By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
Oba Samuel Odulana, Odugade 1, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, has given his royal blessing to the post- humous centenary celebration of late Adegoke Adelabu popularly known as Penkelemesi.
The royal father also appreciated the thoughtfulness of the organisers of the event who would not allow the memory of the late politician to fade off with time
The monarch who spoke through High Chief Owolabi Olakuleyin, the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, described the late Adelabu as his good friend while alive and expressed happiness that their closeness was not ignored by the organisers who deemed it fit to intimate him and seek his royal blessing before commencing the celebration.
“Kabiyesi is happy, especially for remembering Penkelemesi, who was his good friend. More so, for coming for royal blessings before the official launch of the foundation. The celebration is a good thing for the whole of Ibadan community and we pray it will be successful,” the monarch’s spokesperson said.
Speaking earlier, Oloye Lekan Alabi, Chairman, Adegoke Adelabu Post-humous Centenary Birthday Planning Committee, who led some of the children of the late politician and other committee members to the palace noted that the committee deemed it fit to intimate and personally invite the Olubadan to the official launch of Adegoke Adelabu Foundation and his book.
Explaining the rationale behind the celebration, the Aare Alaasa Olubadan of Ibadanland said late Adelabu was a phenomenon whose brilliance is unmatched till date.
He said: “We went to the Olubadan to obtain his praises, prayers and consent for the celebration of a great statesman. The grand finale is slated for September 3 which is the day of the post-humous birthday. There will be a public lecture and public presentation of Adelabu’s book, which was written in 1951 and the foreword written by the late Nnamdi Azikwe. We have also added some of Adelabu’s speeches and thoughts to the book.
“We will also launch the Adegoke Adelabu Foundation, which will focus on awarding scholarships to bright and brilliant indigent students. This is because Adelabu’s academic records showed his exemplary brilliance. He became the first African Manager of UAC at the age of 21 and became a federal minister at the age of 39 years.
“He enjoyed double promotions at both the elementary and high schools yet he never came second in class. He was indeed a phenomenon”.
The late Adelabu died on March 25, 1958 at the age of 43 in a road accident in Ode-Remo, in present day Ogun State.