How children threw surprise birthday bash for Asiwaju Ajaawa, Prince Ajiboye (SEE PHOTOS)

How children threw surprise birthday bash for Asiwaju Ajaawa, Prince Ajiboye (SEE PHOTOS)




Aina Guest House Oke-Aanu Ogbomoso came boisterously alive Saturday, July 1, 2023, as Prince Ezekiel Olalere Ajiboye was celebrated on his 70th birthday by children, family, friends and former colleagues.

Prince Ezekiel Olalere Ajiboye with his wife Princess Victoria Ebunlomo Ajiboye

The surprise thing nonetheless is that the celebrant never got wind of the birthday shindig until it unfolded. It all unravelled under an “oath of secrecy sworn to” by all the organizers.

Mr Lad Ladipo (right) with Prince Dayo Abina

“I never knew a party to celebrate my Platinum birthday was in the offing, all l heard was that Mr. Lad (Ladipo) was celebrating his birthday and l must attend. I only got here to know it’s all about me,” a pleasantly surprised Prince Ajiboye revealed while speaking at the event.


Meanwhile, it was easy to spring the party without him catching on till it came underway because his actual birthday was in February. So, “deceiving”‘ him was not too difficult.


The “conspirators”

His children were the “chief conspirators.” Then, they brought in Mr. Lad Ladipo, a close confidant of their dad, who retired as Director Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) Oyo state, zonal office, Ogbomoso. Then, the wife, Mama Victoria Ebunlomo Ajiboye was let in.

“We had to bring mummy on board under oath of secrecy as we needed someone to deflect daddy’s suspicion as the day drew near,” Adekemi Owoade, first child of the celebrant, submitted.


That element of surprise was crucial to achieve the goal. Their father had been good to them, a father in a billion, he needed to be celebrated in a way that will elicit maximum joy in him.The “trick” worked.


“The children needed someone to deflect his suspicion arising from neighbours, friends and others calling and visiting to express goodwill as the day approached,” Mama Ajiboye corroborated her daughter on why she had to become a co-conspirator.

“Is July your birthday? Were you born in July?” These were some of her defence lines to diffuse his husband’s agitations as to what really was happening, whose birthday was being planned!


“People were calling me, coming to express goodwill and praying for a successful event. There were deluge of good wishes. I was confused, l was in dilemma,” said Prince Ajiboye, who referred to as “Asiwaju Ajaawa.”


Ajaawa is headquarters of Ogo-Oluwa local government in Ogbomoso zone of Oyo state. That is where he hails from.

He now added, “I was even supposed to attend a wedding in Ibadan on the day but Mr. Lad insisted l must attend his birthday.”

He continued, “Two weeks ago a tailor came around to take my measurements. But anytime l expressed perplexity my wife who had been brought in would dismiss it.”

From left: Comrade Tunde Oladapo (chairman Nigeria Union of Teachers Ogbomoso North), Chief Matthew Adebiyi Adegbite (Baale Iyawo Ogun) and Comrade Timothy Akinola

Alajaawa of Ajaawa Oba Thompson Adeyeye Oyetunji affirming the shindig was shrouded in secrecy noted the several guests were present because of the love they had for the celebrant.


“Like Kemi said, we were kept in the dark. Someone called l must attend Baba’s birthday. I was confused because l knew his birthday is February. In fact, l knew he was to be in Ibadan today for a wedding programme and his car had been earmarked for use. So, l came here today in faith not sure of this event.”


Prince Ajiboye further informed, “When l arrived here and saw all the children and they started singing, then, it dawned on me a coup had come full circle.” (It should be noted the children most of whom live outside Ogbomoso resisted going home when they came around, they remained in their hotels to avoid heightening his suspicion).


All who attended were on invitations dispatched by the children, relations and friends.


The celebrant remarked if I had been privy to it, the guests wouldn’t have been larger, thanking all the “conspirators.”

Chief Tunji Adegoke, chairman Tunji Home of Fashion

It was a day of tributes. 


Rev’d Dr. Tayo Adeyanju, pastor of Sabo Baptist Church, Ogbomoso, where the celebrant worships, described him as “a simple person, forthright, transparent, unassuming, a very devout Christian but frank.”

Rev’d Dr. Gabriel Adedokun of Ibukun-Oluwa Baptist Church, said Ajiboye is a transparent person.


Prince Subomi Adedoyin, principal of Oko Grammar School in Surulere local government and who is chairman of chairmen of All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) in Ogbomoso zone, submitted, “Baba Ajiboye is a good advisor. He is loving and caring. He received the highest award any principal could be conferred with in Nigeria that is Principal Emeritus. He is the father of all principals in Ogbomoso.”

Pastor Remi Adebiyi in his written tribute, remarked “I grew up to know bùòdá Lere as he’s fondly called then, to be a complete gentleman. Easy going, easy to access and easy to relate with. He has remained the same till today.


“I grew up to know him as a passionate and committed lover of Ajaawa -our beloved city of birth.


“I can recall his contribution and those of others during our struggle to get the headquarters of Ogo Oluwa Local Government located at Ajaawa.

“I can also recall his immense contribution when our community got fed up with living in darkness. It was his commitment and that of others that forced the government then to remember Ajaawa for electrification!


“To bring his commitment to the progress of Ajaawa closer home, I remember the quality leadership he offered during our struggle to install the present Alajaawa of Ajaawa. I remember a night we had to keep a 24 hour vigil not to pray, but to see Governor Seyi Makinde in order to convince him to approve the installation of the Alajaawa. I remember a night during the struggle when his phone call came through to me at about 2am in the night and I said ” bùòdá e o sun ni? (brother why are you not asleep?) He replied “mi o le sun, kolorun o saa fun wa se (I can not sleep and I pray that God will crown our efforts with success). He said it and to the glory of God it came to pass! I salute your courage Asiwaju Ajaawa. You are such a worthy leader.

Prince Yinka Ajiboye

“From what is happening here today, all of you will agree with me that Asiwaju Lere Ajiboye is also a complete family man. His children are celebrating him today because he has been a worthy husband to their mother and a blessed and caring father to them. If God called Abraham his friend because he was a great family man then you are qualified to be called a friend of God Sir.”


Chief Sola Ayangbayi, a retired permanent secretary TESCOM, who disclosed he had formed acquaintance of the celebrant for the past 45 years noted, “Prince Ajiboye is a man with easy disposition when meeting people. His characteristic mien is usually readable to confirm being in tandem with issues discussed. He is never loud nor rowdy.


“He made useful contributions at meetings of elders which qualifies him today as an elder statesman in Ogbomosoland and in Nigeria.”

Deacon Ademola Adebiyi, stated, “I celebrate you wholeheartedly today, my indefatigable, diligent, committed, trustworthy, competent, patriotic, amiable, and focused brother, friend and compatriot. A true lover of Ajaawa and wellbeing.

Dr Segun Ogunwobi

“It has been a very long way for both of us in the struggle for the growth and development of Ajaawa since we were very young in the early 70s and mere holders of secondary school and teacher’s Grade II certificates. Our elders, both Professor Olasope Oyelaran and Prince Gbadegesin Oyelakin of the blessed memory literally handed us over to our fathers at one town’s meeting that ‘’you don’t need to bother yourselves coming to Ile-Ife or Lagos again since Ademola and Olalere are around, send them, they know how to get to Ile-Ife and Lagos’’. We took up the challenge and have not reneged since then to the glory of God.


“You are a true leader par excellence starting from the days of Club 21. Ajaawa looked up to the club and it actually played its developmental role until some members’ inordinate political ambition weakened and eventually killed it.


“In the days of Citizens for Ajaawa Improvement (CIA). You were at the forefront even when it metamorphosed to Citizens for Ajaawa Development and the current Ajo Idagbasoke Ajaawa of which you are the President. It is really amazing.

“Your consistent exemplary leadership traits in all these Ajaawa groups has earned you the title of ASIWAJU without any argument.


“Your demonstration of astute leadership, uncommon competence, diligence, honesty and hard work as a super school Principal impressed the Oyo-State government to promote you to the post of Permanent Secretary in the Teaching Service of Oyo-State, a post in which you retired from the Civil-Service.

Alajaawa appreciating Oluwatanna

“I must not forget your roles during our struggles for the creation of Ogo-Oluwa Local Government and the installation of the incumbent Alajaawa of Ajaaawa. They are memorable.”


The tributes came in torrents as all reiterated he is a child of God, humble, good family man, reliable, accommodating, loving, generous and loving.


Rev’d Amos Alagbe an associate pastor at Sabo Baptist Church in an exhortation titled, “Why must we count our days,” with text from Psalms 90: 12-17, stressed it is a wrong perception viewing birthday as a waste of money or a ploy to harvest people’s glory, asserting, “It is not so, it is biblical as established in the passage we read.”


The cleric subsequently gave three reasons to count our days, including to give praise to God, mend our ways and to know the wisdom as well as knowledge of God.


Asiwaju Ojo Oluwatanna, an Ewi exponent and D-Remight, a Tungba act, both entertained guests even as sumptuous meals and assorted drinks were gulped down satisfyingly.

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