Friday, 23 September 2016

Why I didn’t Celebrate my 70th Birthday —Alani Bankole | Says “Gov. Amosun restored Peace in Ogun State”


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The 'Birthday boy' with Speaker Yakubu Dogara


It was a moment of banter, laughter and fun filled atmosphere last Saturday, September 17, 2016 at Park In Radisson Blue Hotel (Formerly Gateway Hotel) Abeokuta, Ogun State (South West Nigeria) during the 75th birthday celebration of elder statesman and former PDP and ANPP Chieftain, Chief Suarau Olayiwola Alani Bankole, father of ex-Nigeria’s No 4th citizen and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole.

The 75th birthday ceremony of the elder statesman cum industrialist was marked with a special public lecture delivered by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher.  
The Celebrant, Chief Suarau Olayiwola Alani Bankole
The lecture titled “Building Bridges Among Nigerians” was witnessed by eminent Nigerians like  Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (FCA, OFR) who was the chief host, the present speaker of the federal House of Representative, Rt. Honorable Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Yussuf Lasun, ex-Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Ex- Ogun State Governor, Chief Segun Osoba, ex-Ogun State Deputy Governor, Alhaja Salmot Badru, scion of late business mogul and acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 election, Basorun MKO AbiolaKola Abiola, eminent Publisher, Chief Abiola Ogundokun, Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oluwo of Iwo land, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Ilufemiloye Telu 1), a former Justice of the International Court of Justice, Chief Bola Ajibola,  Secretary to the Government of Ogun State, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, Lagos business woman cum PDP stalwart Chief (Mrs.) Remi Adikwu Bakare among many  other very important dignitaries.


Chief Bankole while thanking legion of politicians from different opposition parties who graced the occasion from various parts of Nigeria,  recalled how he missed his 70th birthday party five years ago due to political circumstances affecting the political future of his star son, Dimeji.
Some Very Important Guests at the event
The Egba born Chief referring to the political Tsunami that swept off his son from politics during the 2011 elections in Ogun state where opposition party APC swept all  positions thereby leading to the sack of  Dimeji Bankole and the attendant economic and financial crime allegation that followed his exit from the house which led to his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission on June 5, 2011 and the subsequent trial of the ex-speaker at the court of law, Chief Bankole said he had to suspend the celebration of his 70th birthday and waited five years more to celebrate 75th birthday because of the crisis.
The Senior Bankole said even though the younger Bankole wanted him to go ahead with the celebration but he insisted that the celebration be put on hold indefinitely. Your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika gets you excerpts of the Bankole revelations. Enjoy the excerpts
Alani Bankole is 75! Alihamdulilai!
Ogun State  Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (FCA) pays glowing tributes to Alani Bankole
Why I cancelled my 70th birthday celebration…
 Chief Alani Bankole Started his gratitude to guests by saying “Five Years ago, I was planning to celebrate my 70th birthday but suddenly, we (Bankole Family of Abeokuta) were persecuted but God saved us. Fortunately, good Nigerians rose in support of our family and we got out of it clean and clear”.  The Chief’s sentences were interjected with applauses and laughter as they were quite interesting. The celebrant continued “Dimeji insisted that we should go ahead, I said ‘no, I will not’. Today, I am very grateful to all of you and in particular, to my children who have put together this wonderful gathering”.
The Man, Alani Bankole who started working at a Petrol Station at age 15
Expressing deep gratitude to his guests, Chief Alani Bankole said he is overwhelmed with the level of attendance for his 75th bash “I am more overwhelmed that today, I am not in government. My son is not in government and yet, we can still have this type of assembly, celebrating with us. Or, how else can you describe the presence of the speaker of the federal republic of Nigeria (Yakubu Dogara) who is not even in the same party with my son, who have decided to cut short his leave with other very strong members of this government and of his party to attend this event?. Some of them who were with me for about three hours last night, because they have some other places to go today. Why should I not be overwhelmed? For me, to have somebody like Akinrogun Osoba (Ex-Governor of Ogun State)
“Like he said (Referring to what Osoba said earlier) we are never in the same party, we are never in the same school. We did not even ever belong to the same club. And yet, he had to fly back from England where he went to attend the marriage of his bosom friend who is now late to come and attend this function. What can I say? I thank God”.
The Celebrant Chief Alani Bankole welcomes the Olowo Eko, Oba of Lagos His Royal Majesty Oba Rilwan Akiolu to his birthday
The 1983 Ogun State gubernatorial aspirant for NPN spoke further “And when I look round, I see a lot of professionals, chiefs, young men, old men, from all parts of this country. Retired military men, retired police officers, retired people from customs and immigration, they are all here today to come and honor our family. So, why should I not be overwhelmed? I have nothing to say today than to ask you to join me in thanking God for what He has done for me and my family”.
The Celebrant Chief Alani Bankole with Guest Lecturer, Justice Dahiru Musdapher & ex-Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba in a tete-a-tete
How Governor Amosun restored peace in Ogun State
The Celebrant’s most cantankerous speech came when he saluted the humility and leadership qualities of the present Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and stylishly condemned the antecedent and political legacies of his predecessor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. This is how Chief Bankole acknowledged the presence of Governor Ibikunle Amosun the Executive Governor of Ogun State “The presence of the Governor of Ogun State is even more important to me because, number one, we are not in the same party, although, he is my good Aburo”. (Some guests in the crowd reacted to the statement by saying ‘Your-in-law’ and the celebrant quickly responded to their claims) “I don’t know about that because when you talk about in-law, my great grandfather gave them (Owus) land when they were about to go and face the Alaketus army.  (Referring to an earlier subtle altercation between Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu and Chief Segun Osoba over the dominant of Egba territory over Lagos,)
Speaker Yakubu Dogara pours encomium on Chief Alani Bankole @ 75
 Egba is Bigger than Lagos…
“It is unfortunate that the Oba of Lagos left before now, I would have had the opportunity to remind him that it was only because of the influence of Governor Mobolaji Johnson and the then Head of State Yakubu Gowon that they were able to steal most of our lands by creating Lagos state when what they had (At the time) was Lagos Council which ended in Yaba” “Abeokuta province extends to Mushin, Mosalasi, and Jibowu in Lagos (Laughter and applauses). Our fathers had to send Ajeles or Baales to all those areas, so, when Kabiyesi was speaking here because he has his in-law to back him (Referring to Aremo Olusegun Osoba) who is my big brother, I was looking.  I know Justice Oyekan Abdulai would be wondering how her in-law should be talking like this in her presence but that is the truth. Please, no apologies”. (Prolong Laughter).
L-R; Justice Bola Ajibola, High Chief Abiola Ogundokun, Oba Rilwan Akiolu (Oba of Lagos) & Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (The Oluwo of Iwo land
Amosun respect elders…
Giving more kudos to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Alani Bankole said “Mr. Governor, I don’t know how to thank you, I know that you had to attend a marriage ceremony of your blood cousin in Lagos and I thought you were only going to join us at the party for one or two minutes. For you to have made it to this place, although he (Amosun) had a special place in my mind before, it has now changed and increased, positively”. (Laughter & applauses). “Because when we trained you as a senator from the right, you now went to the left to go and use all the experiences, all the connections (Referring to their different political ideologies). Who will like to have a child that is very good and that child now resigns? So, naturally… (Prolong laughter in the crowd)
Chief Alani Bankole welcomes a Northern Emir to his 75th birthday party
“But talking seriously, I think Governor Ibikunle Amosun had always been a gentle man; he respects the elders a lot. (Applauses) He brought peace to Ogun State. Before he came, most people in Ogun State were always sleeping with one eyes closed and the other one opened, because of the type of government we had then; even my good brother, Chief Osoba, who I will describe as somebody who actually has no business in politics because he is too clean for that, he is too gentle for it. He was forced to run away. The Akinrogun himself ran away. (Prolong Laughter in the crowd), please, hold on, hold on (Calming the crowd) He did not run away out of fear. We have a traditional difference between the Egbas and the Ijebus. He had the choice to confront and some of us would have supported him and that would have led to a lot of problems in Ogun state. He decided to go away to give peace, to make sure the relationship between the Egbas and the Ijebus was not affected adversely. That was where we are before Governor Ibikunle Amosun took over. The previous government had a special ministry to take care of such (opposition) and he (OGD) made sure he appointed somebody who was expelled from all the schools he attended (Osogula?) in that ministry. So, Mr. Governor, look, baawi a ku, baa wi aku, ka kuku so ohun ta ma so ka ma lo’. (If we say the truth we will die, if we refuse to say the truth, we will still die. Better to say the truth and pass away in good memory)
Ex-Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba exchanging pleasantries with the Oluwo of Iwo Land, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi as High Chief Abiola Ogundokun looks on
How Young Politicians should play politics…
Chief Bankole who is regarded as a bridge builder in the Nigerian political space gave a warning and word of admonition to young, up and coming politicians in Nigeria on how to move forward and build the nation. Hear him “For those of you who are now new politicians, I want to beg of you, if Chief Olusegun Osoba can be here today and not from today. When he was governor, each time I phoned him, ‘Your Excellency, when can I see you?’. He will say ‘Ah, ah, what nonsense are you talking? This is your house, come here anytime you want’. How come now, that even you people in the same political party will be chasing yourselves all over the street? Even in the same party? Please, let us stop this madness. It is madness of the highest order. We don’t need it. If Baba Bola Ajibola (Former Justice of International Court, Hague) could leave whatever he is doing to attend this small thing my children put together, why don’t we all learn from people like him?”
Conscience Magazine Publisher, High Chief Abiola Ogundokun, ex-Jigawa State Governor Dr. Sule Lamido & Oluwo of Iwo Land, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (TELU 1)
 “He (Bola Ajibola) left BBHS (Baptist Boys High School) seven years before I entered the place. Although, he is my true in-law because he told me that the first son of my father-in-law was actually very, very close to him. He told me this when I visited him when he was Nigeria’s high commissioner in London, he said Musbau was everything that one will want in a person and that was the first son of my father-in-law, that is my wife’s senior brother. So, he is my big brother, my senior and father. And if he can come here today, you young politicians, please, we should use politics to develop this country. We should use politics to develop ourselves. Learn from people like Chief Olusegun Osoba, people like Sule Lamido (Ex-Jigawa State Governor) people like Aminu Wali, people like Reverend Hyde Onagulushi”.   
The Oluwo of Iwo Land, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi greets Mr. Kola Abiola
The Oluwo of Iporo Sodeke once again saluted the principles of Governor Ibikunle Amosun but not without drawing laughter from his crowd of guests“But I am happy and proud to say that my own governor is practicing that. He can be very, very partisan o when it comes to elections (Laughter/Applauses) but after elections, no more problems. But some of this young people we are talking about, they don’t even greet their family members because they are in another political party. In those days, I will be in Ifo (Ifo LGA in Ogun State) by 1 am, and come across Chief Sule Onabiyi, he is prepared not to see me because he was in SDP, I was in NRC.
The Oluwo of Iwo Land, His Imperial Majesty Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Ilufemiloye TELU 1)
He will go his way. But two hours later, he will say ‘You this boy, I saw you last night, what were you doing there?’ and I will say ‘Ah, ah, Egbon, what were you also doing there?’ Those were the ways we conducted ourselves in those days. Please, you young politicians, especially from the South West, in particular from Ogun state, learn from this and help us to develop our good state. It is not enough to say we had the first chief justice of Nigeria, the first civilian president of Nigeria, what are you doing in your time? Don’t let us live on the records of our four fathers, let us create our own record and help this country. Once again, join me in continuing always thanking God for what God has done for me, THANK YOU VERY MUCH”.  Concluded the Seriki Jagunmolu of Egba Land


Alhaja Monsura Bankole, the Iya Adeen of Egba Muslims and first wife of the celebrant

Aremo Segun Osoba with elite Comedian and Master of Ceremony, Ali Baba

Dr. Sule Lamido
Ex-Foreign Affairs Minister Ambassador Wali, ex-Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido & ex-Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba in a close chatting session
ex-Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Bashir Aminu Wali
Ex-Ogun State Governor, Aremo Segun Osoba eulogizes Alani Bankole

Ex-Ogun State Governor, Aremo Segun Osoba
Ex-Speaker Dimeji Bankole with Oluwo of Iwo His Imperial Majesty Oba Abdularasheed Adewale Akanbi (Ilufemiloye TELU 1)
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun
Justice Dahiru Musdapher
Mr. Kola Abiola and Ex-Jigawa State Governor Dr. Sule Lamido exchanges pleasantries
Oba Rilwan Akiolu (Oba of Lagos)
Ogun State SSG, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa
Olowo Eko, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Osuolale Akiolu (Oba of Lagos) with his counterpart, Oluwo of Iwo Land, His Imperial Majesty Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Ilfemiloye TELU 1)
Some traditional drummers at the event

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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