Title: Ogun State: 50 Most Influential People
Author: Dada Olanipekun et al
Publisher: PRESTIGE, ABEOKUTA
Reviewer: Henry Akubuiro
A giant has an intimidating, physical presence. Lightweights and others look at him with awe. Every society has its own giants, and these are high profile personalities we marvel as their accomplishments and make a beaten track to their doorsteps.
Ogun State: 50 Most Influential People by Dada Olanipekun et al do not glorify panhandlers but exceptional individuals who have made their mark nationally and internationally. In celebrating these role models, the authors feel obliged to giving honour to the most deserving, for it is by so going, that others can be inspired to reach for the stars.
Apart from Dada Olanipekun, founder and publisher of Prestige Newspaper, the four other editors who helped in the writing of the book are Dr. Chris Omotosho, a lecturer with the Federal College of Education, Abeokuta; Abbey Ogunyemi, a retired NTA Ijebu-Ode Manager, and Olawale Afuape, a doctoral student with the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
A project of Prestige Newspaper, a community based newspaper that has been in existence in the Ogun State capital for almost three decades, the 50 illustrious sons of Ogun State featured in this book were arrived at from the initial target of 100 people. While some of the celebrated 50 distinguished men and women of Ogun State consented to interviews, others preferred profiling.
Two of the biggest names featured in this book are Chief Olusegun (the enigmatic, former Nigerian president), and Wole Soyina (a literary giant of international status). Interestingly, Obasanjo and Soyinka were born in Abeokuta in the 1930s and have risen to become legends in leadership in letters.
Still on leadership, the book celebrates the current state governor (Ibikunle Amosun) and two former governors of the state (Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Otunba Gbenga Daniel). Eminent royal fathers are not left out here. They include Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, the Alake of Egba; Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebu Kingdom; Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Akarigbo of Remoland.
Other distinguished sons of Ogun State lionised by the authors include Prince Bola Ajibola (a knight of British Empire), Otunba Subomi Balogun (a successful banker), Otunba Mike Adenuga (a business mogul), Taiwo Adeoluwa (a barrister and astute businessman), Dr. Fassy Adetokunboh Yusuf (a professional and intellectual with intimidating credentials), and Otunba Bimbo Ashir u (a gifted developer of human and material assets).
Also chronicled in this book are Chief Sikiru Akangbe Ayilara (the man with blood of human kindness), Mr. Akinwunmi Mathew Ajayi (a passionate and committed socialite), Chief Alaba Lawson (a seasoned educationist with managerial acumen), and Ayoola Oba Otudeko (a stock broker of repute).
The book also has a place for Mr. Adewale Daisi Oshinowo (a prudent financial administrator), Alhaji Nureni Babatunde Ashayi (a professional surveyor), Ogunmodede Oludare Benjamin (an Abeokuta based legal practitioner), Yusuf Olaniyonu (a journalist per-excellenbce), Professor Alfred Olufemi Fatade (a rare-breed educationist), among others.
A book, such as Ogun State: 50 Most Influential People, which celebrates excellence, calls for admiration and emulation. But the production qualify of this book doesn’t call for admiration. The publishers would earn more applause by remedying the lusterless packaging.