Four Nigerian icons of Ogbomoso origin ‘swallowed’ by January

Four Nigerian icons of Ogbomoso origin ‘swallowed’ by January
January is a beautiful month. It unravels a new year and is often full of expectations and hopes. It comes with renewed vigour which it breathes into the people. It unfolds the belief that unfulfilled dreams of the previous year (s) can be fulfilled in the new year. And it is often a month of special, intense prayers, to set the tone for the year. The festivities of the celebrations marking the turn of the year often take time to wear out and so January is usually a month of widespread gaiety. But often too it is a month fraught with lurking dangers as are other months. Only God knows the number of deaths that have occurred in 2024 and how many that will occur and where and when and how? January of yester-years claimed several lives. In this piece, we look at four prominent Nigerians of Ogbomoso stock who passed away in the month of January and the circumstances of their death. May their souls continue to find rest.
Chief S.L. Akintola
1. Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola GCON (July 10, 1910 – January 15, 1966)
Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola from Akinbola House, Laka, Ogbomoso, rose to prominence when he emerged Editor of the defunct Daily Service newspaper in Lagos. He later became a lawyer and a nationalist, gaining reputation as one of the most brilliant federal legislators and a founding father of an Independent Nigeria. In fact, his motion in the House of Representatives, on behalf of his party, Action Group (AG), gave the final push to the attainment of Nigeria’s independence on October 1, 1960. He was elected the Premier of the Western Region in 1959. But success brought him ruins, his occupation of that position set him against the leader of his party, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, his predecessor in office as Premier. The ensuing crisis snowballed into a national calamity, ultimately triggering the fist military putsch in the country on January 15, 1966, which consumed Chief Akintola  at the Government House in Ibadan. He was Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland and Asipa of Ogbomosoland.
Chief D.A. Amao-Alata
2.  Chief David Adebayo Amao Alata (1938 – January 8, 1994)
Unarguably, Chief Adebayo Amao Alata was the greatest industrialist Ogbomoso has ever seen. That he was conferred with the prestigious chieftaincy title of Babalaje of Ogbomoso by the immediate past Soun of Ogbomoso, late Oba (Dr) Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III JP CON CFR,  proved this without a doubt. He richly deserved it. From Alata compound, Taraa, he stirred from the ashes of deportation to become a great industrialist and commercial superpower in Ogbomoso nay Nigeria. He was among the unfortunate Nigerians deported by the Ghana government in 1969. Upon returning home, he set up a sawmilling outfit which became popular as Alata Sawmill. With a string of industries and other business outfits such as Alata Flour Mills, Alata Breweries, Alata Motors, Alata Candles, Alata Furniture, Alata Farms,  Alata Supermarket, Ogbomoso Community Bank and so on, all within a space of twenty five years, he literally conquered the land in the commercial sector. The laudable thing is that he made Ogbomoso the epicentre of his commercial activities providing employments to a large number of people. His era will ever be regarded as the golden era in Ogbomoso as he set a record that will be difficult to break. His sudden death on January 8, 1994, during an illness, was a really sad day. Traces of his commercial activities can still be glimpsed across the land, and they will ever be seen.
Chief Sunday Adewusi
3. Chief Sunday Adedayo Adewusi CFR GCON (December 6, 1936 – January 26, 2016)
   Chief Sunday Adewusi hugged the limelight from his early days in the Nigeria Police Force. He was ADC to late Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, first President of Nigeria. He was the officer that decimated the violent Islamic group Maitsine in Kano in the early 1980s. He held several  important command posts till he was promoted the Inspector General of Police in 1981 by President Sheu Shagari. He reorganized the once dreaded Mobile Police Force, a unit of the NPF, into en effective criminal fighting force. He left a legacy of accomplishments in the Nigeria Police that earned him eternal adoration and respect. He did not besmirch his name, his integrity remains ever intact. He made Ogbomoso, nay Yorubaland proud. He got conferred with the title of Asiwaju of Ogbomosoland in 2003 by late Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, the Soun of Ogbomoso, in accordance with the wish and desire of all Ogbomosos home and abroad. He was a community leader par excellence, he transited on January 26, 2016 during a brief illness.
Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala
4. Chief Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala (June 3, 1950 – January 12, 2022) 
January also claimed Chief Alao-Akala, the Bobagunwa of Ogbomosoland. He was of Akala compound, Taraa. From an humble beginning as a 1969 Ghana deportee, he joined the Police after secondary school, became the ADC to late Sunday Adewusi during his tenure as IGP, before retiring voluntarily and joining politics in 1995. Inspiringly, he emerged local government Chairman in Executive capacity, Deputy Governor and later Governor. His rise was amazing and his story is one of the romances of history. He excelled in an atmosphere of constrained hope. More importantly, he was a “giant who conquered by mercy.” a lot of people from even beyond Ogbomoso drank from his milk of human kindness which more than anything immortalized his name. Death caught up with him at his Ogbomoso home, on January 12, 2022, just a few hours after returning from a wedding party in Abuja, devastating the community he affected so much in a positive way.

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