Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was among notable Nigerians who paid glowing tributes to one of Nigeria’s prominent traditional rulers, the Oba of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Gbadebo as he marked his 75th birthday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, South West Nigeria.
Professor Osinbajo said Oba Gbadebo is dear to all of our hearts,” and described him as an extraordinary individual in so many ways who has distinguished himself in his career.
Professor Osinbajo prayed that the life of the Alake would be preserved beyond 75 and that God would keep him healthy.
Among other dignitaries at the occasion were former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; his wife, Olufunke, former Governor Segun Osoba, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
Former President Obasanjo also prayed that the monarch would live to a very old age.
Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who chaired the occasion, said Oba Gbadebo has brought a lot of development to Egbaland since he ascended the throne.
“Since his ascension to the throne, the revered throne of Alake of Abeokuta and the paramount ruler of Egbaland, he has impacted the Egbaland.
“Although he has no executive responsibility, he is there to encourage all the governors who had executive responsibility.
“He is there to encourage and advise them and I have no doubt that as a result of his influence, you have a number of development projects.
“Here in Abeokuta, there are many things to point at as evidence of the progress that this city and the city are making.
“We owe that in part to our monarch, Oba Gbadebo.”
Anyaoku, whose wife is an Egba, said he was glad that he did not miss the occasion of the Alake’s birthday, having flew in from Accra, Ghana, where he had gone for the funeral of the late former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan.
Highlight of the occasion was the unveiling of a book written on the celebrant entitled, Giant Strides of a Vintage Monarch.