The popular town of Ijebu Ode in Ogun State was agog on Friday, December 28, 2018, when the last Surveyor General of the defunct Western Statesand the pioneer Surveyor General ofOgun State, Surveyor Ganiyu Olatunde Oduwole, gracefully clocked the ripe age of 90 years.
The event was celebrated amidst pomp and ceremony as it brought together families, friends, colleagues, clerics, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to celebrate with the patriarch of the family, who at 90, is still very agile, strong and fit as a fiddle. Starting with prayers for the celebrator early in the morning, the birthday party snowballed into a wild frenzy amongst distinguished guests and Daddy Oduwole’s immediate family members who had invited their friends specially to come celebrate with them on the rare attainment of Alhaji Ganiyu Olatunde Oduwole as a nonagenarian. In this age when the mortality rate is between 40 and 50 years, it is only meet and proper for a man who clocks 90 to be greatly celebrated and adored by everyone.
Encomiums and praises were poured on the birthday boy by guests and family members, just as there were enough to eat and drink during the whole day event, with good music supplied by Fuji star, Kolade Onanuga,popularly known as K-2. In commemoration of this landmark birthday, a biographic book in honour of the man, ‘The Best Man I Know’ an enthralling family history, story of love, compassion, dignity, integrity, selflessness, sacrifice, leadership and nobility, written by one of his grandchildren, Ayobami Adedeji, publisher of UrbanLife Magazine, was officially presented to the public and launched amidst merriment and jubilation for the man who meant something unique to all those who had contact with him when he was still active as a practicing Surveyor. The array of guests at the two-in-one event is simply mind blowing, as most of them fell over themselves to take photographs with the man of the day.
A cursory list of guests at the event included but not limited to Senator Lekan Mustapha, Chief Adewale Adesina a.k.a Wale Saranda and wife, Yeye Ashabi Saranda, CSP Dolapo Badmus, Chief Mrs. Toyin Kolade, Iyalaje of Apapa, Bishop Olufemi Otusanya a.k.a Omo Majemu and his charming wife, Adedolapo, CP Tech Construction boss, Otunba Yomi Ajayi-Smith, Catland Micro Finance MD, Sunmola Olawale, Otunba Shakiru Adewusi, Hon. Laide Onanuga, former Ogun State Surveyor General and Head of Service, Godwin Ogun, Surveyor Ogunbadewa, Surveyor Ashaye, just to mention a few. It was indeed a joyous and defining moment for the elated Pa Ganiyu Oduwole, who kept on beaming with smiles and appreciation to Almighty Allah for sparing his life thus far, thanking and praying for all who came to rejoice with him to have similar blessings in their lives in good health and sound mind. A thorough native of Ijebu Ode, distinguished and accomplished Surveyor Ganiyu Oduwole was born on Friday, December 1928, he first attended a Quaranic school and later went to St. John School, Ijebu waterside for his primary school education, then Ijebu Ode Grammar School for his secondary education where he passed out with excellent grades within the specified time.
He proceeded to the then University College, Ibadan for a degree in Mathematics and Physics awarded by the University of London, and upon graduation he settled for a promising career in Surveying which took him to the peak of his career as Surveyor General of the defunct Western Region and became the first Surveyor General of Ogun State when the state was newly-created in 1976. His career sojourn has taken him to so many countries and he was at a time the Principal of the Federal School of Survey, Oyo. Daddy Oduwole has had a wonderful life and is still reveling in such at an advanced age of, living piously.
-Folorunsho ‘Ade’ Hamsat