Wednesday, January 4, 2023
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Cameron, Texas, USA

Continued from Part 5

THE POPULAR TINUBU FAMILY OF LAGOS: The popular and legendary Tinubu family of Lagos is a large one. Tracing the history of one of the most famous families in Lagos takes several trajectories. One of the most prominent members of Tinubu family is the legendary Madame Efunroye Tinubu whose name adorns the Tinubu independence square in central Lagos and the same square in Abeokuta. A wealthy and powerful slave merchant in the 18th century, Madame Tinubu was born in Abeokuta in the present-day capital city of Ogun state western Nigeria. According to several historical accounts such as Fajana's "Nigeria and Her Neighbors," published in 1964; "Madam Tinubu: The Terror in Lagos," a Play by Akinwumi Isola and others, Madame Tinubu left Abeokuta to participate in the lucrative trans-Atlantic slave business of the 17th and 18th centuries. She left her Abeokuta ancestral home to Badagry where Nigerian slaves captured in the hinterland were "processed" and transported to the West by both white and local African slave merchants. While in Abeokuta, Madame Tinubu's fortunes grew from slave trade to politics. In 1846 when Oba Akintoye, the King of Lagos ran into trouble and was deposed by his cousin Kosoko, Oba Akintoye ran to Badagry and met this influential slave merchant, who assisted Oba Akintoye in his exile years. Fajana disclosed in his book that Akintoye had all his needs met and catered for by Madame Tinubu. Although some legends had it that both Akintoye and Madame Tinubu were lovers. But some historians had argued that there was no amorous relationship between the slave tycoon and Oba Akintoye considering the fact Madame Tinubu was happily married to Mr. Yesufu Bada who was her general manager in the slave trading business. Besides, some historians have documented genealogical relationship between Oba Akintoye and Madame Tinubu. Madame Tinubu was a niece of Oba T. Akintoye because Akintoye's maternal family initially hailed from the historic town of Abeokuta.

Be that as it may, no matter the form of relationship between Oba Akintoye and Madame Tinubu, this powerful lady was soon to assert her influence in Lagos when Akintoye was restored to the throne in 1851. Oba Akintoye insisted that Madame Tinubu should follow him back to Lagos after his re-installation. Naturally, one good turn deserves another. Madame Tinubu agreed to relocate from Badagry to Lagos where she became the power behind the throne. Madame Tinubu's influence incensed some of the chiefs in the inner circle of Oba Akintoye, who insisted that Akintoye should send Madame Tinubu back to Badagry, but Oba Akintoye refused. By 1853 when Oba Akintoye died, Madame Tinubu met her Nemesis in Oba Kosoko (June 1845-December 29, 1851) who plotted the expulsion of the powerful slave merchant back to Abeokuta. During this period, the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery had been abolished in 1807 by the British colonialists. But as an astute, shrewd, influential, and industrious woman, Madame Tinubu could adapt quickly and shifted her trade from slave trade to gold, kolanut, spice and merchandise, although she still held on to her retinues of domestic helps. Oba Kosoko was unable to banish the powerful merchant from Lagos. In 1853, the stag conspiracy of the Lagos high chiefs against Madame Tinubu succeeded under Oba Dosunmu who never liked Madame Tinubu compelling the powerful woman to finally return to her Abeokuta ancestral home. For someone who had tasted power and played hostess to the high and mighty, it was not long before Madame Tinubu's influence pervaded the royal court in Abeokuta. But first, she had to prove her power to her Egba kinsmen and women. In 1864, the King of what was then known as Dahomey (now Republic of Benin) decided to attack the city of Abeokuta. The threatened invasion of Abeokuta sent fear and panic to all Egba citizens. Madame Tinubu assured the people of Abeokuta that King Gezo and his band of attackers would be defeated. Madame Tinubu used her power and influence to import arms and ammunition into Abeokuta which she stored in large quantities in her expansive court in the ancient city. At night, Abeokuta soldiers would come to her residence and collect the cache of arm. The soldiers were also fed by retinue of Tinubu's women servants. The Dahomeyans perfected the use of women soldiers in military warfare during this period. They were known as the Amazons. The kingdom of Dahomey was in what is now Benin, bordered by Togo on the west and Nigeria on the east. According to some accounts, the origin of these women warriors may have been as elephant hunters, possibly as early as the 1600s during the reign of King Wegbaja. What is known with greater certainty is that by the 1700s women were being used as law-enforcers and palace guards. In Dahomey, no male (other than eunuchs) was allowed in the royal palace after dark, and few entered in daytime. This left the guarding of the palace to eunuchs and a certain number of armed women soldiers. The transformation of these palace guards into a regular army, with its own set of commanders, occurred around 1830, when King Gezo needed to bolster the number of troops in the Dahomian army. The move was especially important to Dahomey since the kingdom was often at war with numerically superior opponents. These warriors were often observed by visiting Europeans at state ceremonies and staged mock battles, and by most accounts (except for noted traveler Sir Richard Burton) the visitors reported their fighting skills to be the equal of (and usually superior to) those of the males in the Dahomian army.

The first Europeans to observe them in actual battle were missionaries living in nearby Abeokuta, which Dahomey attacked in 1851 and again in 1864. Their accounts indicate that the female contingents of the Dahomian army fought fiercely and bravely. Although Dahomey lost both times, the only ones to breach the defenses of Abeokuta were the Amazons. The last Europeans to provide eyewitness accounts of the Amazons in battle were the French colonial military, who defeated Dahomey in the second of two Franco-Dahomian Wars in 1892. Again, the ferocity and capability of the women warriors were noted, in this case by their better- equipped European opponents. Having gained an upper hand in the supply of superior firearms and ammunition through the British colonialists, the people of Egba withstood the Dahomeyan Amazons too by using women soldiers recruited by Madame Tinubu. By the end of the war, Abeokuta defeated the marauding Dahomeans and the fame of Madame Tinubu grew throughout Egba land. Her popularity grew and her fame was widespread that whoever she supported for the Alake stool of Abeokuta was sure to carry the day. This occurred in 1869 when both Princes Ademola and Oyekan were slugging it out to become the new Alake of Abeokuta. Madame Tinubu threw her weight behind Prince Oyekan but as usual with the high chiefs of Lagos who feared Madame Tinubu's influence, the Egba chiefs who were mostly men pushed for the installation and eventual coronation of Prince Ademola as the Alake of Abeokuta on November 28, 1869, as Oba Ademola I. But eight years later, Oba Ademola I died on December 20, 1877, and Madame Tinubu's candidate, Prince Oyekan mounted the throne. The power, prominence and influence of Madame Tinubu reached its apogee in Abeokuta during the reign of Oba Oyekan (1879-1881) who made Ma dame Tinubu the Iya Lode of Egba land literally the chief merchant of Egba land. Madame Tinubu also paid a prominent role in the choice, installation, and coronation of Oba Luwajin as the Alake of Abeokuta in 1885 who passed on January 27, 1889-two years after Madame Tinubu's transition. Taking a cue from Abeokuta, the Oba of Lagos decided to "reward" Madame Tinubu too and so proclaimed her the Iya Lode of Lagos. The popular Tinubu Square in central Lagos was proof of the power of this legendary woman. Madame Tinubu's reputation also extended to neighboring Ikorodu for she was credited with bankrolling the Ikorodu War of 1865. In 1864 - The Egba- Ikorodu war broke out, with Ikorodu emerging victorious. In 1865 - Glover, J.H. Governor of Lagos reconciled Ikorodu with then Awujale of Ijebu land, Oba Ademuyewo Fidipote. Madame Tinubu died in 1887. In 1892, the cession of Ikorodu to the British Government by the Akarigbo of Ijebu-Remo occurred. The signatories to the cession document were Oba Oyebajo the Akarigbo of Ijebu-Remo, the then Olisa of Ikorodu (Olomu), the Mosene of Ikorodu, (Chief Aina Odukanmade), the then Balogun of Ikorodu (Chief Akin Jaiyesimi) and Sir G.T. Carter, Governor of Lagos colony. After the death of Madame Tinubu in 1887, Madam Jojolola stepped into her shoes as the Iya Lode of Abeokuta, but no woman could rival Tinubu's power and influence as the chief merchant of Egba Land. Although Madame Tinubu never left behind any surviving child, she left behind worthy legacies and name recognition. Her female power according to Africa's first Nobel Laureate in Literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka grew tremendously after she helped Abeokuta soldiers to repel and defeat the invading army of Oba Gezo of Dahomey making her to aspire to one of the kingmakers in Abeokuta-an elite closely-knitted body composed mainly of men. But she was not admitted into the stag party.

The present location of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Idi-Araba, Surulere Lagos was the location for the lucrative and highly-successful kola nut trading business of Madame Efunroye Tinubu in the 19th century. The land was graciously sold to the Lagos state and the Nigerian governments in the 1950s. When the University of Lagos was about to take-off in 1962, the government was looking for a land. The Tinubu family graciously donated the land that currently houses the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and the school of nursing at Idi-Araba to the University of Lagos. It was from this famous and legendary Tinubu family that Asiwaju Bolanle Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu was born into on March 29, 1952. Like his legendary great grandmother, who fought the establishment and won during her days, it isn't surprising that the DNA of fighting worthy causes is in the veins of Asiwaju. As Idowu Ohinze, a writer for an Online Newspaper aptly noted in a piece recently; "More than a hundred and twenty-three years after the death of that Icon-Madam Efunroye Tinubu- another Tinubu (Bolanle Ahmed Adekunle) - is generating nationwide interest. This time, he is… fighting a different form of slavery: political enslavement." Senator Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo state put in proper perspective, the political enslavement Asiwaju had recently fought and won like his great, great paternal grandmother: "But for the intervention of God and Asiwaju's divine usage by the Creator, Nigeria and the south-west (political zone) would today be languishing under the rule of those whose major love is self and family." There are other famous members of the Tinubu family after Madam Efunroye. The Tinubu family for instance, has the distinguished honor of producing the first Muslim medical doctor in Nigeria. Abdulhamid Saka Tinubu was born in February 1901. A very brilliant man, who entered the University of Glasgow at the age of 22 and graduated with honors in the late 1920's. He returned to Nigeria to set up a thriving and popular medical practice. The popular Saka Tinubu Street in Victoria Island was named after him. A school, reputed to be the first Muslim secondary school in southern Nigeria; Abdulhamid Saka Tinubu Memorial Ahmadiya High School in Olushi, Agege area of Lagos was also named after him. An aerobic aficionado, it was said of him he would walk a minimum of ten miles a day every morning beginning at 6am, a habit he maintained till his late 70s. The birth of Bolanle Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu occurred this way in the Tinubu family. The maternal family of Asiwaju family is as historic and traditionally Lagosian as his paternal Tinubu family history. Her maternal grandfather, Pa Gbadamosi Mogaji hailed from the Ita Faji area of Lagos island. Her maternal grandmother, Mama Alhaja Saidatu Akoya Mogaji had the blue blood of the Ereko family history of Lagos island. Tracing the family line of the Mogajis back to five generations would take one back to Ijebu land. The family historians, who spoke to the authors explained that the Mogajis of Ita Garuwa initially came from both Remo and Ijebu land in present neighboring Ogun state. "They were the first early settlers that carried their trading activities from Ijebu Land, first to the current Oyingbo Market at Iddo in Lagos and later migrated to Ereko and Ita Faji and Ita Garuwa on Lagos Island."

The Mogaji family members were renowned merchants. The family embraced the Islamic faith very early in life. In 1917 at the height of WWW I, Mama Abibatu Asabi Mogaji, who was Bola's biological mother was born into the Mogaji family on Lagos Island. The woman, who would later raise young Bola and his elder sister, Biodun single handedly didn't have western education. She embraced the family business of trading very early in life as her own mother, Sadiatu Akoya Mogaji took her under her wings. " The routines in those days when Mama Abibatu was growing up was, follow her mother to the market and from the market off to the local Quranic school at Okesuna in the evening and returned home for supper," a family member explained to the authors. Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji broadened her merchandising experience after the death of her mother; Sadiatu by joining the trading column of another prominent market women leader; Madam Alimotu Pelewura, the Erelu of Lagos. History recorded that Madam Pelewura (1865-1951), who was a political activist and head of the Lagos Market Women Association influenced the political education of her foremost protégé; Abibatu Mogaji, who herself later became the Iyaloja or president-general of Lagos Market Women Association in her later career. Following her mother's demise, young Abibatu commuted between Ita Faji and Okepopo where she learned her apprenticeship under Pelewura. It wasn't surprising that Pelewura passed the baton of the association to Abibatu upon her demise in 1951 at the height of the nationalist struggle in Nigeria. Abibatu was a young apprentice when the association was formed by Pelewura and other leading market women in Lagos. The market women were influenced and ably supported by the doyen of Nigerian nationalism, another influential Lagosian, Herbert Macaulay. The market women in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria formed synergistic alliances with Nigeria's early nationalists as they resisted the many obnoxious policies of the British imperialists. As custodians of the women at the grassroots, Egba market women, for instance, under the leadership of Chief Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti mobilized against flat tax rate for women and compelled the Alake of Egba land to abdicate in 1948. After Madam Pelewura's death, Abibatu ran the organization effectively by giving it a political clout, power, influence, and relevance for sixty-four years in both pre-and post- independent Nigeria. As a popular, successful, rich and influential leader of the market association in Lagos, Madam Abibatu was often dreaded by many men who knew they could not "control" her like the traditional average Yoruba woman. Most of the men she went out with had to contend with her status by visiting her in her residence, instead of the other way around. She was also independently-minded that she told any would-be suitors that, she wasn't interested in marriage for financial support, rather to have children, thus foreclosing the possibility of jettisoning her maiden name for any man. She maintained this principle throughout her 96-year life span. Although she gave birth to a female child, Biodun and was determined to have her as only child, until friends and associates began to mount pressure on her that it would be a risky life to have an only child. After the birth of her only daughter, Biodun in the 1940s, Madam Abibatu resolved not to have any child. She explained that she didn't have the time for any man as husband in her life. But many of her friends were prodding her to have, at least, a male child. As the leader of the market women, many men who were traders and merchants, were also under her leadership. She was careful not to have amorous relationship with any of them so her leadership would not be threatened or undermined. But try as she could, any determined man can easily attract the attention of a single and successful lady. One of such men who warmed his way into Mama Abibatu Mogaji's heart was Mr. Ahmed Tinubu from the famous Tinubu family in Lagos.

Based on investigations and research conducted by the authors, Mr. Tinubu was said to have a dalliance with Mama Abibatu and on Saturday March 29, 1952, Mama Abibatu gave birth to a baby boy. At her home at Ita-Faji in Lagos Island, the Muslim eight-day "sunna" naming ceremony of the new baby boy took place and being the more prominent and richer partner in the relationship, Mama Abibatu christened her favorite and only baby boy: Bolanle; meaning, "born into wealth," and Adekunle; meaning, "the family is abundant with wealth." His father elected to name him after himself: "Ahmed," meaning: "Much to be praised." Indeed, the little baby boy's father, especially the mother had a lot to praise having been a barren woman for many years after her daughter's only child and now the Lord God Almighty had looked upon her affliction and gave her the gift of a bouncing baby boy. The name is instructive in every sense because the name; "Ahmed" or at times, spelled; "Ahmad" is one of the several blessed names of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBOH), the founder of Islam. The birth of Bolanle evoked plenty of joy, praise and gladness in the life of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, because she gave birth to her only male child at the age of thirty-six years, when she lost hope. In those days, most Nigerian women, especially Muslim women would have ceased child-bearing. Today, the little boy born on Saturday March 29, 1952, is known by his full name: Bolanle Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu. There have been rumors and hearsays on who was that "lucky" man, who succeeded in charming his way into the heart of Mama Abibatu Mogaji? Based on investigations and research conducted by the authors and from numerous interviews conducted, Ahmed Tinubu was one of the numerous traders that Mama Mogaji supervised in her employ. She confided only in her boss; Madam Alimotu Pelewura of the amorous relationship when it began. "You know Pelewura brought up Abibatu and groomed her to succeed her. Pelewura herself was from a polygamous family and the name Pelewura was her second name, while Alimotu was her first name," an elderly resident in Lagos island, versed in the history of the area told the authors. "Successful women in those days that struck out on their own were too independent and financially stable, thus Yoruba men avoided them out of prudish disposition." From what the authors gathered from dependable and reliable sources; Madam Abibatu kept the relationship private until she discovered she was pregnant with Bolanle in mid-1951. She was weighing the option of, either keeping the pregnancy secret from her mentor, because Madam Pelewura had already told her she-Abibatu-didn't need a man to succeed in life-or wait for her to find out on her own. "Alimotu Pelewura wanted Abibatu Mogaji to step into her shoes as the new leader of the Lagos Market Women's Association (LMWA), which she was instrumental in establishing and building from scratch in 1921. She had exerted so much power and influence through the association that, she was courted by virtually all the early nationalists, including Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe and others. As a matter of fact, she was very strong and popular as the first president of the Ereko Market Women that Oba Esugbayi Eleko, the Oba of Lagos (1901-1925 and later 1945) that she was bestowed with a chieftaincy title at 45 years of age. That was remarkable and a great accomplishment for a woman in those days," another source informed the authors in Lagos. Sources told the authors that Madam Alimotu Pelewura was very stubborn in the field of militant politics. While the early nationalists were employing journalism, writing and free speech to criticize the British colonial government; Pelewura, an unlettered woman in the formal sense relied on the physical mobilization of her formidable market women to act against the imperialists. No wonder, it was said that "Baba Ejongboro" literally "The Afternoon Snake," as the fiery Herbert Macaulay, the doyen of Nigerian nationalism was called, would sneak into Madam Alimotu Pelewura's house at Okepopo, Lagos island at night to plot and strategize with the equally fiery and militant market women leader.

The fact of the matter was that, Pelewura had no time for any man as husband and the siring of babies; to her, those were distractions to her true calling: advocacy and militancy. Perhaps, that was the reason her foremost protégé and second-in-command, Madam Abibatu Mogaji concealed Bolanle's pregnancy from her boss. "May be, Pelewura would not have handed the baton of power to Abibatu Mogaji on her deathbed, if she had a prior knowledge, she was pregnant," an informed source told the authors in Lagos. "She'd have told Abibatu that, since bearing children was more important than the struggle, let's have a more committed and devoted woman leader. Come to think of it, she had no biological child herself, although most people thought she was barren, but as customary with women of those days, Pelewura was married to her association, and struggles: women's rights, social justice and most importantly, the freedom of Nigeria as a nation," our source explained. Pelewura herself was brought up single-handedly by her own mother; a fish trader at Ereko Market. She only had a female sibling from her biological mother and throughout her life, she never used her father's biological family name. As fate, would have it, Madam Abibatu Mogaji was few months into Bolanle's pregnancy when her boss; Alimotu Pelewura died in 1951 at the age of 86 thus conferring leadership of the Lagos Women Market Association (LWMA) on Madam Abibatu Mogaji upon the former's demise. She was administered the oath of office as Pelewura's successor at the Ereko Market by a group of Islamic leaders and Muslim clerics in summer 1951. She gave birth to her only son the following year. Bola Tinubu lost his biological father very early in life and the lot fell on the other relatives of the large and expansive Tinubu family to look after the tot half-orphan. As many Yoruba people know, the bringing up of a child in Yoruba Land in those days was the responsibility of the whole family. Compared with the mitotic way families have become these days, and especially in the Western World, the Africa of old was a communal setting where, as it is famously said; "It takes a village to raise an African child." The Tinubu family was a closely-knitted one even though expansive. Children went from one family relative to the other for their needs. All that mattered in those days was the realization that, you were one of us and bore the family name. "When we're growing up, no one discriminated against the other children, because virtually all families were polygamous homes during our time," an Alhaji-a Muslim pilgrim- resident in central Lagos now in his eighties disclosed during an interview. "Most times, I would not even see my biological father for days and months, because I could be living with my other uncles in another part of the town without my biological parents aware of it. For a person like Bola Tinubu, who was a Muslim and grew up in the Tinubu family, children ate from just any family member's dinner plate. Living in those days, before Nigeria's independence was like a commune." Alhaji explained that, on few occasions where family gatherings occurred were during the "Ileya Festival," known as the Id-el Kabir annual celebration when Muslim faithful exchange pleasantries and slaughtering of rams in commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) sacrifice of his son to Allah. Another occasion is the popular Christmas celebration at the end of the year by Christians and Muslims alike. "Children in those days were referred to, either by their lineage in an extended family; or by either of the name of the parents: father or mother, that is more prominent. Like Bolanle for instance, we called him Omo Alhaja, in any gathering and especially in the mosque, and once you mentioned Alhaja, we understood whom you were referring to among the boys," the elderly Alhaji further explained. "At other times when many children were assembled and an elder wanted to distinguish one child of different Alhajas, you mentioned the profession either of the parents excelled or were known for. So, for Bolanle, for example, we referred to him as; Oma Alhaja Ereko or Omo Iyalaje, and that was it. People: onlookers, passersby, and other worshipers in the mosque knew whom you're referring to." It is ironic that many leaders of the Yoruba people were half-orphans, who lost their biological fathers early in life and were single-handedly brought up by their mothers and other family members. There are some similarities in the life histories and upbringing of the four distinguished Yoruba personalities that have been designated as the Asiwaju or leaders of the Yoruba race.

Take the first Asiwaju of the Yoruba race after Oduduwa for example; Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo. He lost his biological father in 1916 when he was seven years old. Chief Awolowo was brought up by his mother; Mama Mary Efunyela Awolowo. The first Asiwaju of the Yoruba race didn't even know his biological father, as disclosed by his historical biographer, Harvey Glickman, a professor of African Studies, Haverford College, University of Pennsylvania, United States. Glickman, pioneer director and campus coordinator of African Studies, and scholar on African political theory, international relations at Pennsylvania and visiting professor at universities in Tanzania, Israel and South Africa disclosed; in 1916 when Pa David Sopolu Awolowo, a sawyer and subsistent farmer at Ikenne, Remo division, died at the height of WWI, little 'Femi was just seven years old. He had little or no interaction with his biological father. Femi was the first child and male after his mother lost an earlier son at six months old, while his other siblings; a younger sister; Victoria Olufunmilayo born in 1915 and Banjoko (1919) and Idowu (1923) were from another father after his mother remarried. The same narrative in the life of Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, the second Asiwaju of the Yoruba race. When he was born on November 28, 1908, in Owo, old Ondo division; his father, Pa Peter Ajasinmola didn't live long. The lot fell on his mother, Mama Deborah, to raise him. The third Asiwaju of the Yoruba race, Pa Abraham Adesanya, born in Ijebu Igbo in 1922 in the old Ijebu division saw his parents in their old ages; his father, the late Oloye Ezekiel Adesanya commonly called "Baba Obukeagbo" was a traditional healer; a man of the people who was in high demand by locals and foreigners alike. Abraham too had no relationship in the strict sense with his father. Again, the lot fell on his mother to raise him. There was no intimate relationship between Pa Ahmed Tinubu and young Bolanle. Many in the extended Tinubu family knew him as the son of Ahmed Tinubu, one of the many successful traders in central Lagos in those days. Apart from the famous Tinubu name, the late Ahmed Tinubu Sr. was not popular. Bolanle's mother; Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji didn't encourage her only male child to gravitate to his paternal family side. But as Yoruba adage says, "A kini ile mama ka ma ni ti baba" literally, "A child has two parental aisles: the maternal and paternal sides," thus, since Bolanle is a male child, his mother could not have prevented him from bearing his father's name; a popular name for that matter. "How can one hide one's family and father's name; especially a famous family name like Tinubu," an elderly Muslim cleric at Okesuna, central Lagos who spoke to the authors said. Few years after Bolanle was born, his biological father died. Consequently, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji single- handedly brought Bolanle up as her only male child.

Bola remembers the uncles and close family relatives who filled the void left by his late father while growing up as half-orphan. One of such uncles was the late Alhaji Kafaru Oluwole Tinubu fondly called Uncle K.O. "He was passionate about Lagos state and its development but most importantly, he was passionate about me and the quality of stewardship I rendered to the people of Lagos when I was governor," Asiwaju reminiscences. "He deployed his resources and professional arsenal to secure and protect these two passions. At no time, did I benefit from his protective arm of love than during the days of the struggle when Gen. Abacha ran amok. I became vulnerable. A target. He helped me and made the NADECO days bearable. He did all of this in an unobstructed manner. All through the turbulent period he was a sea of calm and a constant pillar of support. He was my sounding board for policy decisions especially when I was governor. A tough customer no doubt as he never took no for an answer, marshaling superior arguments to win his case. To his credit, he was perceptive and obsessed with and about my political success and the development of Lagos."

Alhaji Kafaru Oluwole Tinubu was chief superintendent of police in the Nigerian Police Force in the first republic and the first senior police officer to earn a law degree in Nigeria. He lived a meritorious life and advanced the careers of many Lagosian nay Nigerians in the Nigerian Police Force. In addition to playing the dependable and avuncular role to young Bola and later in life, late K.O. was a successful lawyer and father of Wale Tinubu, chief executive office and managing director, Oando Oil Plc who was described as the "King of African Oil," by the Forbes magazine in 2014. An annual memorial lecture known as; Alhaji Kafaru Memorial Ramadan Lecture was instituted in his honor in 2008 by the Lagos state government. In 2013, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akinolu, the Eleko of Eko and Oba of Lagos, who is a retired senior police officer had also benefited from the public spiritedness of Alhaji Kafaru Tinubu. Oba Akinolu made Kafaru's widow and mother of Wale, Alhaja Fatimata Bintu Tinubu, the Iyalode of Lagos. The investiture of the new Iyalode coincided with the 70th birthday celebration of Oba of Lagos and a decade on the throne. The title of Iyalode has thus returned to the Tinubu family where it began more than a century ago. Earlier on, Bola Tinubu's daughter; Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo had stepped into the shoes of her late grandmother; Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji as the new Iyaloja of Lagos. She was also invested with her instrument of office with her new title by the Oba of Lagos. "I was never imposed. It is impossible for anybody to impose anyone on traders. Traders are not politicians. Although we all are political animals, this is not a political office where anyone can be imposed. Besides, before my grandmother died, she gave me the mantle. It was the Iya Oloja before her, late Pele Wura, that appointed her (Mogaji) as the Iya Oloja. I learnt she was about my age then" Folashade said at her investiture at Iga Idungaran, the Eleko's Palace in downtown Lagos in dispelling rumors of imposition and under hand tactics in her selection. "I didn't even have the idea that this is the responsibility that my grandma wanted to bestow on me, when she said I should go and lay the (market) board for her. I had my ambition, but I believe this is the will of God for my life. Even if my grandmother chose me for this position, there would be trouble, if God has not said yes to it."

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DATELINE: We shall pause Asiwaju Biography next week to unveil our 2023 Prophecies from the State of Hawaii. Stay tuned!

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There is a recrudescence of attacks, assaults and pillaging by marauders and herdsmen on the peace-loving people of Eha Amufu of Enugu state few hours after this column went to town with the breaking news. The local Janjaweed acted callously and unrestrained as if lawlessness and state of anarchy are now the norms in that part of the country. While we wait on the law enforcement agencies to do their work, our appeal for help and rehabilitation is urgent and direly needed. It is your devoir to chip in your widow's mite at this crucial time in the agonizing period of the defenseless people of Eha Amufu. Our background stories are reproduced below and how you can help is ingeminated once again thus:- "… Of the more than 7.8billion human beings on earth today and still counting, more than 4 billion will celebrate what is unarguably the most populous global festival in the world. Foods of all stripes and smorgasbord of dishes would be available, gifts would be exchanged among celebrants, house warmings, family reunions, conjugal unions, township, and village meetings, and other charettes are usually timed for this season. It is called Christmas; it has been around for more than chiliads and this year 2022 will not be an exception. But amid these jollifications, rollicking. merriments, and gemutlich season, there are some Nigerians that are in tears, sorrows, and sadness. For the people of Eha Amufu in Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, Eastern Nigeria, time seems to have left them behind. Many young children will not welcome Santa Claus this year, village meetings and family reunions will not hold, the traditional annual exchange of Xmas gifts will be distant memory and slaughtering of chickens and rice stew will be hard to come by because the entire town has been destroyed by invaders and herdsmen. Children are out of school, parents, and their wards huddle in ramshackle encampments as refugees in their own land and normal business activities are lull to standstill.

According to Hon. Godwin Chidozie Ogenyi, immediate past commissioner for human development and poverty reduction, Enugu state; Eha Amufu is completely ravaged, and the livelihood of the people has been utterly destroyed. "Our children cannot go to school, because of the level of destruction unleashed on us by the invading rustlers and herdsmen."

For avid students of contemporary Nigerian history, Eha Amufu is a very strategic town, for, it is a little-big melting pot of such as it straddles three Nigerian "worlds." You cannot enter the heartland of eastern Nigeria from the northern part of the country without passing through this strategic little village. Ditto, if you are traveling from Iddo Railway Station in Lagos to eastern Nigeria by train, Eha Amufu is a must go-to point. Thus, as Ogenyi disclosed, Eha Amufu is a Big Shoulder not only for easterners, but the many Hausa, Yoruba and other ethnic tribes crisscrossing the east-west and north-southern business axis. Strategically placed to welcome travelers and pastoralists from neighboring Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states in northern Nigeria, this touchstone was the headquarters for the Red Cross to welcome Ibo refugees from the northern part of the country fleeing the pogrom of the "60s which precipitated the Nigeria-Biafran Civil War. Enugu state prides itself as the Coal City, but the precious natural resource located at Nkalagu cannot be obtained without passing through this important and historical town. Indeed, Eha Amufu was a melting-pot of disparate locals and foreigners that intermingled and bonded together for religious and business activities. But not anymore. The joy and serenity of the town have been shattered and taken away by marauders and pillagers. Eha Amufu is bleeding, and the inhabitants are wailing. Children are out of school; markets have been set on fire and houses destroyed.

*Tears, sorrows and blood in Eha Amufu: Edith became a widow 83 days after her wedding because her husband Joseph Ogbuabor , a Physic teacher in the community school was brutally murdered, while Florence Ogbu's son; Chinonso was hacked down on his way from church service at the village's Christian Fellowship Gathering.

Today, the hardworking people of Eha Amufu need you more than ever before to return to normal life. As you prepare to celebrate this year's Xmas, remember to help those displaced from their homes and chip in your widow's mite for reconstruction.

With hundreds of houses burnt down to ashes and thousands of men, women, and children in internally displaced camp-IDP- the community need building materials to start rebuilding homes, houses, and worship's centers, schools, and recreational centers. The education of the children has been adversely affected because most of the schools have been converted to IDP camps. Many building professionals such as civil engineers, quantity surveyors, brick layers etc. have volunteered to rebuild, but the people need financial resources to purchase building materials. The people of Eha Amufu are mostly farmers, and they need money to purchase agricultural seedlings to feed themselves before the in-coming planting season. As an agrarian community noted outside the state as exporters of food crops to other parts of Nigeria such as rice, cassava, plantain, yams etc., they need your help to rebuild hundreds of hectares of farmlands destroyed by the marauding invaders. They need financial assistance to purchase seedlings and fertilizer and herbicides to go back to farm for next farming season. The good people of Eha Amufu are industrious and proudly hardworking and are not asking for handouts, but a little help to pick the pieces of their lives back together again. Display a benefic heart to our Christian brothers and sisters in the eastern Nigerian heartland this Christmas Season and be their quaesitum today.

Here are the ways you can help with your soupcon grok: - Send your donations to the following organizations toward rebuilding the historical town of Eha Amufu, Isi Uzo LGA, Enugu State: -

*YORDEL, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Account Number: 1025702207 Tel: 08062666448

*Nnamani Odinaka Jeremiah, United Bank of Africa (UBA) Account Number 2076646247 Tel: 08103962436

*Greener Technologies Limited United Bank for Africa (UBA) Account Number: 1012556251 Tel: 08039578342

*For international donors, please use the following bank information: - MONNAC Bank of America Account #: 488 10390 7761 Routing # wires: 026009593, Address:3405 South 31st Street, Temple TX 76502 USA Tel: -+1 844 401 8500



There is no other life to live apart from the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Creator, believe me. He is not a prophet, He is the Lord God Almighty Himself, because He said so in John 10:30; "I and the Father are one." Again, He said in John 14:9 thus: "

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? There is plethora of Bible references for you to know that my Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ is the Sovereign Lord God Almighty Himself. So, if you think you believe in God, you must give your life to our Lord Jesus Christ, because as He again declared to us in John 14:06: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

You can give your life to Jesus Christ now! Say this prayer now using Romans 10:9-10: "Jesus Christ, I come to You now with penitent heart and contrite spirit. I confess I am a sinner. I have been living my life the way I want, which is a rebellion against You. I know that nothing good resides in me. That is why I come to You today to forgive me of my sins and rebellion. I believe in my heart that You came to this world over 2,000 years ago. You were born by the Virgin Mary in the city of Bethlehem of Judea. You lived with us for 33 years and was sinless. Then, You went onto the Cross and died for my sins and sins of the world. Then You rose up again three days later after defeating Satan and the hordes of darkness in the nether gloom and today, you are holding the keys of death and hades in Your Hands. Jesus Christ, I confess You with my mouth as my Lord, Master, and Savior. Your Death on the Cross had paid the penalty for my sins and Your resurrection was for my justification. From today onward, I will obey, worship, and praise You. I will not live for my self-centered and egoistical life anymore. I will do what You want me to do. I will serve You for the remainder years of my life. I will tell others about You and witness to others about Your love and works of redemption and finished work on Calvary. Take me as Your Own. Seal me with the Holy Spirt. Enable me to do what You have created me for on this earth. Use me for Your Glory Jesus Christ and let me live my full life span. Let me fulfill my destiny and after I have accomplished the purpose for which You created me and sent me to this earthly temporary realm, I will return to You as the Shepherd of my spirit and soul reign with You in Your Kingdom for eternity in Your Holy Name, Amen."

It is done now. You are saved and are now a child of the Living God. He is your father from now onward. Pray that this Jesus Christ will direct you to a Holy Spirit-filled and Word-based Church in your neighborhood where you can join other believers to grow in your new faith from now on. Please be careful you do not keep company with your former friends and crowds so they will not draw you back to your former ways of life. Remember the Holy Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come The old has gone, the new is here!" Remember you confessed your sins to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He forgave you, because He cannot lie. Make sure you do not renege on our vows never to commit those sins again. Find a Bible believing Church and tell the pastor or shepherd there that you have just given your life to our Lord, Master and Savior Jesus Christ and you want him to walk you through walking the Christian Walk. Hallelujah! Tell him I sent you and if moved by the Holy Spirit to contact me, shoot me an email: [email protected] Congratulations and welcome to the family of the Living God!

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