Gbenga Adeoye Pens Emotional Birthday Message For Amb. Toye Abiola @66 - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Friday, April 22, 2022

Gbenga Adeoye Pens Emotional Birthday Message For Amb. Toye Abiola @66


If I describe Amb. Toye Okanlawon as a man of contacts, link, access and exposure, I will not be wrong. His network cut across different states in Nigeria and in fact, countries. 


This is a man that served Nigeria as an Ambassador variously. 


In Yorubaland, we have some people being referred to as Double Chief.


This great uncle is more than a double chief even though he is now a double Chief in deed as Okanlomo of Keesi and Bobagunwa of Egbaland.


However added to his cap is that he is Quadruple Ambassador having served at different times.


He is a man with extreme International Exposure.


In Africa, if you need to see any President, his network remains intact even when he is no more an Ambassador.


I recall that we sat on the same table during the 65th Birthday of Mr Tunji Sunmonu in Houston, Texas in October, 2021 together with Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa.


We cracked jokes so much that we became so connected in heart.


Our interaction even got deeper after our return to Nigeria  as we started discussing how we can make our country a better place by ensuring that selfless people are in leadership whether by election or by appointment which is an area am so passionate about as a Good Governance Researcher and expert.


As a keeper of promise, he left Federal Palace Hotel in the morning of 1st January, 2022 despite the stress of watch night service to join me in my house at Ibara GRA in Abeokuta for New year celebration and interacted with us at home as a very loving uncle that he is.


In company of Mr. Tunji Sunmonu and his wife;  wonderful sister Iyabo from my wife home town in Ijebu Ode among other dignitaries like Justice Demola Bakre Jnr.,  Dr. Onaolapo Soleye, 

Mr.Chris Coker, Chief Luwoye, Prof.Yemi Oke, Pastor Adeniyi Daniel Alhaji Adegbite, Engr.Ola Sobande, Prince Abiodun Karunwi among others that day.


I recalled Alake was to join us in my house  but was delayed  at Barr Taiwo Adeoluwa's house at Hill Top  whose birthday was 1st January &  then at Lawyer  Fashanu's house our great SAN who Baba Alake told us acted differently by calling him like 3 times  as soon as the house was set to receive him at Ibara GRA as well


Kabiyesi asked me later and said why didn't you call me as soon as Dr.Soleye arrived your house or as soon as Toye and Tunji arrived .?


Kabiyesi loves all of us so much  that the love is so evident in his telephone calls and prayers and at any time when you visit him.


From my observation over the years, I discovered that Kabiyesi  loves your company and so am not surprised that you are now the Bobagunwa of Egbaland. Like Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland .Amb Okanlawon is a loving man to be with at all times.


Humility also made him turn to a traffic officer at Awolowo Way in Ikoyi, Lagos the last day of February, 2022 during the fuel crisis in Nigeria.


In the night at about 9 30pm, I saw a man well dressed in white controlling traffic in his usual Awolowo or Osinbajo  type of Cap directing and instructing cars to drive to a particular direction.


At first I thought he was a police officer in mufti,  until I drove closer to the traffic officer only to discover Ambassador Toye Abiola Okanlawon had turned to a traffic officer.


I shouted; Ambassador...He was shocked because he never expected that anyone will know him at that night in his no uniform  emergency  traffic control service. 


He is a man with high social network and very pleasant man to be with at all times.


Having served in RCCG in Maryland in US many years back and also serving in God's vineyard now in Lagos and in addition to serving Egbaland as the new Okanlomo Keesi and Bobagunwa of Egbaland, I pray that God will give you grace to always do what is right at all times. 


Let me end this birthday greetings by saying that Amb.Okanlawon never forsake people and his friends in their times of trouble.A typical example is how he stood firmly with Erastus Akingbola the former M.D of Intercontinental Bank.


Always going to court and making contacts at the time when his friend needed help the most.


He also did his best to ensure Dapo Abiodun become Governor and remain governor even when the victory was surrounded by dark calculations. A selfless man. An Associate of another great Baba, Chief Yinka Kufile, the Aro of Egbaland. Each time I sit with all of you , I always learn something.


Amb.Okanlawon is so unique that; he loves everybody.  OGD, fine with him. Amosun, fine with him, Gboyega Isiaka, fine with him even when Kashamu was alive and causing trouble. Amb. Toye is one who easily go to him to caution him or ask him to do one thing or the other even though you cannot say he is a member of their party.


While some men only move with you when all is well,  Amb. Okanlawon never forsake people when things are rough for them.


He is like a bird we call Eyele in Yoruba Land. (dove). He does not fly away on the day of trouble.


On behalf of myself and my entire family and with love from our heart, I wish you a very happy birthday this 22nd April, 2022. We share the same month but just 3 days different as my birthday  comes up on 25th April as well.


 Although my own theory of birthday is in Psalm 90 verse 12(Teach us to number our days that we may apply our heart unto wisdom).


I pray as you grow older and move gradually closer to 70, may God increase your strength and may you increase in wisdom and good health in Jesus name.Happy birthday sir.Amen. 


Dr. Gbenga Adeoye holds a Ph.D in Management Accounting, a Bachelors Degree in Law (LLB).


An MSc. in Banking and Finance, a diploma in Criminology and Security Studies, 


He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in International Business Law from The University of London.


He is Passionate about Social & Economic Development of Africa and Nigeria.


He believes the quality of people in leadership determines development in any country.


He is the founder and Principal Partner of Gbenga Adeoye & Co.(Chartered Accountants)


He is a member of Egba Economic Summit and Nigerian Economic Summit Group.


He is also a contributor  to National Policy on Taxation, Development Economics  and Good Governance.


He is the founder of Gbenga Adeoye Foundation; an NGO focused on the eradication of poverty, ignorance and sickness in Nigeria especially in the rural areas.


He can be reached via e mail : [email protected]

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