Wednesday 31 May 2023


The only Nigerian soldier that attained the rank of a full military general without skipping a single rank.

- 1963 Second Lieutenant

- 1966 Lieutenant

- 1967 Captain

- 1969 Major

- 1972 Lieutenant Colonel

- 1975 Colonel

- 1980 Brigadier General

- 1983 Major General

- 1987 Lieutenant General

- 1993 General.

He was also Chief of Army Staff between 1985 to 1990; Chief of Defence Staff between 1990 to 1993; and Minister of Defence. In 1993, Abacha became the first Nigerian soldier to attain the rank of a full military general without skipping a single rank.

He was commissioned in 1963 after he had attended the Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England. Before then, he had attended the Nigerian Military Training College in Kaduna.

In 1969, he fought during the Nigerian Civil War as a platoon and battalion commander. And later became commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in 1975.

In 1983, Abacha was general officer commanding of the 2nd Mechanised Division and was appointed a member of the Supreme Military Council.

His administration oversaw an increase in the country's foreign exchange reserves from $494 million in 1993 to $9.6 billion by the middle of 1997 and reduced the external debt of Nigeria from $36 billion in 1993 to $27 billion by 1997.

Abacha also constructed between 25–100 km of urban road in major cities such as Kano, Gusau, Benin, Funtua, Zaria, Enugu, Kaduna, Aba, Lagos, Lokoja, and Port Harcourt.

Abacha brought the privatization programs of the Ibrahim Babangida administration to a halt, reduced an inflation rate of 54% inherited from Ernest Shonekan to 8.5% between 1993 and 1998, all while the nation's primary commodity, oil was at an average of $15 per barrel.

GDP growth, despite being estimated to be higher than the 2.2% growth in 1995, was largely limited to the petroleum sector.

His popular quote:

"Africa is not just a place, it's indeed a feeling. Africa is the heart of the world, and there are only a few of us who have been touched by her. Africa defines our souls and people can feel it, people just know". ~~ Late Gen. Sani Abacha

Monday 29 May 2023

From Lagos "Landlord" to Nigerian leader: 10 facts about President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Tinubu is however a divisive character in Nigerian politics and is Widely credited with reshaping Nigeria's commercial hub Lagos.

Below are some facts about the Lagos "Landlord" set to rule Nigeria:

1. Real name:

His full name is Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu. He holds the revered titles of Asiwaju of Lagos and Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom, and has been identified as the individual behind recent political maneuvers in the region.

2. Date of Birth:

His known date of birth is 29th March 1952, which makes him 70 years, a figure many has disputed due to unknown reasons.

3. Birth Place:

Even though he has become more famed for his influence in Lagos (Nigeria's commercial hub) and his time as its governor, his birthplace is Osun State, southwest of Nigeria. He is a Muslim and belongs to the Yoruba ethnic group.

4. Education -Trained accountant:

Tinubu had his education in Nigeria's Ibadan before he continued to college in Chicago and onwards to the Chicago State University for his undergraduate studies. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1979,

5. Career:

He worked for a number of accounting firms in the States before he moved to Nigeria in 1983. Bola Tinubu joined Mobil Oil Nigeria, and soon after, he was appointed as the company's executive.

6. Politics:

He joined politics in 1992 with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on whose ticket he became Lagos West Senator.

7. Tinubu joined pro-democracy groups after the 'electoral coup' of 1993 (when the military annulled the election of Moshood Abiola) and fled to exile in 1994 fearing the then Sani Abacha regime.

8. He came back to Nigeria in 1998 after the death of Sani Abacha. In January 1999, he vied for the position of Governor of Lagos State on the AD ticket. He was elected governor of the state. He left the Lagos State government house in 2007 but has since influenced who becomes Lagos, governor. The last three governors after he left have all admitted publicly to being his prodigies Tinubu's influence has also extended across the southwest region and his political alliances have also seen him make very loyal friends in the Muslim-dominated north.

9. He became national leader of the ruling APC after its formation in 2014 before the party won elections in 2015 with outgoing Muhammadu Buhari as its flagbearer. He run on a Muslim- Muslim ticket, i.e. he picked a Muslim as his vice (Kashim Shettima from Borno State) contrary to the religious balancing of tickets by the major parties.

10. He is married to Oluremi Tinubu, a Reverend Minister and has four children – Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, Oluwaseyi Tinubu, Abibat Tinubu, and the late Jide Tinubu,

Tinubu triumphs over 2 main rivals Tinubu was in the race along with the main opposition People's Democratic Party's (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP). APC polled 8,805,655 valid votes against the PDP's 6,984,520 and LP's 6,098,588. The New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) got 1,496,687 valid votes whiles the fourteen other aspirants together got the remaining 666,298.

Tinubu, a former Mobil oil executive, feels entitled to Nigeria's presidency.

Mr. Tinubu, will now be looking at unifying a country that is retreating into regional lines and religious blocs, as the election results show.

During his tenure as Lagos state governor between 1999 and 2007, Lagos massively grew its income through huge foreign investment.

Congratulations President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Wishing you and the country the very best.

150 Years From Now

150 years from now, none of us reading this post today will be alive. 70 percent to 100 percent of everything we are fighting over right now will be totally forgotten. Underline the word, TOTALLY. 

If we go back memory lane to 150 years before us, that will be 1872, none of those that carried the world on their heads then are alive today. Almost all of us reading this will find it difficult to picture anybody's face of that era.

Pause for a while and imagine how some of them betrayed their relatives and sold them as slaves for a piece of mirror. Some killed family members just for a piece of land or tubers of yam or cowries or for a pinch of salt. Where is the yam, cowries, mirror, or salt that they were using to brag? It may sound funny to us now, but that is how s*lly we humans are sometimes, especially when it comes to money, power or trying to be relevant.

I remember those days in my secondary school, how some people fought and did so many unimaginable things just to have their names shortlisted among those to be made school Prefects. Ordinary school Prefects o! But today nobody in that school right now remembers that I even schooled there despite my popularity then. Now, imagine what happens after 150 years!

Even when you claim the internet age will preserve your memory, take Michael Jackson as an example. Michael Jackson died in 2009, just 13 years ago. Imagine the influence Michael Jackson had all over the world when he was alive. How many young people of today remember him with awe, that is if they even know him? In 150 years to come, his name, when mentioned, will not ring any bell to a lot of people.

Let us take life easy, nobody will get out of this world alive. The land you are fighting and ready to kill for, somebody left that land, the person is dead, rotten, and forgotten. That will also be your fate. In 150 years to come, none of the vehicles or phones we are using today to brag will be relevant. Biko, take life easy!

Let love lead. Let’s be genuinely happy for each other. No malice, no backbiting. No jealousy. No comparison. Life is not a competition. At the end of the day, we will all transit to the other side. It is just a question of who gets there first, but surely we will all go there someday.

Have a blessed week!

Saturday 27 May 2023

The first 5 female Judges in Nigeria

The photo was taken in Lagos at a Judge's Conference.

L-R: Dulcie Ethel Adunola Oguntoye, Roseline Omotosho, Modupe Omo-Eboh, Atinuke Ige, and Aloma Mukhtar.

Late Justice Modupe Omo-Eboh(neeAkingbein)was called to Bar on March 14, 1953. She became the first female High Court Judge in Nigeria on November 10, 1969.

Oguntoye was the 2nd to become a Judge, Mukhtar the 3rd, Ige the 4th, and Omotosho the 5th

Aloma Mukhtar was the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria. First female justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. First female justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria. First female judge of the High Court in Kano State judiciary. The first female lawyer from Northern Nigeria.

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Brief History Of Awe Town, Oyo State

Awe was founded by four maternal brothers from Ile Ife. Their first port of call was Gbagura near Eba Odan now know as Ibadan before the Egbas moved to their present location. While in Gbagura, the four brothers displayed uncommon level of gallantry and hitherto unseen dexterity in the art of war that made them an enigma before the people of Gbagura. One of such act is how they spread "parapara" mat over Ogun river for the Ibariba warriors to cross and as they got to the middle, they removed the mat making all the warriors to drown. That is why part of the Alaawe cognomen is "o fi eni parapara segun Idomi". As a result of this and so many other heroic acts, the eldest brother, Ilemolu was rewarded with the title of ''Olukotun", the second in command to the Agura,the king of Gbagura.

One thing that is common to the four brothers is that they hated injustice with passion. This was the original reason why they left Ile-Ife in the first place. An incident happened which made the three younger brothers to decide to leave Gbagura. They informed their elder brother, Ilemolu Olukotun. Together they consulted their IFA oracle and having got a direction, Ilemolu said he cannot leave his brothers and so decided to move with them despite his age and position.

By the time they founded Awe, Ilemolu was already too old to rule and so instructed his brother, Oladokun to rule. He said, Kumawoyi should be the "Basinku" and head of the Kingmakers while Mafile, the last born should rule after Oladokun. He himself choose to be their father who will prepare them for the throne.That is the reason why we have two ruling houses in Awe till date and a new Alaawe must spend seven days in ILEYE, which is the house of Ilemolu Olukotun.

Oladokun, the first ruler of Awe begat Beyioku who ruled after Mafile. Beyioku begat Fakanbi, alias Awuya fowo gbonti. The mother of Awuya is Awitan the daugther of "Olorundoro omo Alugbin" from Igbeti and the founder of Oloro compound. Olorundoro was bought to Awe to be beating "IGBIN" drum for the elders in ILEDI.

When ODI AMOLA/ODI AMONU, the new boundary between Awe and Ago Oja was constructed during the time of OYAGBEBI, the fifth ruler of Awe as a military tactical response to the activities of the invaders, it was Fakanbi who volunteered to lead the Awe Revolutionary Guard and Curtail the activities of the Sunmomis, Penlepes and the invading forces from Oyo who were trying to capture smaller towns and villages to populate Ago Oja to replace the old Oyo which was destroyed by Fulani war leading to the death of OLUEWU the last Alaafin in Oyo Ile.

Fakanbi and his team succeeded exceedingly in defending the territorial integrity of Aweland as he was reputed to have a charm that makes all invading forces, once sighted, to go astray as he and his followers are fanning their ears backward. Such invaders will find themselves close to Iwo or somewhere very far away and it becomes an arduous task finding their way back to their base. For those who succeeded in entering the Odi Amola, there is a method they used in neutralizing them.

The military tactics is usually for the team to retreat and split into three units. The first two usually hide at either side of Asaba river as they allow them to pass through while the third unit wait at Amuni river. Once the invader pass through Asaba, the two units will attack from behind and such forces were usually overwhelmed and arrested at Amuni river which has been charmed to weaken anyone with evil intentions towards Aweland.

Present kabiyesi, Oba Cornelius Abiola Taiwo is a direct descendant of Fakanbi, alias Awuya fowo gbon'ti.


22-Year-Old Ojukwu And His Aunty, Winifred, On His Return From Oxford In 1955.

Below is a picture of a 22 year old, Biafran warlord, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and his aunty, Winifred Ojukwu, shortly after he returned to Nigeria in 1955 on completing his studies at Oxford university. Ojukwu bagged a Degree in History.

Ojukwu attended Kings College Lagos, Epsom College, Surrey, England and the prestigious Oxford University, England. By the time Ojukwu returned to Nigeria in 1955, his father had become one of the richest businessmen in the country with a business empire that spanned Transportation, Banking, Retail, Construction and Manufacturing.

Ojukwu's father took him to his corporate headquarters and showed him a well furnished airconditioned office, offering him a top position in his business organisation. Ojukwu turned his father down, telling him he wanted to make his own way in life. Ojukwu eventually secured a job in the civil service as an assistant district officer of Udi division, just outside Enugu. In 1956, Ojukwu was posted to Aba. It was at Aba that Ojukwu attended a party that would change the course of his life. At this party, Ojukwu met a young Yoruba man called Adeyinka Adebayo, who had just been newly commissioned as an officer of the Nigerian Army. Adebayo told Ojukwu that the Army was in the process of being indigenized and their was a shortage of officers. A few weeks after this party, Ojukwu was promoted to District Officer and posted to Calabar.

On hearing that his son had been posted to Calabar, Ojukwus influential father prevailed on the authorities to cancel the posting. When Ojukwu learnt of what his father had done, he angrily resigned his job and drove all the way to Kaduna where he enlisted into the Nigerian Army as a lowly recruit.

The British officers at Kaduna kept wondering what an Oxford graduate was doing as a private in the Army and sent him for officers course in England. Ojukwu returned in 1957 and was commissioned a second Lieutenant, the first graduate to join the Nigerian Army.

Ojukwu rose rapidly through the Army. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1958, Captain in 1960, Major in 1962 and Lieutenant Colonel in 1964. Ojukwu was commander of the 4th battalion, Kano, when the first coup happened in January 1966.

As the coup unfolded, Major Nzeogwu called on Ojukwu to join the coup to which Ojukwu refused. Ojukwus refusal to join Nzeogwu is one of the major reasons why Nzeogwu's coup eventually failed. General Ironsi then siezed power and appointed Ojukwu Military Governor of the Eastern Region.

6 months later, mid-level officers of the Nigerian of Northern extraction conducted a coup that led to the overthrow and killing of Ironsi, and the installment of Lt Col Yakubu Gowon as Head of State. The coup also greenlighted a pogrom in which over 30,000 Easterners, mainly Igbos, were killed all over Nigeria, particularly in the North.

The inability of Gowon to stop the killings, the resentment in the Eastern Region against his government and the fact that Ojukwu was senior to Gowon caused bad blood between both men.

The crisis became so bad that the then President of Ghana, General Joe Ankrah, intervened and invited both Gowon and Ojukwu to his Hiltop Mansion in Aburi, Ghana, for peace talks in January of 1967.

After two days of discussions, Ojukwu and Gowon signed an agreement that was to be known as the Aburi Accord.

A few months after their return from Ghana, Gowon broke the Aburi accord they signed by issuing decree 14 of 1967 which abolished all the 4 Regions, created 12 states, reversed the fiscal federalism practiced, changed the revenue sharing formula, all in a bid to increase the power of the North over the rest of Nigeria.

For Ojukwu, it was the last straw. Ojukwu convened the Eastern Nigerian Consultative Forum, a body that comprised of all the chiefs and head of the 20 provinces that made up the Eastern Region. They sat and discussed for 2 days and mandated Ojukwu to declare the Eastern Region a separate country. On the 30th of May 1967, Ojukwu declared the Eastern Region a separate country called the Republic of Biafra.

In retaliation, Gowon declared war. The war raged on for 3 years and ended in January 1970 with Ojukwu handing over to his deputy, General Effiong, flying into exile in Ivory Coast and the subsequent surrender of Biafra.

Ojukwu later returned from exile 12 years later. He died in London in 2011 aged 78.

Rest in peace Legend.

Sunday 21 May 2023

Olókun and Ajé

The story of Olókun and his daughter Ajé is a popular Yọrùbá tale that explains the origin of wealth and the power of women in Yọrùbá culture.

According to the story, Olókun was the god of the sea and the owner of all the riches that lay beneath the waves. He was known for his wealth and power, and many people sought his favor in order to become wealthy themselves.

One day, Olókun decided to send his daughter Ajé to the land of mortals to teach them the secrets of wealth and prosperity. Ajé was a powerful and beautiful goddess, and she quickly became known as the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

However, as time went on, Ajé began to realize that the men of the mortal world did not respect her power or her authority. They saw her as a woman, and therefore, they believed that she was inferior to them.

Ajé was angry and frustrated by this, and she decided to teach the men a lesson. She withdrew all of her wealth and prosperity from the land, leaving the mortals to suffer in poverty and misery.

The men soon realized their mistake and begged Ajé to return her wealth to them. Ajé agreed, but only on the condition that they would respect her power and authority as a woman.

From that day on, Ajé became known as the goddess of wealth and power, and she was revered by both men and women alike. Her story became a symbol of the importance of respecting women and their power, and it remains an important part of Yọrùbá culture to this day.

Ẹkú Ọjọ́ Ajé

#ifawaleola #ifa #aje

Saturday 20 May 2023

The story of Chief Victor Nnamdi Okafor aka “EZE EGO” of Igbo land

Victor Okafor is a name that not many will remember upon an initial hearing. In fact, some may not even think the name special in any way. But once the name Ezego is added, then those of the past generations begin to not just remember, but to reminisce.

Ezego was one of the very few, influential & wealthy people of his time. Even more, he was relatively the youngest one to have so much money, popularity, affluence and reputation in the business scene. During his time, he was often referred to by many names.

Victor Okafor was an indigene of Uzoakwa, Ihiala in Anambra State. He was born on the 25th of December, 1964, and his story was a typical example of a rise from grass to grace. He had his primary school education at the Uzoakwa Primary School but he was forced to drop out during his secondary school education at Abbot Boys’ Secondary School, Ihiala and eventually took to business. His childhood was a very traumatic one and at a point, his own father reportedly disowned him when he was nabbed for being a member of a robbery gang that showed Onitsha traders hell on earth.

To escape being imprisoned for his criminal activities, He fled to Umumeni Village. From this place, he went to Umuduru, his mother’s village. However, things were hard at Umuduru. So, in 1989, he decided to move to Lagos where he joined a mentor. Now, this was the area where things became shady. After staying in Lagos for a long while, nothing seemed to happen. Then all of a sudden, Boom!!! the name Ezego started spreading like wild fire.

As it appears, he was already a multimillionaire and a very prominent person. It was rumored that he did Ọgu ego (money rituals) which made him amass such wealth.

In Lagos, he set up the Ezego Shopping Complex on Allen Avenue (there was also a branch in Abuja) and also the Ezego Plaza on the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road. From these spots, he operated and controlled one of the biggest electronics store in Nigeria. His other companies were Vic-Winners International Limited, Ezego Nigeria Limited, Ezego Holdings Limited, Vitex Zinc Co. Limited and Ezego Properties Limited.

Due to his strangely found wealth, Ezego was able to build several houses, villas & mansions all over the country. In fact, one of the houses was made of glass. In the year 1999, Ezego had a real estate outside Ihiala whose worth was about half a billion naira.

The very big mansion which was used as his country home in Ihiala was worth another N500 million with the marble used for the walls imported from Italy.

That was not all, Victor had one of the largest private car garages in all of Africa. He was a great lover of cars.

Thus, he was always purchasing the latest vehicles and keeping them in his garages at Ihiala and Lagos. At one point,his garage alone was valued at almost one billion naira. He once paid N14 million just to acquire just two posh cars: a Sedan Lincoln Continental Mark 8 and a Mercedes Benz R230 convertible from Moontrends. Actually, as at the time of his death, he left behind countless state-of-the-art cars, 70 houses all over Nigeria and overseas and over N10 billion naira in his bank account.

He was married to the fair-complexioned and beautiful Laurita Nkechi, a princess from Akata in Imo State and the marriage produced eight children. Not only that, he also had kids by other women apart from his wife, Nkechi. When Ezego died, a lot of controversy erupted amidst his family members. Although Ezego's life was very mysterious and controversial, his death was even more so. The staggeringly rich man died on December 25, 1999 at the age of 34.

As was his normal tradition, he prepared to go to his hometown in Ihiala where he would bless many people with bounties & impress people with his wealth. Before going home, Ezego was known to visit Afrikan Shrine where he met with Femi Kuti in order to ensure all went smoothly.

The party was billed to start from the night of Christmas to the Boxing Day (26th) so Ezego decided to start his trip from Lagos on the 23rd of December. But little did he know that all his efforts were in vain. He was unconsciously planning for his own funeral.

But what precisely happened? Ezego would have normally taken a flight from Lagos to Enugu, and then, take a convoy all the way to Ihiala. However, the fatal rates of air crashes during that period claimed to have made him change his mind. The outcome was disastrous for the mogul.

The Cherokee car which Victor took had a hitch along Lagos Ibadan Expressway, and then, totally broke in Asaba. Fearing that the car would be stolen, he refused to leave it behind. Rather he used a Lexus car to tow it all the way.

Two kilometres to Ihiala, Ezego ran into a pothole, and mistakenly, he stepped on his brakes. This caused the Cherokee car that was being towed to hit his own Lexus car, and just like that, Ezego and the car tumbled into a ditch where he was massively injured on his head.

He was rushed to the nearby Lady of Lourdes Hospital (where Ezego incidentally made a donation of N15 million naira a few years before the accident). He was still alive & stable when they brought him to the hospital & all the medical workers went into an overdrive to save the life of a man they know as a giver and mentor. All attempts to stabilize him failed.

His family members suggested that he be taken to an advanced hospital in Port-harcourt. On the way to PH city, Ezego allegedly died a blurry, unconscious sort of death.

Ezego's death did not just come & go like that. It birthed a lot of other strange & mysterious events. All the houses & big cars owned by the multimillionaire have been damaged & left abandoned. It was revealed that Ezego’s empire had collapsed and the majestic house he built at his hometown of Uzoakwa Ihiala was a ghostly shadow of its former self.

The controversies in Ezego’s life did not subside even after his death. His lawyer and the person that was responsible for the execution of his will, Barnabas Igwe was murdered in cold blood, with his wife, Abigail on the 2nd of September, 2002, barely three years after Ezego’s demise. Ezego’s will was thus, never read, and the exact beneficiaries are not known (at least as at January 2006).

Although police agencies have been summoned to investigate these complicated controversies (especially with regards to his wife and a former police commissioner) relating to the murder of the Igwes but their investigations have never yielded any result.


During the colonial period and at independence, the country was known as Dahomey. On 30 November 1975, the people of Dahomey visited their ancestral home known as present day Edo state nigeria to meet with their great king named OBA AKENZUA ll to seek permission from him in order to renamed their country Benin were their ancestors hail from. the request was granted by OBA AKENZUA II.

And it was renamed Benin. "Dahomey changed its name to the Republic of Benin (République du Benin) in memory of pre-19th century greatness of Ancient Benin of Nigeria", referring to the historic Kingdom of Benin..

According to history the name 'Dahomey' was a warrior from Esan tribe of Benin empire.

Thursday 18 May 2023

This “zombie virus” was just revived after 48,500 years — and it infected other organisms

In a groundbreaking study, researchers have discovered ancient "zombie viruses" trapped in Siberian permafrost. There were 13 viruses that were discovered and thawed. The oldest virus was found to be frozen for a staggering 48,500 years. That sets a new record for the resuscitation of a virus. 

What's more? It can still infect living creatures. Worried? Don't get too upset just yet.

This particular virus can’t infect humans. but it proves that the thawing permafrost could directly threaten human health as climate change causes other viruses to be released and thawed.

Image credit: Jean-Michel Claverie / IGS / CNRS-AMU

Tuesday 16 May 2023


More than a century ago, there was a beautiful homestead located in Ilishan Remo, Ogun state, Nigeria. This homestead belonged to a man named Shonowo Owodunni, who was known for his love of architecture.

The homestead was designed in a classic Nigerian style, with steeply pitched roofs and a thatch finish. The walls were made of red brick, and the windows were inset with colorful stained glass.

The main house was a two-story structure, with a large foyer at the entrance. The living room was to the left, and it was decorated with plush cushions and earth-toned rugs. The dining room was situated opposite the living room, and it had an intricately carved wooden table that could seat 12 guests.

Upstairs were the bedrooms, with the master bedroom boasting a large four-poster bed and a balcony that overlooked the gardens surrounding the homestead. There was also a library on this level, with shelves that reached the ceiling and were filled with books on various subjects.

The homestead was surrounded by a lush garden, with a large courtyard and a fountain at the center. The courtyard was paved with beautiful tiles and decorated with colorful flowers and shrubs.

Shonowo Owodunni was proud of his homestead, and he knew that it would serve as a legacy for many generations to come. He hoped that it would inspire others to appreciate the beauty of architecture and to create their own unique masterpieces in the years to come.

Friday 12 May 2023

Sanusi Adebisi Idikan - First Ibadan notable entrepreneur and philanthropist

The Yoruba man who paid tax for the whole of Ibadan. Sanusi Adebisi Idikan was an enigmatic personality that traversed Ibadan’s landscape in commerce, engaged in philanthropy and humaneness in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

He was born in 1882, in Ibadan during the reign of Aare Latoosa, the Baale of Ibadan, and died in 1938, during the reign of his bosom friend and Father In Law, Olubadan Okunola Abass Aleshinloye.

Despite being the biggest story of his time, Sanusi remained an unsung hero. Adebisi’s father, Adesina, migrated from Efon Alaaye (Ijesha Stock) in present day Ondo State.

He was an itinerant Ofi clothe weaver- a traditional Yoruba clothe, earmarked for ceremonies, marriages, burials and so on.

He moved to Ibadan with his paternal half-brother- Alabi and settled in Aremo, in the household of Lanase.

Ibadan had become then, the most cosmopolitan city in Nigeria and perhaps black Africa. It was secure, accommodating and prosperous.

Adesina whilst plying his trade of Ofi weaving, was also spiritual consultant to Alaafin Atiba, who had betrothed his most precious daughter- Princess Ogboja to him, in recognition of Adesina’s great spiritual impact in his life.

Adesina, begat three children- Adetinrin, Adeoti and Adebisi.

Adetinrin and Adeoti were 20 years and 15 years respectively, older than Adebisi.

Adebisi grew up to join his siblings in the hawking of their father’s Ofi clothes in and outside the city of Ibadan. Within a short spade of time, he enlarged the space of the business by hawking the Ofi clothes outside Ibadan- Iwo, Ile Ogbo, Ikire, Oshogbo, Ife, Ondo and even the far flung place of Benin and before the age of 18 years, he became an instant success and even had to retire his siblings from the business.

Aside Ofi business, he ventured into large scale farming, in Ashipa village, Mamu, where he developed a large cocoa plantation.

Cocoa had been introduced into Nigeria since 1874 and had by the 1890s, become Nigeria’s most notable cash crop, most especially in Yoruba land.

In Ashipa, he built a farmstead and numerous houses, for his farm workers.

The success in the Mamu cocoa plantation, encouraged him to acquire about 200 Acres of land in Apata Ibadan, where he developed another cocoa plantation.

In recognition of his success as a cocoa farmer and entrepreneur, he was made the Giwa Egbe (head of the society) by his other successful merchants, like Otiti, Ekolo, Afunleyin, Ladimeji from Isale Ijebu and Adeyemo Owonbuwo from Oopo-yeosa.

As Giwa of the society, he added Giwa to his name, to become Sanusi Adebisi Giwa.

Sanusi Adebisi Giwa’s acts of philanthropy were demonstrated in his first tax rescue effort in Ibadan. Payment of tax by every male adult was made compulsory by the colonial government.

Most Ibadan adults were subsistent farmers, who could not afford the payment of tax and that the punishment for tax evasion was, detention in Mapo, which also served as the Treasury Office.

A detained tax defaulter, usually found it difficult to get a contemporary who would bail him out, because most adults were tax evaders and an attempt by a tax evader to bail a tax evader, would certainly land such rescue effort into another detention.

This tax problem became such an agony, that a Balogun of Ibadan- Balogun Ola, son of Baale Orowusi, would rather commit suicide, than to see Ibadan Young men in perpetual tax agony and detention. This valiant self murder, was recognized by the Ibadan people, who named him Kobomoje (the one who displayed gallantry against timidity).

The payment of tax became a social symbol and tax defaulters were usually mocked and despised by the popular song-”Owo ori ti d’ ode o, o o’ode o baba wa loko san” –”payment of taxation has come, our fathers were the first to pay, the idiots and lazy ones who have not paid are in detention in Mapo”- “Awon ode ti o le san o, won nbe lati mole ni Mapo.”

Adebisi was displeased with the tax situation in Ibadan. His philosophy had always been- (the rich must help the poor who are vulnerable).

Adebisi had at this time been one of the first set of Ibadan elites, perhaps if not the first person, to ride a car, apart from his hordes of horses.

For effect, he had his horse dispatch rider- Ladimeji, to ride in front of his car, on his way to Mapo, to see the Chief Tax Officer for the Ibadan Colonial Office. In his meeting with the officer in the colonial office, he brokered an understanding- “I want to be paying tax on behalf of every taxable adult in Ibadan”. The officer was shocked, nonplussed and asked him, if he knew the financial implication of his gesture? But he still insisted on paying.

Henceforth, the colonial officer would calculate the amount of tax expected from all Ibadan taxable adults and would go to Adebisi Idikan’s residence to collect the money.

He eventually supplied all the timbers (slippers) needed for the Lagos-Ibadan railway, between 1898 and 1901, when fortune smiled on him. Ibadan train station was opened in 1901.

His fortune in the timber business encouraged him to venture into the newly, money spinning cocoa market.

Around 1920, the Miller brothers of the United Kingdom, arrived Ibadan looking for business prospects, opportunities and business associates. They needed a native of immense wealth, who could be an intermediary and associate. Sanusi even though unlettered, had secretaries and Personal Assistants, who were lettered.

The Miller brothers made him their Factor. Whatever goods imported to Nigeria by the Miller brothers, would reach Ibadan, the main depot, for Adebisi to chat its mode of distribution and marketing, as its main distributor and marketer. Adebisi’s fortune soared and the Miller brothers, became a conglomerate and a multi-national. Adebisi later became a share holder in the multi-national and Miller brothers, later changed their name to United African Company (U.A.C).

Sanusi Adebisi having joined the Otun Olubadan line from the 11th on the rung of the ladder, of 22 lines, later shortly thereafter, rose to become the Ashipa in 1936, and was installed by the incumbent Olubadan- Abass Okunola Aleshinloye, who succeeded Oyewole Foko, in 1930 as the new Olubadan of Ibadan.

Sanusi Adebisi was a man of excessive generosity, whose milk of human kindness was ceaseless.

Adebisi in ill health, had visited the then renowned surgeon- Dr Doherty in Lagos.

He was advised by the surgeon, to stay in Lagos for three weeks in order to reduce his stressful activities.

In order to stay in Lagos for three weeks, he bought a house at 34, Whitman Street, Ebute Meta in Lagos, to enjoy a well-deserved rest.

In January, 1938, in his last few moments, he brought out money to assist insolvent debtors. He brought out the papers containing the debtors’ names, tore and burnt them, without anyone noticing any premonition.

After a brief illness of some few hours, he joined the saints triumphant on Friday June 21, 1938, at the age of 56 Years, and such was the glorious exit of the unparalleled, uncommon benefactor and philanthropist, who had impacted on souls and communities,- the Ibadan communities, Ibadan societies, Western Region and Nigeria.

In the Ibadan folklore- “Ile Adebisi lati je Malu tawo tawo, awa o je dodo, nile Salami”, meaning-it is in Adebisi’s house that cow meat is eaten wholly with its skin, while we have not eaten fried plantain in the house of Salami (another notable Ibadan wealthy man of Adebisi’s generation).

Source: Hon (Barr.) Femi Kehinde  Vanguard ngr


Lt. Colonel Chris Ugokwe (left) and Brigadier Muhammadu Buhari captured together in an undated  photograph (Likely circa early 1980s).

Both men joined the Nigerian Army in the early 1960s (Ugokwe claimed that he enrolled on the same day as both Buhari and Shehu Musa Yar'Adua).

Ugokwe was officially put on army leave after the "reprisal coup" of July 1966. His escape from the North which had become unsafe for officers and people of Eastern Region origin was facilitated by Lt. Colonel Hassan Usman Katsina, the governor of the Northern province to whom he was serving as aide-de-camp. In September 1966, Ugokwe was escorted to Kaduna Railway station by Ibrahim Babangida and Garba Duba before embarking on his journey to the Eastern Region.

Ugokwe fought on the side of the secessionist state of Biafra between 1967 and 1970 as a brigade commander. He was reabsorbed into the Nigerian Army after the civil war with a loss of seniority.

He was significantly involved in two prominent military operations after his reabsorption into the Nigerian military.

As a Major, he was instrumental in flushing out  dissident soldiers led by Lt. Colonel Buka Suwa Dimka from Broadcasting House during the abortive coup of February 13th 1976. The mission was organised by the "Core Commander" of the Armoured Corps, Lt. Colonel Babangida (in relation to whom Ugokwe had had 6 months seniority when both were members of the Armoured Recce Squadron prior to the civil war) and carried out on the ground by Ugokwe, the Regimental Commander, and Lt. Colonel M.B. Mayaki; Ugokwe leading the armoured offensive and Mayaki (himself an armoured corps officer) the infantry assault. Captain Jimmy Okojoko was also an influential fighter on the ground.

As a member of the General Staff in April 1983, Lt. Colonel Ugokwe was assigned by Major General Buhari, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Third Armoured Division in Jos, to recapture 21 islands located on Lake Chad from Chadian forces led by Idriss Deby, the Chief of Army Staff. Ugokwe arranged for the relocation of the headquarters of the Third Armoured Division to Maiduguri and in combination with 21 Armoured Brigade succeeded in recapturing all 21 islands along with an extra two islands that were seized.

He retired in 1985 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Lt. Colonel Ugokwe died on December 30th 2016.

Muhammadu Buhari was involved in the coup which overthrew Major General J.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi in July 1966 and fought for the Federal side in the Nigerian Civil War. He was also involved in the coup of July 1975 which removed General Yakubu Gowon and brought to power Brigadier Murtala Muhammed.

During the 1970s, Buhari served as a military administrator of Bornu State, the Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources and as Military Secretary.

Buhari graduated from the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, as a Master in Strategic Studies. During the early 1980s, first as a Brigadier and then as a Major General, he went on to perform General Officer Commanding roles for army divisions; two infantry and the other armoured, before he emerged as the Head of State following the coup which overthrew the civilian administration of President Shehu Shagari on New Years Eve in 1983.

Buhari was himself overthrown by a coup led by Major General Ibrahim Babangida in August 1985. He was placed in detention for a period of time.

Buhari made a number of failed attempts at becoming a civilian president during the 2000s, but is presently serving his second term as a civilian president of the Fourth Republic.

Wednesday 10 May 2023


The story of Kurunmi is one that draws tears from the eyes of people who feel pity for a man who stood firm for tradition.

There was a time in the history of Yoruba where the heir to the throne is killed whenever the king dies. This tradition came about because it was discovered that a lot of princes killed their fathers so they could ascend the throne and become king instead.

It was believed that if the heirs were killed alongside their fathers, kings would live longer on the throne.

During this period, Alaafin Atiba was the paramount ruler of the Oyo empire, and he appointed Kurunmi, the son of Esiele as the Aare-ona-Kakanfo ( the generalissimo of the whole Yoruba warriors).

As it was with tradition, a king and an Aare-ona-Kakanfo cannot stay in the same town because their wield similar powers, so Kurunmi was assigned to Ijaiye, where he was given the power to lord over.

One day, Alaafin Atiba summoned the kings and lords of the neighboring towns and told them he wished to change tradition. Present at the meeting were kings like the Timi of Ede, Balogun Ibikunle of Ibadan, and Kurunmi himself.

When they were seated, Atiba came down from his throne and held the sword of Ogun (the Yoruba god of iron) in his right hand, and the bolt of Sango (the Yoruba god of lightning and thunder) in his left. He charged the royalties present to swear by the sword and bolt that after his death, his son Aremo Adelu will be made king after his demise.

Kurunmi disagreed immediately, and he reminded Alaafin Atiba that according to the tradition, the moment Atiba does, his son Adelu must follow suit. Other royalties tried to persuade Kurunmi, but he was adamant. When he couldn't convince them, he walked out in anger and headed for Ijaiye.

The other kings and chiefs went home to their people to inform them of the latest developments. When Balogun Ibikunle of Ibadan told his chiefs the news, one of the chiefs Basorun Ogunmola took the matter up and suggested they wage war against Kurunmi.

Kurunmi had once captured Ogunmola who had a secret affair with his wife. He captured him, tied him to a stake like a goat and fed him ashes as food. As a form of revenge, Ogunmola proposed war against Kurunmi.

Alaafin Atiba sent emissaries to Kurunmi to change his mind, but he remained adamant, and when Alaafin Atiba saw that he would not change his mind, he sent two calabash bowls to Kurunmi. One of the calabashes contained an effigy of a pair of twins (Yoruba symbol of peace), while the other calabash contained gunpowder (Yoruba symbol of war).

Kurunmi immediately chose war and sent the emissaries back to Atiba. Immediately, Kurunmi summoned his chief warrior Balogun Ogunkoroju and told him to prepare for war.

As part of the preparations for war, Kurunmi consulted the oracle, and the oracle warned him not to go to war with Ibadan because he would lose the war. Kurunmi was not going to have any of it, and he pestered the oracle to tell him what to do to win the war.

The oracle then told Kurunmi that in order for him not to lose the war, he must not cross the River Ose, which was the boundary between Ijaiye and Ibadan. Kurunmi agreed, and went ahead to plan for the war against Ibadan.

While Kurunmi was making preparations, the Ibadan warriors, led by Ogunmola went to meet the people of Ęgba who were said to possess very powerful charms.

The Ęgba people then prepared a potent charm called Eedi (a charm that causes someone or a group of people to ignore warnings or dare something that will harm them). The Eedi was set out to the River Ose so that the Ijaiye warriors will be tempted to cross the river.

When the war came, Kurunmi sent his five sons to war to fight the Ibadan people. During the face-off, Ijaiye warriors soundly defeated the Ibadan warriors, and the remaining Ibadan warriors fled back, crossing the River Ose. 

Unfortunately for Kurunmi, his warriors fell to the potency of the Eedi, and they crossed the River Ose, believing that they had momentum, and that they could chase the Ibadan soldiers far away.

Immediately they crossed the river, their charms failed them, and they were killed in thousands by the warriors of Ibadan who had set a trap for them. Kurunmi suffered heavy losses, and lost all his five sons in the war.

Basorun Ogunmola mocked him and sent a message to him that he was coming for his head. On hearing the news of the death of his daughter and his men, Kurunmi became very devastated and suicidal, but while he grieved, he held on to his belief that tradition remains tradition, and that he does not regret standing firm in the face of corruption.

Kurunmi committed suicide by taking poison, and he was thrown into the river Ose according to his wishes so that Basorun Ogunmola won't have the luxury of cutting his head and hanging it in shame.

Monday 8 May 2023

Seriki Oni Guitar - The Sad but Inspiring Story of Fatai Rolling Dolla

Fatai Rolling Dollars was a nickname that was coined around 1937, when Fatai would always roll a silver dollar piece at the coin toss in soccer matches in his school in Lagos, Nigeria. He later became one of the deep Yoruba ‘master musicians’ who introduced the guitar and other wind instruments into traditional Nigerian music.

Late Fatai Olagunju, popularly known as Fatai Rolling Dollar, was born on July 22, 1927 to the family of Chief Olagunju, in Ede, Osun State, Nigeria. Olayiwola Fatai Olagunju, was a jùjú singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, described by the BBC as a "nationally celebrated performer. He was known greatly for his highlife performance with his proficiency in playing guiter and writing songs. Late Rolling Dollar kick started his music career as a musician in the year 1953. He trained many successful musicians, including Commander Ebenezer Obey and Late Orlando Owoh. Ebenezer Obey joined his band in 1958 and left with some band members in the year 1963, to establish their music band.

Rolling Dollar's last major hit was "Won Kere Si Number Wa".

In 1957, he formed an eight-piece band called Fatai Rolling Dollar and his African Rhythm Band, and they recorded numerous seven-inch singles for Phillips West Africa Records.

Towards the end if the 1960's, his star started nosediving and things started falling apart for late Rolling Dollar, as a result of the new wave of juju artists springing up. Being forced out of music 'business', he set up a business outfit, hiring out musical instruments, with his office and store close to Fela's Kalakuta Republic, around Moshalashi area in Lagos metropolis. He lost all his means of livelihood in 1977, when the military junta invaded and burnt down the Kalakuta Republic. His store was affected due to the proximity of the store to the Republic.

In 1977, the tumult of life began when Fatai Rolling Dollars’ residence which was in close proximity to Kalakuta Republic of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, engulfed in a widespread inferno as a result of the military invasion of the self-proclaimed republic. Unfortunately, Fatai Rolling Dollars lost his nascent family alongside all his musical instrument to the inferno that gulfed the entire area. This incident negatively impacted on his blossoming career.

However, the survival instinct in Fatai Rolling Dollars made him to work as a security officer for about six years where he played his instrument to keep himself engaged. As if this was not enough, other tragic incidents came calling, he was attacked by armed robbers; he was hospitalised and when he recovered, he became a church chorister so that he could earn some stipend.

It was quite intriguing to hear that the erstwhile boss of great musicians like Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, late Dr. Orlando Owoh, Bob Aladeniyi amongst others retained his true love for his craft and he was committed to his passion despite all these gloomy challenges that beclouded his life. All of these experiences reflected in his music and his optimistic view of life.

Late Rolling Dollar never gave up despite the fact that, he was almost completely in obscurity. He experienced untold hardship in life. Poverty was written all over his life. he lost five of his children and their mother due to poverty-induced ailments. For years, he lived in a one-room apartment in Mushin area of Lagos.

Precisely in 2002, luck smiled at him, having wallowed in the 'wilderness' for close to three decades. God miraculously visited him and a great turnaround happened in his life. He was rediscovered by some music promoters. He released his famous hit song ' won kere si number wa' ( they are not our equal). His star started shinning again. He signed various contracts with various music promoters. In 2007, he started going on world tour to the USA, UK, France, Germany and many other western countries. It is also on record that, in his lifetime, the Lagos State Government under the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, gave him a house in New Oko Oba Low Cost Housing Estate.

Fatai Rolling Dollar died in June 12, 2013, fulfilling his dream of becoming one of the most popular highlife musicians in Nigeria.

He died peacefully in his sleep. He was buried in Ikorodu, Lagos. He was the oldest surviving music artist in Nigeria


Wikipedia, Yorubaness, Opera News, Yemi Adebisi - Independent news.


The cosmopolitan city known today as Ikorodu was a massive forest in the early seventeenth century, it was used for game hunting by the Princes of Shagamu, precisely the children of Ọba Koyelu - The second Akarigbo of Orilẹ Offin. The eldest of them was Olusoga also known as Oga, followed by Lasunwon, Rademo, Anoko, Osonusi, Igimisoje, Kilaro, Oladepo and lastly Sekumade. Oga was said to be the most powerful and influential of them all.

Initially, Oga and his siblings only used the area as a camp, soon after they discovered how strategic the area was for doing business as traders from Shagamu, Ijebu and Epe ply the route to the coast. So the brothers decided to make it their permanent settlement.

The area was the home to a now extinct specie of plant called 'Odu' - it was a kind of vegetable that blackens and used for dyeing cloth by Remo women hence the traders usually refer to the settlement as OKO-ODU meaning Odu farm. It was later corrupted to Okorodu and subsequently to "Ikorodu".

As the settlement began to expand, Olusoga being eldest and the most powerful hunter took responsibility for the expansion of the village, shortly before his death, he received a large contingent of Benin migrant led by a wealthy merchant called Eregbouwa or Rebugbawa.

After his death, there was need for proper administration of the town, his brother became the Oloja meaning the ''village head'' or market head according to some quarters, the influential Eregbouwa was made the Olisa - the prime minister.

Till this day, the Obaship goes to the Akarigbo line while the Olisaship goes to the descendant of Eregbouwa.

Sunday 7 May 2023


That Abeokuta is the only City in Africa with its name in more than two other countries.

Some of them are:

(1) Abeokuta in Ogun State, Nigeria which is the main City and the place where the descendants of Egbas go out from and found other Cities in other countries.

(2) Abeokuta in Central River region of Gambia.

(3) Abeokuta, a tourist town in Jamaica with beautiful waterfalls and spring water.

(4) Abeokuta in Benin Republic. 

All these places are founded by the egba people. 

There’s no other City or Town in Africa whose descendants go out and create a City in the image of their home.


Igbara-Oke, Ondo State born Prof Sophie Oluwole (originally from Edo state), was the first woman to earn a doctorate degree in Philosophy in Nigeria.

She studied History, Geography and Philosophy at UNILAG after which she was employed as an Assistant Lecturer in 1972.  She earned her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan.

She taught African Philosophy at UNILAG and focused on the Yoruba school of philosophical thought that discussed the cultural and religious beliefs of Yoruba land. She retired from the department of history of the university 18 years ago.

She produced several books on philosophy including Ifa and Orunmila which aimed at correcting the Western philosophies on Africans.

The late philosopher; popularly called Mamalawo (female native doctor) was recognised for her activism for women in philosophy and education.

Prof Oluwole died in her home at Ibafo, Ogun State. She was 83.


Ila-Orangun lies about 65km northeast of Ile-Ife and 90km southeast of Ilorin on the southern edge of the savannah. It is a part of the distinct dialectical Yoruba sub-group known as Ìgbómìnà or Ìgbóónà who originates from the north central and south western parts of Nigeria.

The Igbomina group, presently, is mainly found in the eastern part of Kwara State, and the northern part of Osun State where Ìlá-ọ̀ràngún is located.

The beautiful and serene town of Ila-Orangun share boundaries with Rore, Arandun and Aran-Orin to the North, Ora and Oke-Ila Orangun to the north-east, Oyan to the West, Otan-Ayegbaju to the South West and Oke-Imesi (in Ekiti State) to the east. More than 80 percent of Ila people are farmers and they grow crops like maize, plantain, cassava, pepper and cash crops like cocoa and kolanut.

The people of Ila-Orangun are also skillful and professional palm wine tappers. They are globally recognized and known for this professing and thus this popular Yoruba statement was birthed: “Ila o l’oogun, emu l’ogun Ila” (Ila has no medicine other than palm wine).

Also, they are known for local arts and crafts which include pottery, soap making and wood carving which is world acclaimed in the work of Fakeye who hails from Ila-Orangun.

The history of Ila-Orangun was traced to the reign of Oduduwa (the first Oba and founder of Yoruba tribe) in Ile-Ife when his seven grandsons decided to found some large political centers, one of which was Ila-Orangun.

It is believed that Ifagbamila (Ajagunla), one of the sons of Okanbi, the son of Oduduwa, left Ile-Ife with his mother, Adetinrin, in about 12th century to found Ila and he became the first Orangun (king) of the town.

The direct link Ila has to Ile-Ife made people refer to the town as a kingdom, and its king, Orangun, as the leader of Igbomina. Howbeit, traditions in other Igbomina towns such as Ajase, Isanlu-Isin, Oba, Owa, Oro, Ikosin and Igbaja claim that larger communities existed in Igbomina before Ila emerged, and that Ila is not the most powerful of all Igbomina towns.

Other oral accounts of Ila history have it that Ajagunla was the son of Princess Adetirin who was the only daughter of Oduduwa. She migrated from Ile-Ife because of an unwanted pregnancy and settled in Ila-Kodomu also called Igbo-Ajagunla in the history of Ila-Orangun.

These sources further claim that the people of Ila once lived separately before they finally settled together at their present site, Ila-Orangun, where Orangun Igbonnibi first reigned. The previous dispersed settlements include Ila Yara, Ila Magbon (later known as Ila-Orangun), Ajo, Ila-Okiri (Oke-Ila) Oke Molododo, Ilase and Ilawo.

These settlements were originally not established by the Ila people. History has it that people were already living there before migrants form Igbo-Ajagunla occupied Ila-Yara and later, other settlements. It is worthy of note that the people of these pre-Ila-Orangun settlements migrated from one settlement to another.

For example, Ila-Yara was deserted because of a royal dispute; another source traced the cause to be an outbreak of earthworm which forced the people to migrate from Ila-Yara to Ilawo, Ila Okiri, Ila Magbon and Ilase.

An account traced the etymology of the words ‘Ila’ and ‘Orangun’ to the period when Ifagbamila Ajagunla left Ile-Ife with half (Ilaji) of his grandfather’s (Oduduwa) wealth; and the Odu Ifa that instructed him to leave Ile Ife was “Ose meji” meaning “Oro mi gun” which means “my life plans are straight”. Thus the saying “Ìlàjì ni mo pín, ọ̀rọ̀ mí gún” became Ila-Orangun.

However, it should be noted that no European observer in the precolonial period of Nigeria ever grasped the nature of the settlement at its inception. 

European travelers arrived too late in Igbomina and their reports only captured the horrific devastation of wars on Ila that began after the fall of Old Oyo empire.

Friday 5 May 2023

Ancestral Waters of Life (Eji Ogbe)

She is the Goddess of the Unknown -Darkness - Realm of Dreams & Unconscious. Like her world, so is Olokun the Keeper of Secrets.

Orunmila divined for Olokun and assured her that all of her problems would resolve, and she would find a new home. He asked her to do the sacrifice. He told her to go at night and get one calabash of water and in the morning one calabash of water, to go to the left side of earth and bring water and to the right side of earth to bring water, both morning and evening, and to go to the Red Sea to bring water. Orunmila used the waters to make sacrifice for her and when he was finished, he said she should take the waters he had prayed over and to bathe her body, then stay inside her home for 7 days. She must not open the door, see anyone, or see daylight. She did exactly as he said.

On the third day she discovered that the door in front had turned to grass and the door in back had turned to copper. The wooden door on the right side had turned to zinc, and the door on the left side had turned to silver. On the seventh day when she decided it was safe to leave the house, she saw that all under her home had become water. Olodumare had decided to give her a house on top of the water. Olokun was amazed and set out to Orunmila’s house to give him the news. He was very happy for her, and she took him home to treat him as a pampered guest, entertaining and feeding him as he had never experienced before. He began to sing praises that Olokun had given him a wonderful gift and that he was happy Eledumare had allowed him to understand the message. Olokun began singing praises saying, “Ifa is great!”. Ever since that day Orunmila enters the ocean to divine for Olokun. The story continues on as to how Orunmila came to live with Olokun for many years in her underwater realm, but as all good stories go, we shall save that part of the story for later.

Olokun, you are here and of the unknown, the unknowable and unreachable. As a natural force represented in the Oceans, rivers, underwater volcanoes, streams, and lakes. Without Water, there would be no world as we know it. Olokun, you represent and care for civilization beneath the Sea, which nourishes and enrich us all by stimulating the production of foodstuffs and other materials. You made a home to all who perished at the hands of evil while crossing the Atlantic Ocean against their will because of greed.  

To understand Olokun nature we need to look at the nature of the bottom of the Sea, a vast mostly unexplored dark habitat. The deep-sea floor is a seemingly hostile environment and yet life thrives down there. In fact, scientists believe that there is more life in the dark abyss of the Earth’s Oceans than in all of the tropical rain forests put together. Anything that falls to the bottom of the Sea floor remains intact forever more, never to be laid eyes on by anyone other than herself and her underwater children. Olokun is believed to hold the secrets of the past, the present and the future. She knows all and guards that knowledge well. Olokun holds the key to the mystery of exactly what happened to their Ancestors on those fateful journeys across the Atlantic. Many didn’t make it and thus entered the realm of Olokun. Olokun is all-knowing, She is the keeper of Wisdom and Divination.

Olokun & The Chameleon (Alagẹmọ) Her secret contact in heaven informed her that they were sending the Chameleon to her. She considered that to be a sign of their contempt for her because they could not be sending a more inferior fellow as an emissary. She knew that every act is a sign of another thing. They were telling her that she was ugly, slow, and contemptible, and the Chameleon would be a clear deliverer of the message. They were telling her that she was beholding her own reflection in the mirror when she saw the Chameleon riding the Snail as a horse. Right before her eyes, she saw the Chameleon climb down from the back of the Snail. To her astonishment, the skin of the Chameleon glister with a lustrous light that radiated around it. Olokun, to her surprise, wanted to touch it, but she quickly checked her impulsive spirit.

She went into her chambers and began to attire herself in her gorgeous garments, woven in multicolored patterns, using different yarns and textures. She then looked for various combinations of Beads, both brilliant and dull Beads, large and slim, round, and angular shaped gems, and she wore them. She then reappeared before the Chameleon, to show off herself, and display how beautiful she looked. “As usual, you are the most elegant and attractive being alive,” the Chameleon said to her, when she came out looking exceedingly beautiful in her attires. But even as the Chameleon spoke, it began to transform, and its skin began to reflect the splendor of the color of Olokun attires. The only exception is that the mirror even looked more splendid than the original, which puzzled Olokun.

Olokun thought about these things and decided that they were too bizarre for her to deal with. Certainly, things have changed in Heaven, and they were no longer as they used to be, if the ugly Chameleon could look so beautiful, and the Snail could be as swift as a horse... She decided that she had underestimated the power of the forces of Heaven. She told the chameleon "I want no trouble from those who sent you here. But you cannot take all of my space. Tell those who sent you that you can have some of the planet, which you may turn into solid ground for human habitation. But I will still continue to reign over the larger portion covered by the waters.

Olokun however remembered her word because one’s word is what is most important. And her word remained that she consented to the establishment a human colony here on earth. So, she has to honor and keep her word, for that is the nature of her own graceful character. At one time She was the Goddess of all Waters and all of the Oceans, for Her name means Owner of Oceans - Lord of the Sea.

Olokun is the Goddess of Death: Her domain is the graveyard of the Earth, cold and dark nature being the perfect environment for the suspended animation of Spirits. Olokun is also the Goddess of Rebirth and Renewal: At the bottom of the deep Sea from Her dark watery womb new life springs forth every moment, contributing to a vast and incredibly adaptive ecosystem. Olokun is associated with great riches, She is said to be a Goddess of wealth and abundance. Women pray to Her to conceive a child as well as for good health and worldly possessions. Olokun is often depicted as a beautiful black Mermaid. One of the animals that symbolize Olokun is the mudfish... The Goddess Olokun is also linked to the red coral, a beautiful red gem-like colony of tiny animals that are joined together through the skeletons of their dead ancestors. As corals grow, they form reefs which purify the water, provide shelter for other sea creatures, and encourage the growth of wildlife habitats beneath the Sea.

When we speak of  the Ancestral Waters of Life , we speak of waters that has a form of Natural consciousness  that flows and nourishes,  that incubates and feeds and the essence of Maternal caring that relates to the protection of children.

Omi Orun - Ancestral Waters: The idea of heavenly waters  may seem symbolic to us but yet holds the ring of truth since the most commonly found  substance is hydrogen particles  throughout  the universe . Science agrees that the combination of earth and water is what created the womb of all living creatures on the earth in consequence of the union of these elements. The Olokun was given the title and name of the combined words  OloOkun - Owner of the Oceans of Ode Aye - Earth. As well is her representation of water and birth and in fact a principal part of the human spirit of  consciousness  as well as it makes up part of our bodies. Throughout time and most Ancient religions of the east a Female dominate deity took hold of the Title of the owner of the great Oceans of earth. When Olokun is angry she causes the Sea to be rough and stirs up a raging surf upon the shore; and it is she who drowns Men, upsets boats or canoes, and causes shipwrecks.

Olokun Sea Goddess - The owner of all the riches under the Oceans, the greatest Bead maker, the most powerful Deity whose mantles are the rolling waves of sea water, is a most beautiful divinity to behold. Her long, braided hair flows with the waves of the undulating waters, her ebony dark skin glistening like priceless pearls under the motion of ceaseless seas. Olokun heard about the plan to establish human abodes on earth and became angry.  She was fully prepared to turn down the request to use earth for the human project mainly because she was already using the space for her Bead-making studio. She made Beads of all colors and shapes, but her favorite Bead was the indigo colored, tubular shaped Segi bead, so luminously dark that it seems to capture light within its luxurious entrails. It was her love for Bead making that caused her to move her seat to the depth of the ocean, which nobody wanted at that time. But after she succeeded in taming and ruling the vast ocean, after she salted it and stocked it with priceless jewels, after she had transformed the vast and empty space into a home for herself, they began to plot behind her back to take her space from her and turn it into a general home to lodge humans. She found the human project totally unacceptable if it would be at the expense of her own studio work of Bead making.

It was totally unacceptable for the divinities to take her sanctuary away from her and populate it with strangers. She sat down in a reflective mood in the midst of her vast collection of Beads. She calmly picked up some of the most colorful and exquisite Beads ever made, and slowly rubs the warm gems against her dark brown skin.  She would not give up her craft, she resolved. She would fight for every cup of water in the vast ocean of the earth. It was clear to Olokun that they chose earth because she had developed it so artistically that nobody could take their eyes away from it. But they also thought that she had no fighting power. It was only if the power of the others overwhelmed her that she was going to surrender. Aboru Aboye O!!! 

Omo Eriwo Ope!!!

In Summary: "TAXI DRIVER"

Uncle Bobby Benson, was a genius in everything he undertook.

He was a gifted and talented all around entertainer. A musician, singer, composer, multi instrumentalist, actor, and a shrewd and accomplished business man.

He built and owned his own Hotel Bobby, on the major Ikorodu Road, Lagos. Between Fadeyi and Onipanu. Directly opposite the entrance to Igbobi Orthopedic Hospital. Inside Hotel Bobby, he had one of the best Night Club, in Africa then, Caban Bamboo Night Club. His band was the resident band of the night club. He brought in many other bands, even from outside Nigeria to play at Caban Bamboo. He introduced a lot of what was called Floor Shows, during sets or breaks of music bands.

He will have magicians, acrobats, jesters, comedians and many entertaining situations come and perform for the audience. The standard practice by Bobby Benson, was to do a raffle of ticket stubs. Winners are called, they could win anything from a live Goat, Ram, Turkey, a free weekend at one of the suites, in the Hotel, even a plate of food, Chicken a la batata, and Shiskebab!

There was also this cosy enclosure, carved out of Caban Bamboo Night Club, seriously air conditioned with a very romantic ambience, called the Bamboo Room. It is a place that puts you in the mood. The main event of the Bamboo Room, apart from the usual cooling down in a corner with your main squeeze, is the unbeatable, weekly Sunday Night, Disco at the Bamboo Room. That is where you to listen and dance to latest hits all over the world. No matter what part of the world the hits or trends come out, whether UK, or USA, it must get to Lagos within 6 to 10 hours, standard.

You have got to remember that in those days, Nigerian Airways, had fleet and fleet of all categories of commercial planes and jets. The planes were manned by Nigerian pilots and cabin crews, who were trendy and psychedelic. The pilots were mainly up and about young dudes and studs. Same goes for the cabin crews, but they were mixed - males and females!!! I digressed.

Let's get back to Bobby Benson. What ever show you decide to attend at Caban Bamboo, or Bamboo Room, usually starts at about 10:00pm. It will go on till about 5, or 6:00am!

As a successful business man, Bobby Benson, owned the largest music instruments shop in Africa then. It was on the other side of Hotel Bobby. The floor space was so big, today it would be called a Mega Music Shop. Only high quality instruments and equipment were sold at the shop. At the time, Bobby Benson, was the recognized, approved and sole distributor of YAMAHA, products in Nigeria.

Bobby Benson was more known for his hit tunes and he had many of them. I could almost say that every song he recorded, became a Chart Buster! His greatest hit is "TAXI DRIVER"

As was in character with Bobby Benson, there are almost always, a true life story or experience, behind most of his compositions. Either his own personal experience, brother's, family members or friend's. If it happens, Uncle Bobby, will compose the appropriate song for the incident, and the song will make it to the top of the Chart!

In the case of "TAXI DRIVER"  it was his own personal experience, he sang into an all generation hit song!

Bobby Benson, was a lady's man. He could not leave them alone, and they too won't let him be. He has the best of the best, and enjoy flocking around him openly too.

He was a very handsome man, with great sense of humor, showmanship, from a good prestigious Benson family of Elekumeden Oriwu Ikorodu town Lagos. Bobby Benson was a debonair and flamboyant person. So to make his pick and choose was quite easy.

Bobby Benson was also a mortal, like the rest of us. So occasionally, he is not above falling head over heels for some drop dead, vixen or pixies!! You never know whether it is going to a short or long term dalliances. But once those stars flutters, Bobby will not allow any thing to be in the way or hindrance.

That was the situation when the scenario for the song "TAXI DRIVER" was set in motion. Things have been rosy cosy and copasthetic, between Uncle Bobby and Sisi Siju, for many many months. S S, was getting the full Royal treatment from B B!!

Some how Bobby Benson caught wind that Sisi Siju, could be sneaky and edging her bet with a much more younger, trendy transporter, or driver of humans and cargo, of the Airborne type!!!

In his typical meticulous and discreet way. He covertly did his own thorough investigation, not minding what the Olofofos and the Amebos had told him, it was true.

Uncle Bobby, after his due diligence that cannot be controverted, literally drew the Curtain on the affair.

The culprit, turned out to be a driver, under Kofi Blankson's Authority. What I cannot tell you was if he was certified for DC 9, Fokker, Boeing.

You can be sure that this brazen, audacious Cannaby Street, attire wearing, psychedelic high must have been black listed from ever coming to any of Club or Room at Hotel Bobby. A persona non grata at that happening place of that era.

Rather than glamorize the Nigerian Airways pilot, and Sisi Siju,. Uncle Bobby Benson, downgraded the pilot to just an ordinary " TAXI DRIVER "

Let us stay the course and see how the correct appellation would have affected the music.

🎶If you marry Airways Pilot, I don't care............ 🎵

Disclosure: Uncle Bobby Benson, was a close and good family friend of my parents and family. They frequented each other regularly. They bantered and teased each other.

Bobby Benson, was a strict, disciplined and principled person. His memory and legacy lives on.

He was a pioneer of Highlife Music, in Nigeria. He tutored and mentored a lot of men, giving them the chance to play in his band to gain experience. In that regard he succeeded immensely, in producing outstanding and big time band leaders. To start naming them will take forever. Until he breath his last in an untimely way, he was still mentoring future band leaders.

To be continued........

By Yinka Alakija

Alakay. Alaska.

26th April 2023.

Wednesday 3 May 2023


Solagberu was the first Yoruba Muslim convert. He was a very good friend of Afonja and played a great role as an accomplice to Afonja’s rebellion against Oyo. It was Solagberu who introduced Alimi as (Salih Janta) to Afonja. He was appointed as a reagent in Ilorin and took the post of Baale of one the cities conquered by Afonja in Oke Suna. This happened at the time when Oyo was reluctant to accept Islam and greatly restricted the practice of the religion. Most of the Yoruba faithful of Islam migrated to Okesuna and took Solagberu as their leader. He had his private militia and was also a warlord in his rights. Okesuna therefore could be described as the first muslim settlement in Yorubaland.

Afonja gave Alimi very special privileges. When he was out on campaigns, he let him rule in his place. A lot of Fulanis and Hausa people also migrated to Ilorin and pledged allegiance to him, very much as the Yoruba migrants that pledged alleigiance to Solagberu. Like most Fulani, including Usman Dan Fodio and Mohammadu Buhari. Ambitious Fulani leaders with a potential to be ruthless in their plot to subjugate others usually come across as meek people with no such intention. This remains the greatest weapon of the Fulani and the very secret weapon they have used to infiltrate and subjugate others. They are also very patient. They could take a decade or two to destroy the obstacle in their way of subjugation. As Afonja conquered many of the cities North of Oyo, He placed a few Governors loyal to Alimi as the ajeles.

Afonja’s love for Alimi greatly worried his friends. Most especially Onikoyi and Fagbohun. Both of them, he dismissed rather rudely when they expressed their concerns. When Fagbohun refused to be silent and kept the pressure on him to be careful of his trust for Alimi and the Jamas loyal to him, Afonja called a meeting of all the chiefs loyal to him with an intention to force him to repeat what he said in private (just as a Yoruba president in the late 70’s did to a fellow Yoruba man who warned him about the infrastructures he was concentrating in the North). Fagbohun caught wind of Afonja’s intention and kept away from the meeting.

Two very important warlords loyal to Afonja died at the time. One was his brother (Agborin) and the other was his head slave warrior (Lasipa). Alimi had them replaced with Fulani soldiers loyal to him. He had his security details infiltrated as well (very much as Danjuma did in the scheme to get rid of Aguyi Ironsi). This left him with only one loyal lieutenant, Bugure.

Not until then did Afonja suddenly realize that he had been set up and was surrounded by enemies loyal to a Jihadist loyal to the dream of his kinsmen to conquer to the shores and annex the whole southwest to the Caliphate at Gwandu. He sent for Onikoyi and some other powerful chiefs he was friends with to come to his aid. The message was intercepted after spies in his palace told Aimi of it. He also sent a message to Solagberu. Not only did Solagberu refuse to come to his aid, he also had Bugure arrested and detained at Okesuna to deprive Alimi of the much-needed help of his last surviving general.

This was the signal the Fulani had been waiting for, they launched a palace coup and laid a siege on his palace and smoked him out. Although he fought till his last breath. He was overpowered and killed with tens of arrows. The Jamas burnt his dead body to ashes. Alimi was proclaimed the new leader of Ilorin and his descendants rule the estate of Afonja’s great grandfather (Laderin) till today.

This was what Solagberu had been hoping for, a successful palace coup that would get rid of his friend (Afonja) and place a Muslim cleric as the leader. At this time, he was the only one in Ilorin with a militia and as such, real power would be in his hands (or so he hoped). Unfortunately Solagberu (very much like MKO Abiola and Bola Tinubu sooner or later learnt the hard way that the Fulani was so obsessed for power and believed such right to rule was reserved only for fellow kinsmen. Every non-Fulani, irrespective of religion was to be subjugated and relegated to second class citizens in their ancestral home.

Alimi was succeeded by his son and Toyeje of Ogbomoso succeeded Afonja as the new Are Ona Kakanfo. Just as Solagberu had predicted, the Fulani army greatly relied on him to retake Ilorin. Appealing to religious sentiments, Solagberu used his militia to help defeat Toyeje in his mission to retake Ilorin (Toyeje was a lieutenant in Oyo army and fought from the right wing when Afonja was Are Ona Kakanfo).

Over time, the Fulani emirate at Ilorin was able to build its private army as well as make new friends among the rebel warlords of Oyo. As such, they did not need Solagberu’s services anymore. A siege was laid on Okesuna by the order of emir Abdulsalam (son of Alimi). The people of Okesuna were reduced to famine and could not launch a successful resistance and they were forced to surrender. Alimi’s soldiers razed down the city and had Solagberu executed. In his last hours, Solagberu regretted his treachery towards his friend Afonja and felt sobered as the new ruling family he helped solidify their hold on Ilorin paid back his loyalty with disgrace.

Shortly after Solagberu’s exit, the new military under the Ilorin emirate plundered Yoruba nation and took many of its people as slaves to be sold to the merchants at Ijebu and Lagos who were the middlemen between the raiders in the North and the Portuguese. The new Sultan at Sokoto (Belo) however wanted Fulani domination beyond Ilorin and greatly obsessed for the day all of Yoruba nation-states would be overrun to the shores of the Atlantic. He hoped someday for Fulani annexation of the fertile lands and rain forests in Yoruba land. Above all, he dreamed of the day the caliphate would control the coastlines and sell slaves directly to the Portuguese.  Ibadan warriors intercepted them in 1840.

Tuesday 2 May 2023

The Sokoto Caliphate was an Islamic state, the most powerful in West Africa in the nineteenth century

It was founded during the Fulani War in 1809 by Usman dan Fodio. When the British took over the territory in 1903, they abolished the political authority of the Caliph and put the area under the Northern Nigeria Protectorate; however, the title of Sultan was retained. It remains an important religious position for Muslims in the region to the current day.

The independent Sokoto Caliphate arose in 1804 and grew into one of the most significant empires in Africa in the 1800s. They developed in the context of multiple, independent Hausa kingdoms, creating an empire which linked over 30 different emirates and over 10 million people.

By the late eighteenth century, many Muslim scholars and teachers had become disenchanted with the insecurity that characterized the Hausa states and Borno. Some clerics (mallams) continued to reside at the courts of the Hausa states and Borno, but others, who joined the Qadiriyah brotherhood, began to think about a revolution that would overthrow existing authorities. Prominent among these radical mallams was Usman dan Fodio, who with his brother and son, attracted a following among the clerical class. Many of his supporters were Fulani, and because of his ethnicity he was able to appeal to all Fulani, particularly the clan leaders and wealthy cattle owners whose clients and dependents provided most of the troops in the jihad that began in Gobir in 1804. Not all mallams were Fulani, however. The cleric whose actions actually started the jihad, Abd as Salam, was Hausa; Jibril, one of Usman dan Fodio's teachers and the first cleric to issue a call for jihad two decades earlier, was Tuareg. Nonetheless, by the time the Hausa states were overthrown in 1808, the prominent leaders were all Fulani.

Simultaneous uprisings confirmed the existence of a vast underground of Muslim revolutionaries throughout the Hausa states and Borno. By 1808 the Hausa states had been conquered, although the ruling dynasties retreated to the frontiers and built walled cities that remained independent. The more important of these independent cities included Abuja, where the ousted Zaria Dynasty fled; Argungu in the north, the new home of the Kebbi rulers; and Maradi in present-day Niger, the retreat of the Katsina Dynasty. Although the Borno mai was overthrown and Birni Gazargamu destroyed, Borno did not succumb. The reason, primarily, was that another cleric, Al Kanemi, fashioned a strong resistance that eventually forced those Fulani in Borno to retreat west and south. In the end, Al Kanemi overthrew the centuries-old Sayfawa Dynasty of Borno and established his own lineage as the new ruling house.

The new state that arose during Usman dan Fodio's jihad came to be known as the Sokoto Caliphate, named after his capital at Sokoto, founded in 1809. The caliphate was a loose confederation of emirates that recognized the suzerainty of the commander of the faithful, the sultan. When Usman dan Fodio died in 1817, he was succeeded by his son, Muhammad Bello. A dispute between Bello and his uncle, Abdullahi, resulted in a nominal division of the caliphate into eastern and western divisions, although the supreme authority of Bello as caliph was upheld. The division was institutionalized through the creation of a twin capital at Gwandu, which was responsible for the western emirates as far as modern Burkina Faso--formerly Upper Volta--and initially as far west as Massina in modern Mali. As events turned out, the eastern emirates were more numerous and larger than the western ones, which reinforced the primacy of the caliph at Sokoto.

By the middle of the nineteenth century, there were thirty emirates and the capital district of Sokoto, which itself was a large and populous territory although not technically an emirate. All the important Hausa emirates, including Kano, the wealthiest and most populous, were directly under Sokoto. Adamawa, which was established by Fulani forced to evacuate Borno, was geographically the biggest, stretching far to the south and east of its capital at Yola into modern Cameroon. Ilorin, which became part of the caliphate in the 1830s, was initially the headquarters of the Oyo cavalry that had provided the backbone of the king's power. An attempted coup d'état by the general of the cavalry in 1817 backfired when the cavalry itself revolted and pledged its allegiance to the Sokoto Caliphate. The cavalry was largely composed of Muslim slaves from farther north, and they saw in the jihad a justification for rebellion. In the 1820s, Oyo had been torn asunder, and the defeated king and the warlords of the Oyo Mesi retreated south to form new cities, including Ibadan, where they carried on their resistance to the caliphate and fought among themselves as well.

Usman dan Fodio's jihad created the largest empire in Africa since the fall of Songhai in 1591. By the middle of the nineteenth century, when the Sokoto Caliphate was at its greatest extent, it stretched 1,500 kilometers from Dori in modern Burkina Faso to southern Adamawa in Cameroon and included Nupe lands, Ilorin in northern Yorubaland, and much of the Benue River valley. In addition, Usman dan Fodio's jihad provided the inspiration for a series of related holy wars in other parts of the savanna and Sahel far beyond Nigeria's borders that led to the foundation of Islamic states in Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Chad, Central African Republic, and Sudan. An analogy has been drawn between Usman dan Fodio's jihad and the French Revolution in terms of its widespread impact. Just as the French Revolution affected the course of European history in the nineteenth century, the Sokoto jihad affected the course of history throughout the savanna from Senegal to the Red Sea.

Decline and fall

European attention had been focusing on the region for colonial expansion for much of the last part of the 19th century. The French and British both sent multiple exploratory missions to the area to assess colonial opportunities.

French explorer Parfait-Louis Monteil visited Sokoto in 1891 and noted that the Caliph was at war with the Emir of Argungu, defeating Argungu the next year. Monteil claimed that Fulani power was tottering because of the war and the ascension of the unpopular Caliph Abderrahman dan Abi Bakar.

However, the British had expanded into Southern Nigeria and by 1902 had begun plans to move into the Sokoto Caliphate. British General Frederick Lugard used rivalries between many of the emirs in the south and the central Sokoto administration to prevent any defense as he worked toward the capital. As the British approached the city of Sokoto, the new Sultan Muhammadu Attahiru I organized a quick defense of the city and fought the advancing British-led forces. The British force quickly won, sending Attahiru I and thousands of followers on a Mahdist hijra.

On the 13th of March 1903 at the grand market square of Sokoto, the last Vizier of the Caliphate officially conceded to British Rule. The British appointed Muhammadu Attahiru II as the new Caliph. Lugard abolished the Caliphate, but retained the title Sultan as a symbolic position in the newly organized Northern Nigeria Protectorate. In June 1903, the British defeated the remaining forces of Attahiru I and killed him; by 1906 resistance to British rule had ended. The area of the Sokoto Caliphate was divided among the control of the British, French, and Germans under the terms of their Berlin Conference.

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