The Epe local government area of Lagos state is one that usually rings a bell when it is mentioned. This is partly because the incumbent governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode, was born in that part of Lagos. But not many are familiar with some of the traditional rulers that are part of the Epe Council of Obas.
NAIJ.com highlights facts about two of these traditional rulers.
1. Aladeshonyin of Odo-Noforija
Aladeshonyin of Odo-Noforija, Oba Babatunde Ogunlaja, was born fifty nine years ago into a family of late Pa Chief Michael Obayomi, who was then the Oloritun and head of Oligbe ruling house.
The mother of Oba Babatunde is (Mama Agba) Madam Christiana Adesola Ogunlaja (Nee Joseph). She is also from a royal family in Odo-Siwoloye, while her mother, Beatrice Adebanke, also came from a royal family from Idomowo area of Ijebu-Ode and Oke Liyepo, Oke Abass at Bado-Oba in Apakeji of Epe township.
Oba Ogunlaja's paternal great-grandmother had her royal blood with the Bekuloye family, Ita meta ruling house at Noforija.
After Oba Ogunlaja's education, he proceeded to Lagos, where he gained employment as a store-keeper with a British company afterwards with Ilupeju Supermarket then at Obanikoro, Lagos. He took a course in Electronics among other part-time courses.
With his wide exposure, he later proceeded to work with a construction company in the Republic of Benin and linked with Nigeria embassy in Cotonou, He later became a director when they got their company registered in Nigeria as Enterprise Gomez (Nig) Limited and Phillip Gomez happened to be the chairman/managing director as a foreign partner.
After many years, he left Nigeria for the United Kingdom to work with the Executive Cleaning Company and later set up his personal business as an importer and exporter; his major business then was to bring in used cars and used items for sale.
Oba Babatunde Ogunlaja loves music and driving. He was a politician and the patron of Odo-Noforija Development Front, he is also the grand father of Harvest Committee 2004 for Saint David first African Church, Odo-Noforija, among others.
2. Omola of Odomola
Alaiyeluwa Oba, Sikiru Taiwo Adewale Odukoya was born in Ilese - Ijebu on March 19, 1939 to Prince (Hadji) Ismaila Olubowale Shekoni Odukoya of Shalo ruling house, Odomola Fidipote ruling house, Ijebu-Ode and Princess (Hadja) KWA Odukoya of Kapo ruling house, Ilese.
He started his academic career in Oke-Ijasi Preparatory School, Ijebu-Ode, where he acquired the nursery education, and continued the primary school education in Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School, Ijebu-Ode, where he finished standard six in 1953. He got admitted into Ijebu Muslim College, Ijebu-Ode in January 1954 and wrote the WAEC/Senior Cambridge University Examination in 1958.
Oba Odukoya worked in 1959 in the then Western Region of Nigeria Judiciary from where he won the federal government sponsorship to read Science and Mathematics at the Federal Emergency Science School, Onikan, Lagos and finished in 1962. He worked for a while with Esso Nigeria Limited, (now Oando Plc) and won the federal government scholarship to read Engineering in Europe in 1962. He was still in the Language School in Poland when he decided to transfer to Western Germany and got admitted into West Berlin Technical University (one of the best in the World) at the beginning of the Winter Semester in October 1963. This was after he had finished the required German language course, and Pre-University Practical Engineering course. He also passed the language test set by the university. While in Germany he had the opportunity to work with many industries.
He was a famous avowed student union activist, a counsellor and a human right defender. He was a part-time film actor with some studios in West Berlin. He came back to Nigeria in October 1972, and started work with Agip Nigeria limited, an Italian Oil Company in 1973.
While working with Agip, he went through many management development courses, and he resigned in 1983 to incorporate his own company, STA Techno Company Ltd. Established to handle the sale of gas and other petroleum products and do engineering works including contracts and other businesses. He also partnered with his uncle to establish the Shekoni Farms Ltd. based In Odomola, Lagos state.
As a young boy, he was interested in the activities of the Boys Scouts of his youthful era. As an elder, he partakes in the community development activities of his peers. He is very generous and he is always prepared to help the needy.
Oba Odukoya is happily married and blessed 'with many Children. His hobbies are swimming, the game of Chess. He loves dancing, horse-riding and enjoys discussing current affairs, traditional and archaeological history, etc.
He has traveled to many parts of the world in general and Nigeria in particular. He is a practicing Muslim. He believes in peaceful co-existence and shuns discrimination and corruption. He is a man of principle with very high integrity.
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