Baba Ijebu at 86: Unraveling an icon, pathfinder and God-sent
Almost by default setting, there are some people who are extremely amazing such that they have a huge impact on our lives. Suffice to say that on the path of providence, there are some people that come one’s way and end up leaving an indelible mark on someone’s destiny.
Baba Adebutu is one of such people, and I make bold to say that. He is a man I adore so much, owing to his entrepreneurial prowess, industrial acumen and socio-economic might.
Either by predestination or freewillism, meeting this amazing personality has been a huge blessing to me that I have had to count my blessings garnered from his unflinching support for me, over the years.
Today, October 24, is the birthday of this great man who clocks 86, in grand style. At 86, baba waxes stronger, never aging, and that makes today the happiest day for me because it is actually the birth date of someone who has the biggest contribution to my life. I am so blessed to have you in my life and thank you so much for your all-time support and care. As one of the most important persons in my life, it is pretty difficult to conjure the exact adjectives that best describe you. I can only manage to borrow money words.
As a widely celebrated business tycoon, Baba has appreciable stakes in agriculture, hospitality, manufacturing, entertainment, real estates and the like. Anyone who has the privilege of being close to him will not only learn how to become a successful businessman but also how not to withhold all the riches you acquire in life but give back to the society. Of course that is what the Kessington Adebukola Adebutu Foundation stands for. The humanitarian foundation largely takes its charitable campaigns to homes and hospitals, as well as schools.
In the words of Napoleon Hill, “it is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”
A selfless giver and a highly cerebral personality, baba is that hard working man who, despite his age, still likes to report to his office regularly. He could jolly well sit back to merely enjoy the wealth he has built for himself in the course of his glamorous years as a businessman.
Then, there is the father-figure part of him who likes to devote ample time for family fronts and loved ones. I must proudly and pleasurably confess that, to me, he is a father, inspiration, leader, mentor and a guardian angel graciously sent to me from above.
Sitting atop a multibillion naira conglomerate could not have been possible without zest and determination. “I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed: and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I fail and keep trying”, says Tom Hopkins.
The Baba Ijo of the Methodist Church believes so much in God and godly tenets so much that he says what he means and means what he says. Now that’s integrity test!
His numerous chieftaincy titles include the Odole of Odua, the Babalaje of Lagos, Olotu of Lagos, Balogun of Iperu Remo, Baba Oba of Iperu Remo, Akogun of Remoland, Bobaselu of Ondo Kingdom, Baba Oba of Noforija Kingdom, Epe and the Baba Oba Iperuland. He also has the proud title of the Asoju Oba of Lagos, which makes him second in command in the hierarchy of Lagos title chiefs.
I will live to relish a day like this in history when God decided to bless humanity with divinity by gifting Baba Ijebu to the world. Hence, on this special day, I am wishing you all the goodies of life, while praying God to grant you many more years in sound health, prosperity and longevity.
Dr. Ayo Ogunsan is a Board Member, Lagos State Security Trust Fund.