President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to grace the church service to be held at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, Aremo, Ibadan, in honor of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odugade’s centenary birthday celebration, while Senate President David Mark and his wife, Randa, and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, will be honoured by the monarch during the celebration in April.
The Olubadan’s first son, Prof Femi Lana, who stated this at a press briefing to usher in the one-week event in Ibadan on Friday, added that historian, Prof. Toyin Falola, would also be honoured.
The celebration begins on April 14 with the church service and homage by the three lines of Olubadan, Mogajis and Baales.
According to Lana: “Their selection was made after consultation with the Olubadan-in-Council and the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes. Mark is Nigeria’s number three personality who believes in the unity of the nation. Soyinka and Falola have excelled in their line and well known for their good work all over the world. They all deserve the honour. Soyinka started from Ibadan, the intellectual capital of Nigeria while Falola, who resides in the US wrote a great book on Ibadan land”.
Chairman of the publicity committee of the anniversary and Aare Alasa of Ibadan land, Chief Lekan Alabi, stressed the importance of the ancient city of Ibadan in Nigerian History. He said the city had scored many firsts and won recognition for its vast cultural status and for producing great men that had contributed to world history.
He said, “Don’t forget that the first television station in Africa was built in Ibadan. In fact, long before France conceptualised the idea. The first stadium in Nigeria was built here among many others. The Olubadan is celebrating a unique birthday and it is worthy to make it big”.
Head of the Aboderin family in Ibadan, Olutunde Aboderin, who is chairman of the marketing committee of the centenary celebration, said the importance of the celebration was more prominent because it coincided with Nigeria’s centenary celebration.
He said, “In Nigeria, life expectancy is now 50 but for a monarch to reach 100 years is unique. It is also special because it is coming at a time when Nigeria is celebrating its 100 years of amalgamation. The Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes is passionate about this event because of its respect for the Olubadan and the traditional authority”.