Life is deemed to be good at old age if an elderly person is blessed with the combined gifts of good health, sound mind and fulfilled desires. God in His infinite kindness has chosen to bless His servant, Cardinal James Odunmbaku with these three invaluable gifts rolled into one. The clergyman cum politician is lucky to be one of the few that elders that fall into the category of elderly healthy and elderly fit.
Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku is evidently a beneficiary of God’s endless grace in all facets of life. His 73 years of existence is a testimony that attests to the fact that God is truly a rewarder of those that diligently serve Him. He has been living a life that is dedicated to the service of God; and in return, the Almighty has been working through him and working for him.
Baba Eto as he is popularly known is heavily anointed for service in the vineyard of God; just as he is highly respected for being a consummate politician and unrivalled grassroots mobilizer. He is undoubtedly a highly gifted clergyman who has been using his spiritual powers for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has over the years been using Cardinal Odunmbaku to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of his congregants.
Surprisingly, Baba Eto has over the years managed to strike an enviable balance between spiritual calling and partisan politics. His rare gift in ensuring effective mobilization and organization with a determined conviction to achieve success is loudly underscored with his sobriquet of Baba Eto, which was coined by the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola. It was on the strength of the ability of Cardinal Odunmbaku to effectively organize and conduct grassroots mobilization that he was appointed a Special Adviser on Grassroots Mobilization by M.K.O Abiola in the run up to his ill fated ‘Hope 93’ Presidential campaign.
Cardinal Odunmbaku is head and shoulder above his contemporaries in the demonstration of uncommon ability to progressively combine politics with church ministry. He has simply made his impacts felt within and outside Nigeria; and particularly in Lagos State. It is noteworthy that he has indeed distinguished himself in all facets of human endeavours; thereby leaving clear and enduring imprint in the sands of time.
The demonstrated dexterity of Baba Eto as a consummate politician and a revered preacher of the gospel who goes about with deep sense of humility and responsibility is well known within , and outside political circle. He is also known and respected within and outside of Lagos State as an activist, community leader, and successful businessman. Cardinal Odunmbaku is also a passionate philanthropist who has extended helping hands to a good number of Nigerians that include the young, old, poor, widows, widowers, destitute, sick persons, as well as those in serious and special financial needs.
Above all, Cardinal Odunmbaku enjoys cordial relationship with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC). The existing robust relationship between the duo has to a large extent helped the Baba Eto to occupy a place of pride in Lagos politics.
The relationship between Cardinal Odunmbaku and Asiwaju Tinubu is confirmed to have predated the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as Lagos State Governor in 1999. In the run up to the election, Odunmbaku was appointed the State Chairman of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation (BATCO) that is now known as “The Mandate Group” and he still remains the group’s Chairman till date.
Cardinal Odunmbaku was appointed in 2015 as the State Campaign Director of Akinwumi Ambode Campaign Organization. He justified this appointment with the overwhelming victory in 2015 of the immediate past governor of Lagos State. He was also the Chairman, Campaign and Mobilisation Committee of Action Congress in 2007 and 2011. He had earlier been appointed the Director of Mobilisation of Independent Campaign Organisation (ICG) in 2003. He had also served as a member of Central Working Committee of Alliance for Democracy from 1998 to 2006. He was equally the Patron of Community Development Council, Lagos State between 1992 and 2006. Cardinal Omolaja was a prominent member of Social Democratic Party between 1992 and 1993, as well as a committed member of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) from 1978 to 1983.
Baba Eto has had a glorious working career which began in 1966 with a towel making company, Millet Nigeria Limited as a Clerical Assistant. He later worked with Dunlop Nigeria Limited where he rose within a very short time to the position of a Production Supervisor due to his demonstrated hard work and dedication to duties. He also worked as a Director at Everly Brothers before joining Nigerian Maritime Services as a Personal Assistant to the Chairman, Chief Henry Stephens Fajemirokun. And of course, the company was then a subsidiary of Henry Stephens Group. James Odunmbaku later went into private business practice by setting up his own company after the demise of his business mogul boss, Chief Fajemirokun. He floated Bakujofam and Company Limited, a company that dealt in general supplies, clearing and forwarding. He later established J.O. Oduns Farm Nigeria Limited.
Cardinal Odunmbaku is a clergy in God’s vineyard and a Parish Spiritual Head of the City of God Cathedral, Celestial Church of Christ that is located in Ojodu, Lagos. He is also the General Overseer, Christ Ambassadors Soul Winners Ministries International and the founder of Cardinal Interdenominational Theological Seminary Incorporated, Atlanta Georgia. He is equally the founder of Cardinal Interdenominational Theological Seminary in Lagos and the General Overseer of Canadian Diocese of Celestial Church of Christ in Ontario Canada. Odunmbaku is a member of the Supreme Council of Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide.
Baba Eto is a recipient of the Most Distinguished Rev. S. B. J Oshoffa Memorial Gold Award in recognition of his contributions to the growth and development of Celestial Church of Christ. He is also a worthy receiver of Doctor of Divinity (Ph.D) from Indiana Christian University, USA in 2000. He is also a recipient of Award of Commendation from The Apostolic Church, Lagos and Western/Northern Areas (LAWNA). He is equally a winner of United Nations Ambassador of Peace Award, winner of 2011 Edition of Lagos State Man of The Year Award as well as a recipient of European-American University Honorary Doctorate Degree (Doctor of Humane Letters D.HI). Baba Eto has also won other awards that are too numerous to mention in appreciation of his contributions to the growth of Celestial Church of Christ and propagation of the gospel within and outside of the shores of Nigeria.
The multi tasking James Omolaja Odunmbaku was born on 4th September, 1946 into the family of late Pa Daniel Somorin and Ajike Jimaima. He was educated at African Church Primary School and African Church Modern School, both in Abeokuta from 1955 to 1964. He is the Managing Director /CEO of Highways Managers Limited and has provided employment opportunities to hundreds of Lagosians through this company. He is also the founder of the Centre for Humanitarian Support, a drug abuse and awareness Non Governmental Organization.
Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku is one name within and outside Lagos State that opens doors and attracts reverence.
Being a close ally of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has also given him a monumental advantage within the political space of Lagos State and Nigeria at large. He is a man that is helped by God and who has also risen to prominence through the dint of hard work.
At 73, the clergyman cum politician has consistently proven himself over the years as a pacesetter, a goal getter and a uncommon leader of repute. Above all, Cardinal Odunmbaku is a major factor that matters as far as spiritual and political activities are concerned in the Center of Excellence and Nigeria at large.