Awolowo’s Driver, Late Omoboriowo, Aluko,17 Others Bag Ekiti Merit Award

December 23, 2012

20 indigenes of Ekiti State who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavours, were on Thursday presented the 2012 Ekiti State Merit award by the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

The recipients include Pa Olabode Olajide, who had served meritoriously as official driver to the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, former Premier of the old western region, Chief S.L. Akintola, former administrator, Dr Moses Majekodunmi,  among other former leaders in the old western region.

The award was also conferred posthumously on  former Deputy Governor of old Ondo State, Chief Akinwale Omoboriowo, renowned professor of Economics, Sam Aluko, foremost Neurologist, Professor Kayode Osuntokun and 16 other Ekiti indigenes who have done the State proud in different ways.

The list include Professor Omotayo Olutoye, first female professor of  Yoruba Studies in the world, Capt, Bolaji Agbelusi, a pilot  and the first female to command an all Nigerian female flight crew in the country; Wife of the first Civilian Governor of the State, Erelu Angela Adebayo for her philanthropy, the first Military Administrator of the State, Colonel Inua Bawa (rtd) and World Bank Lead Procurement Specialist, Chief Bayo Awosemusi.

Others are the first Nigerian to win the Caine Literary Award, Mr Rotimi Babatunde, renowned professor of Neuro-surgery, Professor Emeritus Ademola Adeloye, the composer of Ekiti State Anthem, Mr Joshua Ologunde, foremost photographer and President National Association of Photographers,  Chief Julius Ajayi (of the Little by Little photo fame), popular traditional mat weaver, Madam Ayoola Ajayi.

The first Secretary to the state Government and Head of Service, Mr. Joshua Ibidunmoye .
Nollywood actor and Glo Ambassador, Odunlade Adekola, renowned potter, Mrs Aina Olajide, leading women musician, Chief Adepeji Afolabi and  veteran actor, Chief Jimoh Aliu were also honoured at the colourful event that took place at the Jibowu Hall, Government House, Ado-Ekiti.

Speaking at the award ceremony, the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi said his administrator would not relent in rewarding hard work, which is one of the values for which the Ekiti are noted.
The Governor stated that the award was to engender more outstanding performances by Ekiti indigenes across the world.

Fayemi added that the institution of the “Hall of Fame” is to provide a platform through which all Ekitis and friends of Ekiti both at home and in the Diaspora regardless of religion, class, political or  human classifications would be celebrated on the account of achievement.

He emphasized that the award recipients have all contributed their quota to the development and growth of the State and the society at large; noting that  this award is Government’s little way of expressing appreciation for their efforts at making Ekiti State proud and sustaining her sobriquet: “Land of Honour”.

While stating that his administration is committed to restoring the lost glory of the State, the Governor traced the erosion of the Ekiti values to egoism, selfishness, political intolerance and sacrifice of meritocracy on the altar of mediocrity, among others.

Participants at the event commended Government for remembering renowned sculptor,Chief Olowe, many of whose works are said to abound in European museums and galleries and described as one of the finest sculptors/ carvers in history.

Receiving the award on behalf of his father, Mr Akinwole Omoboriowo (jnr) commended the State Government for organising the award; saying that aside the fact that it shows that the government recognizes the efforts of the awardees, the gesture will also spur the up-coming generation to work harder for the State and uphold Ekiti values.

Omoboriowo added that it was laudable that government could take time to recognize its citizens who have contributed to the development of the State; adding that this will further engender more citizens’ participation in community development.

Prof Olutoye, while speaking on behalf of the award recipients said they were highly delighted to be so honoured by the government of the state. She said the creation of Ekiti state in 1996 has accelerated the development of the once neglected area.

She lauded the  state government for deeming it fit to honour some of the citizens who have contributed in one way or the other to the overall development of the state.



Late Prof Oluwakayode OSUNTOKUN (1935-1995)

OFR, NNMA, DSc. Hon (Unimaid), Ph.D, MD, DSc. (Lond)

Born in 1935, and a native of Okemesi Ekiti in Ekiti–West Local Government of the state.

Prof Osuntokun was a Pioneer Nigerian researcher, and Neurologist. Hewas one of the foundation members of Neurological Sciences of the Pan African Association of Neurological Sciences and early advocate and researcher on tropical neurological Medicine.

He had his primary education at the Holy Trinity School, Ilawe Ekiti, as well as the Emmanuel School, Ado Ekiti before proceeding for his secondary education at Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti. He later studied Medicine at the University of Ibadan.

He joined the research staff of the University College, Ibadan in 1964, as a medical research fellow.

However, upon gaining a Smith and Nephew fellowship he went abroad for further studies under the direction of Henry Miller and John Walton, both eminent neurologists in Newcastle. After, spending some time in Newcastle, he took a job at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queens, London before returning to Nigeria in 1965.

It was at the University of Ibadan, that he launched a productive career, working on neuro-epidemiology and clinical and investigative neurology especially the study of dementia among Nigerians and African Americans.

In the late 1960s, he investigated cases of Ataxic Neuropathy in Epe, where residents usually consumed substantial amounts of ill-processed cassava with little or no dietary supplements. He then mapped out the epidemiology of the neuropathy and was able to study the basic aspects of the medical condition. In the course of his research, he discovered that the disease was due to cyanide intoxication. At the time, little was done beyond clinical attention to the disease, and his success in discovering the basis of Tropical Ataxic Neuropathy earned him local and international acclaim in the medical community.

The late Prof. Kayode Osuntokun contributed immensely to medical world through his career and authored a number of scholarly works on his prodigious research on tropical epidemiology.

He was Dean of Medicine of the University of Ibadan and later Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University College Hospital (UCH.), Ibadan.

When the History of Medicine in the post-colonial era in West Africa is written, the name of the Late Prof – Oluwakayode Osuntokun will loom large, as a man who made an immensely huge contribution and as a tireless advocate of the study of Neurology in the tropics.

He died in Cambridge, England on September 22, 1995 and was buried in his native town of Okemesi-Ekiti on October 7, 1995.


Prof. Emeritus Adelola ADELOYE


Regarded as “the most revered figure in African   Neurosurgery”, Professor Adelola Adeloye was born on 18th July, 1935.

A Professor of Neuro-Surgery and Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons, he hails from Usin Ekiti in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

He had his medical training at the Medical School of the Univer sity College, Ibadan. His surgical and neurosurgical education were completed in the United Kingdom, culminating in his fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He completed an MS thesis in Neurological Surgery and was a Registrar at the National Hospital, at Queen’s Square, London before returning to Nigeria in 1967 as a Senior Registrar (Neurosurgery).

Upon his return to Nigeria, he served with distinction during the Nigerian Civil War, at the Base Hospital, organized by the University College Hospital, Ibadan. This experience was the foundation for his world renowned expertise in missile wounds and head injury. He later served as Professor and Chair of Nuerosurgery at the  University College Hospital, Ibadan, until his retirement in 1995.

This renowned Professor has also practised in Kuwait, Britain, America, Middle East, the Oceania and Africa. He has also been recognized across the globe for long term service and development of Neuroscience in Africa. He is a man who has propelled the good image of Ekiti State and Nigeria beyond the boundaries of this country and continent of Africa.

He made significant achievements in his career and has published several books, research notes and scholarly articles worldwide in the field of Neuro Surgery.



Award winning Poet, Playwright and Fiction writer

Ado-Ekiti born Rotimi Babatunde shot into national and international prominence when he won the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing earlier in the year. The award is described as the African leading literary award.

He won the prize for his story titled “Bombay Republic” in memory of the Nigerian Soldiers who fought in the Second World War (1939-1945).

The Caine Literary Award was named in memory of the Late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker Plc. Mr Babatunde is the first Nigerian to win the award, which was instituted in 2000.

Babatunde’s plays include ‘An Infidel in the Upper Room’ (presented at the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Downstairs; at the Institute for Contemporary Arts

(ICA), London; and broadcast on the BBC World Service); ‘The Bonfire of the Innocents’ (commissioned by Riksteatern, the Swedish National Touring Theatre, and staged in Swedish translation as ‘Elddopet’); and ‘A Shroud for Lazarus’ (which had its world premiere in the United States at Halcyon Theatre, Chicago).

He is currently working on ‘Feast’, a new collaborative play jointly produced by the Royal Court Theatre and the Young Vic and scheduled to open in London in January 2013. He was a runner-up in the International Student Competition organised by The World Students Trust and, in 2010, Rotimi Babatunde’s work won the Churchill Theatre Bromley’s One-Act Prize in London.

Rotimi Babatunde’s literary efforts have been honoured with literary fellowships from the Royal Court in London; The Fondazione Pistoletto’s Unidee Program in Italy; The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre also in Italy; The Ledig House International Residency programme in New York, and the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, the United States, among others.

He had his elementary education at St. Joseph’s Nursery and Primary School, Ado Ekiti; and secondary education at the Federal Government College, Odogbolu before proceeding to the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

He is currently working on a new novel which captures his childhood experience of growing up in Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria.



Prof. Omotayo OLUTOYE


Born on the 15th October, 1935 in Lagos, Prof Omotayo Olutoye hails from Ilogbo Ekiti. She is the First Female Professor of Yoruba Studies in Nigeria and in the World.

She is also the first female to be employed in a Bank in Nigeria. She was a pioneer lecturer at the then Ondo State University Ado-Ekiti (now Ekiti State University) in 1982.

She was appointed as the Sole Administrator of the College of Education, Ikere Ekiti between September, 1995 – July 1997. Her administration which spanned 21 months recorded great achievements, as she took positive steps to solve some of the problems which had paralysed activities of the College.

Prof. Olutoye started her education at Edward Blyden Memorial Institute, Balogun, Lagos – 1943-1947. She had her secondary education at : Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos 1949-1953.

She later proceeded to St. Agnes Catholic T.T.C, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos – 1955 – 1956. She was at the University of Lagos – 1967–1970, where she bagged her B.A. (Ed) degree in 1970. She attended the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, for her M.A in Linguistics. 1973–1974 and had her Ph.D in Yoruba Studies from the University of Lagos in 1982.

Prof Olutoye’s outstanding academic brilliance makes her a shining examples to other females, that with determination, they can get to the peak of their career.

Professor Olutoye is an astute Educationist, a mother, an intellectual and wife to a renowned retired army officer, General Olufemi Olutoye. She was a member of the delegates to the 2005 National Political Reform Conference which was inaugurated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.


Capt. Bolaji AGBELUSI

Born in Kaduna City, northern Nigeria to an Ekiti couple (Femi and Dele Dada from Ipoti-Ekiti, Ijero Local Government Area).

Captain Bolaji Agbelusi is the first Ekiti female pilot and only one presently.

She became a pilot in 1997 after she completed flight training at Versatile Aviation School, Ardmore, Oklahoma, USA and worked with Aero Contractors for 13years where she became a Captain (Nigeria’s fourth female Captain after about 20years of the first three female Captains) and then moved to Caverton Helicopters where she presently works.

On the 1st of April 2009, Capt Agbelusi commanded the first all Nigerian female flight crew as Captain on an Aero passenger flight AJ351/354 from Lagos to Warri and back to Lagos, earning her a place on the international Hall of Fame of Women in Aviation.

Capt Agbelusi paved the way for Nigerian women to raise their families while actively flying commercially by being the first Nigerian woman to do so.

She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, University of Lagos and additional qualification as a Quality Management Systems Auditor (British Standards Institution).

Capt Agbelusi employs her qualifications and experience in carrying out her duties as a clergy wife being married to Ven. Yemi Agbelusi of the Diocese of Lagos West (Anglican Communion) who is also an indigene of Ekiti (Igede-Ekiti) and blessed with children.





World Bank Lead Procurement Specialist.

Chief Bayo Awosemusi, a Diplomat and a Civil Engineer hails from Agbado–Ekiti in Aiyekire Local Government Area of Ekiti State. He had worked in various capacities in both the Private and Public Sector in Nigeria before joining the World Bank in 1994.

Chief Awosemusi led the first comprehensive Country Procurement Assessment Review (CPAR) in 1999- 2000. The assessment produced a report around which the current Nigeria Procurement Reform Agenda is generally based. Since then, Chief Awosemusi has been spearheading and leading the World Bank dialogue with the Federal Government and 36 federating States in procurement related matters along with performing the fiduciary responsibility for all Banks’ supported projects in Nigeria.

He worked closely with the Presidency and the National Assembly to develop, review and passage of the first Nigeria Public Procurement Act in 2007. This Initiative has yielded substantial dividends as the Government of Nigeria had made huge savings (billions of dollars) following the due process system he recommended which had been implemented by Government since year 2002.

Concerned about effective and efficient utilization of public resources at the State and LGA levels where a large proportion of the country’s revenue is being spent, Chief Awosemusi further designed and has managed series of State Level Procurement Assessment Reviews on which these States Public procurement Reforms Initiatives were anchored – the first of it’s kind in the African Region. The reports of the assessments were rated excellent by the Bank Management and circulated as best within the World Bank.

Chief Awosemusi has fostered the Bank’s partnership with the Private Sector and Civil Society to strengthen their ability to demand for accountability. He has worked with the organized private Sector to establish National Public Procurement Observatory Portal, where information on use of public funds can easily be accessed by the public. He has also initiated various Procurement Capacity Building initiatives for Executive and Legislative arms of Governments, Civil Society organizations, including numerous NGOs. He led the first ever Procurement Capacity and Training Needs Assessment for Public Sector in Nigeria and well as Survey of the private Sector Perception of Public Procurement in Nigeria.

Chief Awosemusi operates with high standards of integrity and upholds the World Bank’s values and principles. Due to excellent performance, he has since risen through the ranks from Procurement Analyst in 1994 to the position of a Lead procurement Specialist in 2007 and Sector Leader, Core Operation Support Sector of the World Bank in 2011. Chief Bayo Awosemusi is the first African Staff to be promoted to the position of Lead Procurement Specialist in the history of the World Bank. He has built a strong procurement team within the Bank and in the Public Sector in Nigeria and other West African Countries.

Since he joined the Bank in 1994, he has received 43 “Sport Awards” (recognitions) from the World Bank Management and a World Bank Presidential Award as a member of the Polio Eradication project preparation team for Nigeria. He has been of immense Benefit to the Ekiti State Government, and his efforts had helped the state in several areas of her developmental programmes, most especially; those which have to do with international support like the MDG, UNDP and other Multinational initiatives.

Despite his tight schedule, Chief Awosemusi creates time to serve the Lord and humanity. His contributions to the growth of Nigeria, Western Region and Ekiti State in particular have been recognized and acknowledged by all. He played a significant role in the rehabilitation of Ado-Ijan-Agbado Road.


Pa Olabode OLAJIDE

Pa Olabode Olajide was born in December, 1932. He attended Emmanuel School, Ado-Ekiti and obtained his first School leaving certificate Examination in December 1950. Due to the death of his parents, he could not further his education and had to opt for driving job.

He got his driving license in 1954 and started work in Ekiti. Pa Olajide joined the civil Service in 1960 as a driver in the then Premier’s office. He was posted to drive Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the then Premier of the Western Region. He remained in the Premier’s office until Chief S. L. Akintola assumed office as the Premier of the Western Region in 1962.

Other dignitaries who Pa Olajide drove between 1962 and 1966 included Dr. Moses. A. Majekodumi, Administrator of the Western Region; Chief Joseph Fadahunsi, the Governor of Western Region of Nigeria. He also drove many foreign Heads of States who visited Western Nigeria during this period.

These included Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Tubman of Liberia, Kwame Nkurunah of Ghana, Selvernons Olympio of Togo, Elderlyn of Cameroon and a host of others.

In 1976, when old Ondo State was created, he came to Akure as a Senior Driver/Mechanic Grade I and voluntarily retired in 1977.

Pa Olajide’s meritorious service was recognized in 1999, and he was honoured with the prestigious award of “Worker of the millennium for Ekiti”. With all these achievements, Pa Olajide is considered to have served meritoriously and contributed his own quota to the public service.

He is still alive to tell stories of his experience and life with the former Premiers, Governors, Sole administrators and a host of other dignitaries in the defunct Western Region.


Mr. Joshua Adeleye IBIDUNMOYE

Mr Joshua Adeleye Ibidunmoye, was born on December 8th, 1948 in Otun Ekiti in Moba Local Government of Ekiti State.

He was the First Secretary to the Government as well as Head of Service in Ekiti State. He led other Civil servants from Akure to Ado Ekiti upon the creation of the State in 1996, and sacrificed his personal interests for service to the State government. During his tenure, he combined the positions of the Secretary to the State Government with that of the Head of Service.  The public service recorded a resounding development under his leadership.

Mr Ibidunmoye started his education at the Seventh Day Adventists Secondary Modern School, Otun-Ekiti and later proceeded to the Seventh Day Adventist Teachers’s College, Otun Ekiti; Divisional Teachers Training College, Ikere Ekiti for his Grade III and Grade II Teachers Certificates respectively. He later studied at the University of Ibadan where he bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences.

Mr Ibidunmoye did the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps in Dambatta, Kano State and thereafter took up teaching appointment at Ode High School, Ode Ekiti.

He joined the Ondo State Civil Service as an Administrative Officer Cadre VI, and by 1984, had become Secretary to the Contract Review Commission.

He was appointed Sole Administrator of Ilaje/Ese-odo local Government in 1989 and later, Chairman of the local government.

He was appointed Director–General in the Ondo State Civil Service in 1994. He became the pioneer Secretary to the State Government in October 1996 following the creation of Ekiti State on October 1, 1996. He is happily married with children.


Col. Inua BAWA(Rtd.)

Col Bawa was the pioneer Military Administrator of Ekiti State. He was born on 6th April 1954 to Alhaji Bawa Markaman Yauri and Mrs. Aishatu Bawa at Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State.

He had served in various posts before his appointment as Military Administrator in 1996. He assumed the mantle as the pioneer military Administrator of Ekiti State on 1st October, 1996.

As the military Administrator, he made a lot of sacrifices, including his personal comfort and convenience to put the State on sound footing upon creation in 1996. He stayed in a one room apartment, as he rejected other flashy offers from private individuals.

A lot of projects could be attributed to the ingenuity of the former military administrator. These include construction of first phase and second phase of the state secretariat complex. He also played a prominent role in the establishment of the Golf course in Ado-Ekiti which has now gained National and International recognition. He is still very much in touch with the state and remains a friend of Ekiti till date.


Late Chief Akinwale Micheal OMOBORIOWO 1932-2012

LL.B ; B.L

Lawyer, Politician and Administrator, the late Chief Akin Omoboriowo was born on 1st January, 1932 at Ijero Ekiti, in Ijero Local Government of the State, he was elected the first Deputy Governor of the Old Ondo State between 1979 and 1983.

He had his elementary education at St Peter’s Catholic primary School, Ijero-Ekiti, between 1943 and 1949. He later attended Catholic School, Usi-Ekiti, where he completed his primary education in 1951. Between 1954 and 1957, he was at St Peter’s Teachers Training College, Akure where he earned his Grade II Teachers’ certificate.

He studied History at the University of Ibadan, between 1962 and 1965. Between 1969 and 1972, he studied Law at the University of Lagos and the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree in 1972. He passed the Bar examination and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1974.

He took up appointment at the University of Ife as an Administrative Officer and rose to the position of Senior Assistant Registrar (Legal Matters) by 1976, when he retired voluntarily to engage in private legal practice in Akure. He later contested as running mate to the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin on the platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and was sworn in as Deputy Governor on October 1, 1979.

He was a member of the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) in 1995, and was a former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Ado Ekiti (UNAD),( now Ekiti State University).

He was a true son of Ekiti who fought for the cause of liberation of Ekitis. He was very honest, brave and his contribution to the actualization of the creation of Ekiti State would not be easily forgotten. He was Chairman, Genesis Electricity Company, Abuja, where he was based for a period of time before he died in Lagos in April, 2012 at age of 81 years.


Late Prof. Sam ALUKO 1929 – 2012

B.Sc, M.Sc, Ph.D

Late Professor Samuel Adepoju Aluko, A renowned Economist, was born on 18th August, 1929.

He started his education at St Mary’s Primary School, Ode Ekiti from 1936 to 1940. He later proceeded to Emmanuel School, Ado-Ekiti and Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti for his secondary education. He bagged his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of London, England and his Ph.D from the London School of Economics in 1959. At a point, he served as a volunteer Chairman of Ado Local Government.

He started his career as a lecturer at the Nigerian College of Arts and Science, Ibadan. He was lecturer, and Head of Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka between 1964 and 1966; Reader, Economics Department 1966 to 1967; Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ife (now , Obafemi Awolowo University) 1968 to 1970; Chairman, College of Humanities, University of Ife, 1972. He was appointed Professor and Head Department of Economics, University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1967.

Prof Aluko contributed greatly to the economic development of Nigeria. He was the Economic Adviser to Governor Adekunle Ajasin in 1980 under whose administration, the State recorded great economic development. As Economic Adviser to Gov. Ajasin, he was responsible for the establishment of Owena Bank (now part of the Keystone Bank), the Ire Brick Factory, in Ire-Ekiti; Confidence Insurance Company (now part of Sovereign Trust) and the commencement of work on bitumen exploration, among other laudable economic achievements of that administration.

The late Professor Aluko was a key member of the think-tank of the former Premier of the Western Region, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, that formulated policies which transformed the region radically.

Described as a scourge of Neo-liberal economist and the Washington consensus of Bretton-Woods Institutions, Aluko was unapologetic in his belief that Nigeria needed its own developmental path devoid of imposition by external forces.

He chaired the Education Summit organised by the present administration in May 2011, which provided the needed panacea that has reinvigorated and repositioned the education sector in the state.

He was appointed Chairman, National Economic Intelligence Council, in 1994. In recognition of his meritorious service to the country, the Federal Government bestowed him with the national honour of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in 1998. He died on February 7th, 2012.




Late Olowe (From Ise-Ekiti)

A first class Ekiti Carver/Sculptor, whose works still adorn many museums around the world, late Olowe was a traditional art carver of very high repute. The name rings bells among gallery owners and collectors of Nigerian and African art works and crafts. He was not only famous for his traditional doors in many palaces in Yoruba land, but also worked for the rich and noble in the society during his lifetime (1862 – 1938).

Chief Olowe was born in the year 1862 to the family of Ologun Ajalemo in Igbehin Quarters of Efon Alaaye. His Mother was Late Madam Orisamekun who hailed from

Ikole Ekiti, and was a great artist. Her colourful displays attracted many people during her life time. Chief Olowe took after his mother. The family moved down to Ise-Ekiti in 1875. Late Olowe had no formal education, but he possessed an amazing gift of carving. He was very talented and brave, and these qualities made him to excel in the art of wood carving.

Late Chief Olowe worked tirelessly beyond the expectation of people around. He was exceptionally innovative in carving relief sculptures. This earned him recognition through the length and breadth of Ekiti land and neighboring states.

Late Olowe carved different images and figures which took him to many towns and villages in Yoruba land and Nigeria at large. He carved doors, windows veranda posts, Lintels, Tusks, coffins, walking sticks, chairs, and masks for many Obas, palaces, shrines chiefs, warriors prestigious residences and many important dignitaries. They also abound in many European museums and galleries.

He died in 1938, but his works are still being studied by many art scholars across the world, up till today. In the words of Roslyn Adele Walker of the National Museum of African Arts, in the book titled “Olowe of Ise” – A Yoruba Sculptor to kings (1998), he stated: “In 1924, an elaborately carved and decorated door from the British colony of Nigeria (precisely Ekiti) was displayed at the entrance to the Timber Exhibition in the Nigerian pavilion at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, London, ……….”.

The door was considered to be the finest piece of West African carving that has ever reached England”

… when the exhibition closed in 1925 the museum negotiated with the Ogoga of Ikere to acquire the door for the collection.” The Art work is still in the British Museum till date.



Chief (Alh) Jimoh ALIU (MFR)

Veteran Actor, Producer, Director, Scriptwriter, Singer and Dancer,

Chief Jimoh Aliu, hails from Okemesi Ekiti, in Ekiti West Local Government Area of the state. He was born on November 11th, 1936

Chief Aliu’s journey to stardom began in 1959 when he joined the Akin Ogungbe Theatre Group and struggled through the dint of hard work to reach the peak of his career later in life.

He joined the Nigerian Army in 1967 where he entertained soldiers in Pidgin English even at the war front.

Aliu has produced 25 films, apart from his personal productions, and has equally featured in 13 optical films and 10 stage productions. He has received eight chieftaincy titles and 18 awards both locally and internationally.

His television plays; Igbo Olodumare, Arugbo Soge, Don’t Spoil Religion, Sege Boy, Arelu , Fopomoyo and Yanpon Yanrin, are classified among the best television serials in the country.

His plays have gone beyond the shores of Africa and have gained recognition for the theatre art industry in Nigeria and beyond. For his outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry and preservation of culture, the Federal Government honoured him with the national honour of Member of the Federal Republic. (MFR). He has participated in several African and European cultural festivals and concerts.




Mr. Joshua Olatunde OLOGUNDE

Mr. J.O. Ologunde was born on 29th January, 1946. He hails from Efon Alaaye in Efon Alaaye Local Government Area of Ekiti State. He was a lecturer at the former Ondo

State College of Education (Now College of Education) Ikere Ekiti, between 1978 and 1988. He is regarded as the founding father of the Music Department of the College.

He was deployed to the Ministry of Education, Akure, in 1990, and later deployed to the State Primary Education Board (now SUBEB) as Director of Schools in 1996. He was at the State Judiciary as Magistrate Grade III between 2005 and 2010 .  He retired from the public service in 2010.

Mr. Ologunde composed the Ekiti Anthem in 1996, which identified the distinguished homogeneity of the State. The anthem has remained a household song among the young and the old in the State as it is usually rendered with patriotic zeal at State functions and other gathering of Ekiti sons and daughters.

Mr Ologunde has also performed at several local, national and international concerts and has featured in almost all Charismas carols organized by the Ekiti State Government since its creation in 1996. He has also composed several anthems and jingles for different government Programmes and represented the country overseas on many occasions.


Alhaja (Chief) Adepeji AFOLABI

Alhaja (Chief) Adepeji Afolabi was born in the year 1933.

She is a leading woman musician from Ido-Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of the State. She started singing in 1958 and released her first album in 1968 titled “Ero woo la mo ba de”.

She has 58 records to her credit. She participated actively in the Festival of Black Art and Culture (FESTAC 1977) with her song “ASIA LELE O” which created a great awareness for the festival.

Her brand of music has added flavour to Ekiti indigenous music. She is credited for her contribution to the development and growth of Apiiri music which is a popular brand of Ekiti music. She has also used her music, which is always spiced with historical facts to contribute to the development of Ekiti tradition and culture.

In recognition of her contribution to the development of Apiiri Music, Alhaja (Chief) Adedeji Afolabi has been honoured with the following awards:





Odunlade ADEKOLA


Popular Nollywood Actor and a Glo Ambassador, Mr. Odunlade Adekola hails from Otun Ekiti, in Moba Local Government Area of the State. Born on December 31st,

1975, Odunlade hit fame as an actor, producer, director, and composer.

Odunlade who joined the movie industry in 1997, has won the Best Actor of the Year Award for three consecutive years (2008, 2009 and 2010). His exploits in the film industry has given him a large following, especially among the youths.

He has written, produced and participated in many movies such as Farapamo, Emi ni ire kan; Baba Super; Ila Owo; Eje Fun Eje; Faye Bora e. t. c. and has participated in many other Yoruba movies.

Odunlade Adekola started his education at the St. John’s Primary School, Lafenwa, Abeokuta; his secondary education at St Peter’s College, Olomore, Abeokuta, from where he proceeded to the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ojere, Abeokuta.

Odunlade who has acted in over 100 movies, was named a Glo Ambassador in 2011 by the Globacom Telecommunication Company- a leading GSM provider in the country.

He is married with two children




Madam Ayoola Elizabeth AJAYI

Born to the family of Chief Oluwaro of Ogotun Ekiti about 90 years ago, Madam Ayoola Elizabeth Ajayi’s fame rose during the days of Better Life for Rural Women Programme (1984-1993) during the military era, as a popular mat weaver, through whom the Ogotun-Ekiti mat was show cased with the support of the Ekiti State Ministry of Women Affairs.

She co-founded and registered Ogotun – Ekiti EYELEDEGBE COOPERATIVE MULTIPURPOSE SOCIETY. As a result of this, she is referred to amongst the women organizations in Ekiti State as “Iya Ekiti or Eyeledegbe”.

She is a popular mat weaver who is highly respected for the production of the well-designed Ogotun-Ekiti mats (Eni Ogotun), which she has showcased at various exhibitions organised at home and abroad through the Ministry of Woman Affairs, Ekiti State. Some of the exhibitions she has participated in, include : Fair/Exhibition of the 4th National Science and Technological week celebration (NASTECH 1991) in the then Ondo State; Various Exhibitions of our Natural products by the Ekiti State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the various trade fairs organized by the State Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

Mrs. Ayo Ajayi in collaboration with other members of her group spear- headed the registration of Ogotun (Ekiti) Eyeledegbe CMS Ltd under the Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP).

This registration has qualified the group to benefit from all FEAP related activities. This humble and industrious woman has contributed immensely to the uplifting of Ogotun women and has brought Ekiti State into limelight. Some of her designed mats were captured in the 2012 Ekiti State official Calendar.



Mrs Aina Olajide was born to the family of Mr and Mrs Ogundele Alagbara of Isan-Ekiti about 70 years ago.

The death of her father when she was about four years old made it virtually impossible for her mother to give formal education to little Aina and her five siblings.

She was therefore put in the care of her aunt, Madam Osunbunmi who was a renowned potter in Isan where pottery was a common pastime among women. It was there that she learnt the art of pot making as a child using the traditional method of coiling which potters in the town have mastered over the years.

Interestingly Isan-Ekiti, with its large deposits of clay is home to some of the best potters in Nigeria and the town has carved a niche for itself as major source of the large clay pots for useas water jars and cooking pots made in the South Western part of Nigeria .

Quite a good number of the young potters in Isan today passed through the tutelage of Madam Aina


Madam Aina Olajide is happily married and she is blessed with three sons and two daughters.


Chief (Dr) Julius Adegoke AJAYI


Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Little by Little Photo Industry Nig. Ltd, Chief (Dr) Julius Adegoke Ajayi remains an household name in photography in the state.

Born about 70 years ago at Iworoko Ekiti, in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state, Chief Ajayi is respected for his immense contribution to the economic development of the state and as a noted employer of labour.

Many important dignitaries have passed through his camera lens in the last five decades that he has been in the trade. Regarded as an astute and hard working man, Chief Ajayi has empowered many Ekiti indigenes over the years.

He has been operating in Ekiti State since 1960s and has contributed to industrial growth. He has trained 10,000 in his photographic industry. He was recognized by the Federal Government through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) as the Best Trainer of Labour in South Western Zone of Nigeria in 2004; the Best Colour Laboratory of the Year in 1996 by the Ondo and Ekiti States Photographers Association. He is the Pioneer of automated photography in Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi and Oyo States of Nigeria.

He bagged Honourary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from Staton University, Florida U.S.A., in 2005.




Erelu Angela Ayodele ADEBAYO

Erelu Angela Ayodele Adebayo, business woman, philanthropist and Wife of the first Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, hails from Lagos State. She was born in England on 23rd September, 1958.

Erelu Adebayo attended Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos between 1970 and 1976 for her West African School certificate and Higher School Certificate. She later proceeded to the University of Ibadan where she obtained her B.Sc (Hons) Social Sciences between 1976 and 1979.

She also attended the University of Lagos between 1980 and 1982 where she bagged her Masters Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.). She also earned her Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil) in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge, England in 1994.

Erelu Angela worked as a Treasury Officer at ICON Ltd. (Merchant Bankers), Lagos between 1982 and 1983; and as a Property/Insurance Manager at Ashland Oil (Nig.) Company, Lagos between 1983 and 1989. She later became a Managing Partner of A. A. Adebayo & Associates, Property Consultants, Lagos. She is currently the Director of A. A. Adebayo & Company, Lagos.

Erelu Angela Adebayo made outstanding contributions to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development as the Chairperson of Women Affairs during the tenure of her husband as the Governor of Ekiti State, between 1999 and 2003.

In her quest to support the less privileged in the society, she founded the Erelu Adebayo Foundation for the under privileged (ERAF). She is also the Founder and Initiator of Erelu Adebayo Children’s Home, Iyin-Ekiti.

She is a Trustee of Lydia Grace Foundation (Trinity Church) Through ERAF, she donated wheel chairs worth N2m to handicapped students in Ekiti State, and collaborated with the State Government through her NGO (ERAF) on the care of vulnerable children. She later facilitated the link with Ebunoluwa Foundation for Inter-Country adoption of children especially those with health challenges. About Sixty (60) of such children are now in the Netherlands and Sweden.

She holds the traditional tiles of Aare Erelu of Ado-Ekiti and Erelu of Iyin-Ekiti.


Last modified: November 24, 2021

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