Igbotako Osooro in Okitipupa Local Government hosted “the who is who” in the Nigerian political firmament on Sunday, the 27th December as the amiable Gen. Olu Bajowa (RTD) celebrated his 80th birthday.

Ahead of the church service to mark the birthday ceremony, a pivotal event of significance to the celebration, the launching of a radio station established by the celebrant held at Ayeka, also in Okitipupa Local Government Council.

Motivated to revive the dying culture and tradition of the good people of Ikale, Ilaje , Apoi and Ijaw of Ondo South Senatorial district, Gen. Bajowa has deemed it fit to establish an electronic broadcast outfit , a radio station branded ‘Awawa ‘ FM 94. 1. The station was established in conjunction with Iye Lumure Foundation.

The inauguration of the radio station which was a major highlight of the birthday programme of Gen. Bajowa was done by Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the Executive Governor of Ondo State. Also in attendance was the Arole Oodua, The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja the second.

Governor Akeredolu saluted the high level of commitment of the Jagunmolu of Ikaleland to national and community development, stressing that it is noteworthy that at an advanced age, the General still deemed it fit to arouse public interest in cultural reawakening through the establishment of the radio station.

In his address, General Bajowa, disclosed that the aim of establishing the radio station was “to complement the effort of Government in reviving and prompting Ikale, Ilaje, Ijaw-Apoi and Ijaw-Arogbo culture, tradition, custom and by extension the Yoruba heritage, which are now becoming abandoned or extinct.

“We also identify ourselves with the government effort to make information an important tool for social development and dissemination of the benefit of democracy at the grassroots level.”

He, therefore, assured the governor that the station, “will support the administration in the provision of necessary information on your government programmes and actions.

At the thanksgiving session to mark his birthday at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Igbotako, the people’s General, family members and well placed Nigerians could not hide their appreciation to God Almighty; there was dancing and singing to show gratitude to God over the General’s 80 years sojourn and achievement on mother earth.

In his sermon, the Lord Bishop of Diocese On The Coast Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion), the Rt. Rev’d Olaoluwa Oluseyi Pirisola, charged the General to make the rest of life the best of his life.

He admonished him to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness as well as supporting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The minister called on him to serve him more diligently for the rest of his life.

At the reception which followed immediately at the Utako residence of the celebrant, the Chairman of the occasion and former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo showered encomiums on Prince (Gen) Oluyemi Bajowa whom he described as a committed and loyal gentleman officer and a bosom friend. He did not forget to mention the fact that the invite extended to him by Gen. Bajowa to attend his son’s christening saved him from being killed by coupists who assassinated Gen. Murtala Muhammed in 1976. Chief Obasanjo noted with relish, “I want to say something about Olu either he knew it or he didn’t not know. When Dimka coup came, if Olu had not been what and what he is, I would have gone with the coup.

“Let me tell you the story.

“Olu is very respectful. He is very conscious of our culture. He had a child, a boy, and wanted to name the child after me. He had to call me early in the morning, that morning that Dimka struck.

“And because Olu said he was coming, I had to wait a little bit. I waited beyond the time I would have gone out.

“Olu then came, he made the request and I granted the request.

“So, I was a little bit late in going on the route that I normally took to work. And Reinumuje went ahead of me and they thought it was me and they shot his car. They shot his car, Murtala was shot.

“Indirectly, that is how Olu Bajowa saved my life,”

“Olu is a dependable soldier boy and I am proud to associate with him. I was the Chair of his 70th birthday, I have chaired his 80th birthday and by the grace of God , I shall also be here to chair his 90th birthday anniversary.”

Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey was on ground to serenade the exciting atmosphere with his brand of highlife cum Juju music to the delight of the guests at the event.

Major highlight of the programme was the cutting of the birthday cake by Gen. Olu Bajowa, which was coordinated by Chief Obasanjo.

Dignitaries who were on ground to celebrate with Gen. Bajowa were Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Rufus Kiladejo, Abodi of Ikale, Oba George Faduyile, Jegun of Idepe Okitipupa, Oba Micaheal Obatuga Adetoye, Rebuja of Osooro, Oba Bajowa, Majuwa of Ilutitun, Oba Earnest Idepefo, Brig Musa Sagir, Rear Admiral Akin Aduwo, Chief Emeka Okonkwo, Rt. Rev’d OlaOluwa Oluseyi Pirisola, Prof. Dayo Faduyile, Prof. Adegoju, Hon. Iroju Ogundeji, Mr. Donald Ojogo, Commissioner for Information, Ondo State, Retired Commissioner of Police, Abayomi Akeremale and a host of others.