjide stressed that Ibadan had been moving
forward since the enthronement of Oba Odulana in 2007 and prayed to God to continue to strengthen the royal father.
She thanked President Jonathan for honouring the Olubadan with his presence, as a testimony of respect for traditional institutions and custodians of people’s culture and tradition.
Oba Odulana, who was born on April 14, 1914 and had his elementary and later schooling in Ibadan, has traversed various segments of public and private domains.
At different times, he was a produce clerk, a teacher, an army officer, a civil servant and also worked in many other areas.
He fought in the World War II and was assigned the duty of demobilising returning soldiers in Lagos, a task that earned him exemplary character award of the Fourth Brigade.
The royal father, who was crowned in August 2007, has two wives and many accomplished children, one of them being the current Commissioner for Information in Oyo State, Gbade Lana.
His love for quality education manifested in the
vigour with which he saw to the establishment of many primary and secondary schools in many parts of the old Western Region.
He retired voluntarily from public service to continue his community service on the political turf and joined the race to represent his people in the House of Representatives in the 1959 elections.
His political savvy got him appointed as the
Parliamentary Secretary to the then Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
He actively participated in conferences held within and outside the country, particularly the London Constitutional Conference, to which he led the Nigerian parliamentary delegation.