Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and Senate President David Mark are among dignitaries to be honoured with chieftancy titles by the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana, during the centenary birthday celebration of the monarch, which is also expected to feature President Goodluck Jonathan as a special guest for the church service to be held at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, Aremo, Ibadan.
First son of the Olubadan, Prof Femi Lana, who disclosed this on Friday during a press briefing in Ibadan on Friday said the celebration will last for one week from April 14th to 19th, 2014.
“Also, a world renowned historian, Prof. Toyin Falola, would be honoured. The celebration starts on April 14 with the church service and homage paying by the three lines of Olubadan, Mogajis and Baales. Their selection was made for the award 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 works 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,” said Lana.
Aare Alasa of Ibadanland, Chief Lekan Alabi, who is the chairman of the publicity committee of the anniversary, pointed out the importance of Ibadan in Nigerian History. He said the city has scored many firsts and won recognition for its vast cultural status and for producing great men that had contributed to world history.
Alabi 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.” He said that the Olubadan is celebrating a unique birthday and it is worthy to make it big.
Head of the Aboderin family in Ibadan, Olutunde Aboderin, Chairman of the marketing committee of the centenary celebration, said the importance of the celebration was more projected because it coincided with the celebration of the nation’s centenary.
“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,” he said.
He said that the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes is passionate about this event because of its respect for Olubadan and traditional authority.