Alani Bankole @ 75: 21 things that happened at ex-Speaker’s father’s bash

 Saturday September 17th, the City
of Abeokuta, Ogun State (South West
Nigeria) came alive with the presence of several dignatories  from all walks of life. Indeed, it was a
gathering of people from all parts of Nigeria (South, West & North) as
veteran Nigerian Politician and elder statesman, Alhaji (Chief) Suarau
Olayiwola Alani Bankole
, the father of ex-Nigerian Speaker, Rt. Honorable Dimeji Bankole celebrated his 75th year on planet earth.

The event with started with a birthday lecture delivered by a former Chief
Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru
Musdapher
in the early hours of the day at Park Inn (Formerly Gateway Hotel) Abeokuta ended with a grand reception at the palace of the Alake of Egba Land, His Royal
Majesty Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo
(Okukenu IV) with Juju Music maestro
turned Evangelist, Commander Ebenezer
Obey
mounting the stage.  The event was
indeed a very huge one.  In this PART ONE
of the rare event, your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter Blog, Asabeafrika brings you snippets from Chief Alani Bankole’s 75th birhday bash. Enjoy.
The Venue of the Lecture…
For guests
and journalists who stormed Park Inn, the venue of the birthday
lecture of Chief Alani Bankole, it was an entirely new scene marched with
class and panache. The entire environment of the old Gateway Hotel, Abeokuta has changed totally with the
color white adorning the exterior and lots of art works and beautiful scenery
adorning the interior of the 5 star hotel. It was such a great sight to behold.
The place which is rumored to have been leased out to veteran business man, Mr.
Oba Otudeko’s
Radisson Blue Hotel Services is
indeed being handled by professionals who know their onions. Although, other
sources told Asabeafrika that the place which was initially sold to lotto
magnate Chief Kessingnton Adebutu of Baba Ijebu lotto fame
under the administration of Governor Gbenga Daniel  has been resold to Mr. Oba Otudeko the owner
of Honeywell
Group
under the regime of Senator Ibikunle Amosun. However,
the gist remain unconfirmed.  On Saturday
September 17 morning, legion of guests who came for the Bankole’s birthday and
lodged in the hotel the previous night were seen taking their breakfast inside
various dinning segments of the expansive hotel. 
Tight Security at the venue…


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The venue of
the lecture was manned by a team of security experts ranging from members of
the Nigeria
Police
force, the Civil
Defense Corps
and the State Security Services.
Right from the main gate, cars and other vehicular objects were checked
thoroughly before being allowed in. The security check was conducted by members
of the Civil Defense Corps while a team of smart, gentle and courteous
police officers checked guests who made entry into the hotel. Bags, purses and
other items were thoroughly checked before allowing their passage.
Why event started two hours behind
schedule
The event
which was slated for 9 am couldn’t start until 11 am when resident guests in
the hotel started coming down from their respective rooms and external guests
arrived in droves with arrays of different automobiles adorning the entire
premises of the hotel. While issues like taking of breakfast by resident guests
was linked to the lateness in starting the event, other issues like late night
rest, fatigue and make up activities for the lady guests were linked to the
late arrivals of guests for the event. However, at 11 am dot, it was as if a
uniformed agreement was reached that all the guests should converge at the
lobby of the hotel. A massive crowd soon converged and before one could say
‘Alani’, they all marched to the Olubori Banquet Hall of the hotel
where the lecture was to take place.
Meet the Charge De Affairs
Call him the
Charge de affairs and you won’t be
saying otherwise. The scion of the Alani Bankole’s political dynasty, Rt.
Honorable Dimeji Sabur Bankole
was the lead man for the event as he
took charge of strategic positions of the Olubori Banquet Hall, directing
activities with his security details about four in number; all suit-up with
dark sunshades to drive maximum fear into the mind of anybody that might want
to be funny at the venue. The white colored attire loving ex-Speaker of
Nigeria’s Federal House of Representative was in his humblest mood as he calls
the shot and directed every segment of the event from the  beginning to the end.  Many who saw Dimeji Bankole on
September 17 were surprised with some analysts claiming that the handsome
politician who became speaker at the tender age of 37 is now a more matured
politician. He also refused to sit with his elite friends inside the hall,  instead, choosing to sit among ordinary men
at the entrance of the hall during the course of the event. It was a humble,
simple and calm Dimeji Bankole in sight.   
How the “birthday boy” arrived
Called ‘The
Caterpillar’
by political associate across Nigeria, Chief
Alani Bankole
despite his petite figure is a man who is capable of
doing things that are bigger in nature. No wonder they also call him ‘Akere
Koro’
(Small but Bitter/mighty). His arrival spoke volume of the two
nomenclatures. At the time legion of guests (Those with invitation cards and
those invited verbally) were battling Yinka Adedeji, the head of
Protocol, Speaker’s Lagos liaison office and his men who  handled the entry of guests into the hall, Alani
arrived amidst a cream of his old school mates at Baptist Boys High School,
Abeokuta (1961-65 class). They were the first guests allowed to enter the Olubori
hall
. Many wondered why the birthday boy had to escort his old school
mates (About 20 of them) into the hall? Alani Bankole buried his height
among that of  his mates as he personally
led them to the entry point of Olubori Hall. Many didn’t believe he
was among them as they kept denying he wasn’t there. However, it turned out
that the celebrant only came to personally usher in his 1961-65 BBHS class mates
into the hall as he soon disappeared only to re-appear thirty minutes later for
what can be termed a “proper arrival”.
Meet first Oba to arrive for the
lecture
In fact, he
is the first VIP guest to arrive the Olubori Hall venue of the Birthday
Lecture for Chief Alani Bankole. He is no other person than the Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty; Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi
(Ilufemiloye TELU 1). When he arrived with his entourage, he practically prayed
for everyone at the door before the protocol team passed him and his
entourage.  He was the first VIP and
first royal brother, oh, sorry, father to arrive for the event. He arrived at
exactly 11:10am, ten minutes after the Olubori hall was  declared open by celebrant’s son, Rt.
Honorable Dimeji Bankole
to guests. 
 Oluwo’s retinue of Obas came…
The Yoruba
adage says ‘Karin kapo, yiye lon ye ni’ (For us to walk in group earn us
more respect) some of the Obas who joined
the Oluwo
of Iwo land
to attend Chief Alani Bankole’s 75th
birthday in Abeokuta are; Oba Kazeem Adio Ori Oye, the Onigege
of Igege
land under Ola-Oluwa
LGA, Osun State. Oba Asimiu Sodiq Agboluaje,
the Ologuro
of Oguro
land under Iwo LGA,
Osun State. Oba Moshood Alamu (Oparaoke 1); the Onisara of Seesu in Iwo LGA; Oba Ogunleye Sikiru Omoyemi
(Oyewale 1), the Olowu of Ilemowu under Olaoluwa
LGA
, Osun State; these Obas do follow the Oluwo
to important outings of such magnitude.  
Oba of Lagos’ Chief Drummer storm
Abeokuta for Alani Bankole
Of course,
the birthday boy’s other nomenclature is ‘The Bridge Builder’ and honestly,
you will wonder how he keeps building bridges that keeps the loyalty of
royalties, aristocrats and clergies to his honor. Being a culturally sensitive
person, Chief Alani Bankole didn’t just get any how drummer to beat
traditional drums for him on his 75th birthday. Like a man blessed
with the gene of royalty, the Seriki Jagunmolu Adinni of Egba land
had the Chief drummer of the Oba of Lagos, Oba
Rilwan Akiolu
famously known as Aremu Onilu Oba and his men perform
for him on his birthday. Aremu Onilu Oba who stormed Park Inn with his ten men
traditional band gave a fantastic account of themselves as they beat their bata,
gan-gan
and omele
drums not only to give inspiring rhythms to the celebrant and his guests but to
also narrate native folklores that are very familiar to only the ears of the
celebrant and his kinsmen. Aremu Onilu Oba gave a tremendous
performance. 
The Re-Arrival of Chief Alani
Bankole…
His is a man
full of royalty and style. If Chief Alani Bankole wasn’t a
politician or business man, one other endeavor he would have loved to find
himself is royalty—being a king. His body language reveals this post humor
ambition as he arrived for his birthday lecture at 11:30 am dot (Which was the
second time he was arriving after helping his BBHS school mates of 1961-65 class to escape the rigors of protocol
earlier that morning). The birthday boy’s arrival was heralded with the
melodious sound of traditional drums and songs offered by Aremu Onilu Oba and his
men. Alani
Bankole
in company of one of his best friends, High Chief Abiola Ogundokun  (both are old political ally from NPN days
under the Government of President Shehu Shagari) and other younger friends
including Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, the Secretary
to the Government of Ogun State arrived into the arms of a waiting crowd of audience who
were set for the event.
The Guest Lecturer too…
Honorable Justice
Dahiru Musdapher
the guest lecturer was already seated before the
arrival of the celebrant. Nobody knew how he got in but he was seated in the
front row where he was joined by the celebrant and Chief Segun Osoba,
ex-Governor of Ogun State. Osoba,
Musdapher
and Bankole
all adorned white attires.
Between Abiola Ogundokun & Alani
Bankole
Many things
tie this two Nigerians together, they are both traditional chiefs in their
various kingdoms, they are both socialites of the 60s, 70s up to 80s. They
belong to the same political family and they are friends of over 45 years. They
have both enjoyed praises from top musicians like King Sunny Ade and Commander
Ebenezer Obey
at various times of their social lives. They also
practice same religion, Islam.  Iwo, Osun State born Chief Abiola Ogundokun was the
National Publicity Secretary of the defunct NPN
party under President Shehu Shagari’s regime while Chief
Alani Bankole
was the party’s Ogun
State Deputy Chairman from 1980 to 1982 as well as member of the National
executive council of the party. He later contested for governorship under same
party in 1983 but lost out. You can see how long both Ogundokun and Bankole
have come politically. While Ogundokun is the Balogun
Musulumi
of Iwo land in Osun
State, Bankole is the Seriki Jagunmolu of Egba land in Ogun State all in the South West area of
Nigeria. Couple of weeks back, precisely August 26 when Ogundokun was giving out
one of his daughters, Uyioghosa in marriage to one Osagie
Elaiho
, Alani Bankole was one of the special guests at the event which
took place in Festac area of Lagos.  

Ex-Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido storm
Abeokuta for Bankole

Alhaji Sule Lamido the immediate past Governor of Jigawa
State
was the next big guest to arrive the venue. Adorning brown Babanriga
attire, the lanky Jigawa born
politician who wanted to contest for the presidency of Nigeria before the tide
changed against him in 2015 arrived in company of Nigeria’s ex minister of
foreign affairs Ambassador Bashir Aminu Wali who is a very
close and compassionate friend of the celebrant. While Wali took his seat quietly in the front row, Lamido threw banters
with few other elites including ex-Governor Olusegun Osoba, High
Chief Abiola Ogundokun
, Oluwo of
Iwo
Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale
Akanbi
and many others before finally taking his seat.
Oba of Lagos, Justice Bola Ajibola &
others make arrival list…
His arrival
was heralded with the consistent beating and blasting of traditional drums
amidst eulogies. That is the Olowo Eko, His Royal Majesty Oba Rilwan Osuolale Akiolu. His
presence also seemed to change the atmosphere as guests gave him his desired
salutation as he was led to go sit with his counterpart, the Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, Oba
Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi
(Ilufemiloye TELU 1). The Olowo
Eko
was looking regal in his traditional attire as he threw banters
with fans and finally took his seat at the front row. Another eminent Nigerian
who arrived the venue at same time with the Oba
of Lagos
is former Nigerian Envoy and Justice of the International Court, Justice
Bola Ajibola
who is now the founder of Crescent University
in Ogun State. The aged Justice
Ajibola
sat on same row with the royal fathers.
 Sokoto Emirate sent in Representative
Alani Bankole is indeed a bridge builder and he
proved it with the caliber of guests at his 75th year birthday. From
the Sokoto Emirate came the Magajin
Garin
Sokoto, Alhaji Hassan Muhammad Danbaba who
represented the Sultan of Sokoto King
Sa’ad
Abubakar II. Danbaba is only grandson of the late
Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto. He is presently the Margajin
Garin Sokoto
. The grandson of 
the late Sardauna was said to have arrived Abeokuta on Friday September 16 and had attended a special Jumat
Service in honor of the celebrant at Kobiti Central Mosque. He arrived
the lecture with his entourage. 
Between  Kola Abiola and the Royal Fathers…
The arrival
of the scion of late business mogul turned politician, Chief MKO AbiolaKola
Abiola
for Chief Alani Bankole’s 75th birthday lecture must
have been a great surprise to many as the silver spoon scion of the winner of
the June 12, 1993 presidential election rarely attend public events. It was
learnt that his friendship with the celebrant’s son, Rt. Honorable Dimeji Sabur
Bankole
was the magic wand behind his appearance in Abeokuta
on Saturday, September 17. Looking cool, calm and collected as usual, Kola
who is a money management expert and probably one of the richest billionaire
scions in Africa shocked analysts when he moved to where the Obas  (traditional rulers) were seating and threw
his hands at them instead of prostrating as it is customary with the Yoruba
culture of South Western Nigeria. His attitude to the Obas really shocked many observers as Kola was sighted greeting
the Oba of Lagos, the Oluwo of Iwo land and other traditional
rulers like someone greetings his subordinate or employee. However, some new
century analysts believes that Kola’s attitude to the royal fathers
is synonymous with present day norms where the royal class have lost their
supernatural esteem to the political class. The very dashing Abiola’s
scion later took his seat after extending his banters to many and never
uttered a word till the end of the event.
And Speaker Dogara storm event…
It was 12.05
Pm dot and the atmosphere changed as House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu
Dogara
arrived with his entourage. He was personally led into the hall
by his predecessor and scion of the Alani Bankole political dynasty, Rt.
Honorable
Dimeji Sabur Bankole
. He was taken straight to the front row where he
sat with the celebrant and other eminent Nigerians after exchange of banters
with VIPs.
Ali Baba crack Joke on Oba of Lagos…
Veteran
Comedian Ali Baba was the Master of ceremony; he co-anchored the ceremony
with another young man. However, Ali Baba took prominence with his
very creative and wise cracks that nearly broke the oral cavity of many guests
at the event. One of such expensive joke was the one cracked on the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu. Ali Baba
had started by eulogizing the traditional ruler, describing him as a great
benefactor. He however told his listeners that in as much as he loves visiting
people; he always find reasons not to visit the Oba of Lagos. Hear him ‘If you go to him, you take something to
him, if he comes to you, he takes something from you’
as people were
beginning to laugh, Ali Baba added a clincher ‘To
make matter worse, he is a retired Police officer’
and the volume of
laughter increased with a roaring propensity. Ali Baba went further ‘If I take my car to the palace without
bringing anything, Kabiyesi will not be wrong to say ‘Oo mu nkan wa ni? Motor
yen, fi sile’
(So, you came empty handed, leave your car behind) He cracked
so many other jokes that made even Obas nearly lost their composure and
royal swagger.
Why Lagos big boy, Scooba spent 2
nights in Abeokuta
CEO, Scooba
Lotto Agency
and Scooba  Door Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Oluwafemi
James
Adejuwon
aka Scooba
was one of the Lagos big boys who spent three days with the Bankoles.
He and his pretty wife, Lady Tobi Adejuwon (Nee Olubode) are
said to be so close to the Bankoles as Mrs. Tobi’s late dad, Chief
Cladius Mofolorunsho Olubode
is a senior related family member of Chief
Alani
Bankole
. Scooba’s pretty wife, Tobi was rumored to have teamed up
with Miss
Toyin Bankole
, the beautiful daughter of late Iyalode Adunni
Bankole,
the fourth wife of the celebrant who passed away on January 3rd,
2015 to ensure food aspect of the event was successful. 
How Iyalode Adunni Bankole’s kids
storm dad’s bash in great mood
The three
pretty daughters and only son of the late Iyalode Adunni Bankole one of the
most cerebral wives of the celebrant who passed away on Saturday, January 3rd,
2015 after a brief illness, during the wedding ceremony of one of her daughters
were all at the party in flying colors. They all came to support their lovely
dad from all parts of the world. Led by their senior sister,  Barrister Toyin Bankole who just
finished her law school program couple of weeks ago, the lovely beauties were
looking fresh and lovely. There was also beautiful Mope a top banker with Skye
Bank
(Abuja) and the last born Desola who is presently studying law
in a highbrow United Kingdom based institution.  Iyalode Adunni Bankole’s only son, Owolabi
was also at the event. The very handsome and dashing Owolabi was sighted at
the event with his half brother Muyiwa and friends.
Prince Bayo Adesida too
Representing
the famous Adesida family of Akure
was Prince
Bayo Adesida
who is the younger brother of late Iyalode Adunni Bankole. Prince
Adesida
, an interior design expert was at the event with his lovely
wife. He is one of the sons of Chief (Mrs.) Gbemisola Adesida the Iyalode
of Owu
Kingdom and mother of late Chief (Mrs.) Adunni Bankole. He
attended the reception at Alake of Egba palace.
How famous Ewi exponent Ajobiewe
stole show with son
Most
Nigerians who attended Chief Alani Bankole’s 75th
birthday lecture had more than enough to learn from the Yoruba culture as all aspect of the culture from drumming to poetry
was unleashed on guests. It would appear that the celebrant carefully took the
decision to use his birthday event to educate many Nigerians about his culture
and tradition. One of such aspect was the 30 minutes rendition of Ewi
(Yoruba folklore/poetry) by veteran actor and playwright, Sulaimon Ayilara Ajobiewe;
Ajobiewe
who has now inculcated his son, Sulaimon Jnr into his trade shocked
guests by allowing his son to first take the stage. The idea paid off as it turned
out that Ajobiewe Jnr was playing a role of forerunner. His dad later
joined him and both father and son treated guest to a very interesting and
hilarious moments of poetic theatherics, praising the celebrant, his guests and
selected VIPs at the occasion with their Oriki (adulation)
(Watch out
for Part 2 of “Snippets from Alani Bankole’s 75th b’day bash” and see
how Speaker Yakubu Dogara got ‘Juju Medicine’ from Ajobiewe
& Alani Bankole.) 

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