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'Just as nations have history, individuals also have history.
If you do not write your own history, someone else may write it for you, and the picture that may emerge of you may not be the one you wish to be remembered for...'



    MY ANCESTRY AND ITS HISTORICAL BASIS

 
Being a graduate of History, the results of my studies so far indicate that my origins would be traced to the center of the Old Oyo Empire, specifically Oyo-Ile, a location around the open Savanna, which is over 120 kilometres to the northwest of Oshogbo city of Southwestern Nigeria. 
This particular location is in the forests of the extreme northern part of modern day Kwara State between the northern and southern parts of Nigeria.
 My ancestors were bonafide citizens of Oyo-Ile in the Old Oyo Empire, and were among the Oyo people who migrated southwards into the southern forests of Yorubaland as a direct consequence of the collapse of the Old Oyo Empire between 1797 and 1835. 
In Oyo-Ile, my original family home was called Ile Olokun-esin. My ancestors were peasants and merchants and not of royal blood and were never known to be involved in politics. Till today, in practical terms members of my nuclear and extended family don't get involved in politics, even though education and the challenges of modern society have made our members to diversify into various modern professions.
Our great-great grandfather called Fabunmi had some children such as Laniyan, Agboola Layan, Ajibola, Matego, etc. Fabunmi was nicknamed 'Adara bi aya oba', as he was known for his handsomeness. He was also distinguished for his very tall height. On his way from Old Oyo, the Fabunmi family initially settled  for some time at Ile Mogona in Ibadan. In the mid 19th century, the Fabunmi family finally moved on to Oshogbo where they were received by the then Ataoja or King of Oshogbo (who was either Oba Ojo Okege or Oba Oladejobi Matanmi I).
  When the influence of the Islamic religion penetrated the Fabunmi family, Ajibola, one of the children of Fabunmi, discontinued the use of Fabunmi as our family name (because of the pagan connotation of the name 'Fabunmi') and thenceforth began to use his own name, Ajibola, as the surname for his own children. Even though he himself did not accept Islam, he allowed his children to practice the Islamic religion. 
 Historical facts, data and oral traditions that I have collected indicate that four categories of people settled in what was initially known as Ilu Oso Igbo, eventually called Oshogbo:
 
(1) The first category consisted of hunters and a prince of Ijesha blood called Laro or Larooye, who was the 8th Owa Irokin of Ipole Omu, their former abode which they left as a result of famine and lack of water. Some of the people in this group, such as Timehin, were from Old Oyo. Larooye was to become the first Ataoja or king of Oshogbo.

 (2) The second category consisted of 18 migrant families from the Old Oyo empire. These were Oyo people and they formed a group called EGBE OYOLADE. They were also called OMO ELEJIDINLOGUN. My father's family was one of these 18 migrant families and my father's family (amongst some other families of this group of 18 families)  settled in Ile Onimajesin within Oshogbo.
 Two other house settlements associated with our family are Ile Me-ewu and Oja oba. These were house settlements that some families from Ile Onimajesin latter went to settle.
 Both Ile Me-ewu and Oja Oba were actually house settlements that belonged to the mothers of those who latter took off from Ile Onimajesin to settle there.
Ile Onimojesin is our direct family house in Oshogbo till date.

(3) The third category consisted of a group of people called 'Ibolo' who moved into Oshogbo from the sorrounding villages, such as Oba, Okinni, Inisa, etc. My mother's family (from Oba) belonged to this category. Members of this third category are also Oyo Yoruba. My mum's people moved into Oshogbo from a near-by village called Oba (hence they are always greeted as  'Omo oloba' - meaning children or indigenes of Oba). Oba still exists today.
Within Oshogbo, my mum's family settled at Ile Olobedun.

(4) The fourth and last category consist of diverse people from various towns such as Ilesha (those who did not come with the original group) and other parts of Yoruba land including far-flung places as Lagos. 
 Based on the facts and figures presently available to me, all these above mentioned settlements (with the exception of the fourth) were part of the larger demographic changes that took place in Yorubaland in the 19th century after the collapse of the Old Oyo empire[1].





'Likewise, if you do not write about who you are, somehow, someday, somewhere, someone else will talk or write about you.
History has shown that the reputation individuals acquire, is not just all about the perception others have of them, but the sum total of what others think of them and what such individuals express about themselves
.'

                Aspects of Personal Past & Directive Principles

The third in a family of five children, I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and have lived in Lagos for long periods and have consequently done my nursery, primary, secondary and university educations in Lagos. 
 I was born by literate middle-class parents; my father, a retired top-notch lecturer and an engineer by profession, and my very remarkable mum of blessed memory was a teacher at Toibat Schools.
The status of my parents consequently went a long way in influencing my personality to assume an essentially intellectual outlook on life as I had the priviledge to grow up among vast numbers of books, which I did not ignore. 
The simple story of how I initially rose out of what I chose to call childhood intellectual crudeness is this: as soon as I learnt how to crawl, I developed the habit of crawling to my dad's room which was like a library. Initially, I used to either chew, eat or simply damage or destroy the books I found there, but as time passed, I began to stare at the pictures I found in those books. Whenever I could lay my hands on any biro or pencil, I would make attempts to draw whatever I saw in such books. Till today, very funny images of my early childhood inscriptions are still in many books in my dad's room. 
 Then, eventually, curiousity made me to take deeper interest in the pictures I had always been staring at: I began to use the few ABC knows-how which I have started learning at my nursery school to attempt to read the wordings and sentences under them, and this, to this day, is what I remember as my first personal attempt to start reading.
Within a few years after this first attempt at reading, specifically by the time I got to Primary four, I was already an adept reader of novels and had 'devoured' such Pacesetter novels such as On The Road, Naira Power, The Cyclist, Symphony Of Destruction, The Equatorial Assignment, Anything For Money, For Mbatha and Rebecca, The Instrument, Meet Me In Conakry, among others that I have since forgotten.
 
 I did my nursery education in Toria Nursery School and I remember that at the time, I was physically smallish in comparison to my contemporaries, and was known to be shy and timid.
 In the Seventh Day Adventist School which was my primary school, I was a bolder individual. In the report card of my Primary 2, Mrs Chukwuelue, my teacher, wrote, 'His performance is satisfactory, but he likes fighting in the class.' 
My academic performance in primary school was such that I was consistently categorized as part of the serious and brilliant students - even though I never for once got the first position in any class throughout. However in my final year, I was chosen as the Assistant Headboy.
 It is also on record that I did participate in sports, mostly in field events as part of the Yellow House, though with little devotion, with the consequence that my performance was not outstanding.
 In my last two years in primary school I joined the Bible Society and was an active member till we passed out.
 I did my secondary education in the then Jibowu High School, Yaba.
 My experience in secondary school was much more interesting than that of my primary school. Jibowu High school was not the secondary school I was originally posted to from my primary school. I was transferred there from Akoka High School (where I never attended a single lesson) due to the fact that my parents considered the distance of Akoka as a disadvantage, and the fact that I could be more closely monitored at Jibowu High School where my elder siblings were also schooling.
 An important event took place on my first day in my secondary school.
Despite the fact that I was a total stranger among my new classmates, most of the students rose up in protest against the incumbent class captain and persuaded the class teacher to appoint me as the new class captain, which he did. 
Thus, my first day in secondary school saw me emerging as a leader of my class, and that was the beginning of what I would rightly call a brilliant political experience in my secondary school[2].
My fellow students were so satisfied with my performance that I was elected again as the captain in the next class, and, remarkably, from that time I was repeatedly elected class captain till my last year in the school, on which occasion I voluntarily stepped aside for a cool guy called Jamiu, due to the fact that I was already busy with many other leadership positions in the school.
 Unlike in my primary school when I was a member of the Bible Society, I joined the Muslim Students Society (MSS) right from my first year in Jibowu High School, and got elevated to the position of Public Relations Officer (P.R.O.) in S.S.1, and eventually to the position of MSS President the following year (my elder brother was also the president of MSS in the same school during his time). 
My tenure as MSS President lasted more than two years, (May 12, 1994 - May 16, 1996) as against the normal one year tenure of my predecessors. Some have actually asked questions as to why I decided to spend two terms as against the normal one term (one year) as M.S.S. President. Part of the reasons will become evident in the later part of this page.
In addition to my positions as Class Captain and MSS President, I also got involved with the Press Club, using the pen name 'WhiteGold' and soon became the Director of Investigating Unit (D.I.U.), which was the highest position a student could attain in my school's Press Club.
 The sour part of my secondary school experience, however, was my highly unexpected repetition of my S.S.2D class, in 1994. My repetition was controversial, partly as a result of the fact that I convincingly passed very well in all my subjects except Mathematics where I fell below the cut-off mark by only two marks. But the main reason why my repetition was controversial is because a number of my colleagues in the same class failed some other compulsory subjects in addition to mathematics but were promoted on trial. My class teacher wanted me promoted (in fact, that was his decision, by virtue of the bonus marks he awarded to every student) but results had to pass through the desk of my Principal, who selectively voided my own bonus marks, and that was the major factor that brought about my repetition. The rationale behind the decision of the Principal to have me repeated inspite of the prevailing circumstances at the time, remain a mystery, not only to my fellow students, but also to me, till this day.
In contrast to what was like a tradition for repeaters (especially in senior classes) to take transfer to another school due to shame whenever they repeat, I made it clear that I was not going away from my school and I stayed put.
 A lot of people were surprised by the ease and the rapidity with which I adapted to my former juniors in my new class, who themselves immediately elected me as their Class Captain. 
I must confess that I too was baffled that I was not stigmatised in any quarters and I did not notice any drop in the respect people normally gave me. 
  As at the time of my repetition, I was already the President of M.S.S., and I could see that the executives serving under me, who were my fellow S.S.2 classmates, would be promoted to S.S.3 classes while I, the President, would remain in S.S.2. Meanwhile, it became obvious that our M.S.S. tradition did not foresee a situation whereby an incumbent president repeats S.S.2 while his executives get promoted to S.S.3 (the tradition is that MSS President MUST at all times, come from the most senior class), and so I began to have anxieties that I may face insurbodination or even rebellion from some of my executives (truly, I was wary of some strong guys among my executives, such as N.S. - who later turned out to be actually harmless and is still my friend today). I also understood very well, that to resign as M.S.S. President in order to pave way for a new President from S.S.3 would be somewhat degrading for me; somewhat like adding insult to injury for a person who just repeated a class.
I then decided that I was going to stay on as M.S.S. President beyond that point in time. The only persons who could try to stop me were my executives - since even Muslim teachers wouldn't interfere in our change of leadership. Thus, in the next executive meeting, I told my executives (all of them by that time in S.S.3) that since they were already busy preparing for their final exams, there was no need for any new election as it would be just distractions. Moreoever, they were at the tail end of their studies in the school and me too was approaching the completion of S.S.2. They all bought my argument. However, the truth of the matter is that I brought up the issue before a panel of executives who were already sympathetic to me over my repetition of S.S.2, and each of them was already so busy with the unique challenges of final year class that they couldn't think of stepping into my shoes. Thus the meeting and deliberation was just a formalty - convened by me just to be diplomatic - even though I've already made up my mind that I would extend my tenure. Insiders already knew what the outcome would be and understood why it had to be like that. 
A few months later, when a new Principal was appointed to the school, one of her first actions was to appoint me as the Senior Prefect - an action that caused widespread jubilations in the school. 
 Within two weeks of my appointment as Senior Prefect, I got involved in sports and was appointed as the Captain of Green House. The House Master, Mr Daniel Fagbenro, for reasons best known to him, left the selection of Green House representatives largely in my hands and thus, virtually all those who represented the Green House in the 1995 Inter-House sports were selected by me.
 The significance of all these appointments needs mention: at the peak of my secondary school experience, I was at the same time a Class Captain, the Senior Prefect, the President of MSS, the Director of Investigating Unit(D.I.U.) of Press Club, and the Captain of Green House. Obviously, so much power was concentrated in my hands. The implication of this was that I was practically by far the most powerful and influential student in my school; as respected and as feared as most of the teachers were. There is nobody today, who knew me then in these capacities in my secondary school, who will not bear witness that I had this larger-than-life image among my fellow students. 
 Somehow, despite my involvement in so many things, I did not lose focus and rather, I impressed people in all aspects of my involvements. With the kind of image I had, it appeared that people did not expect me to get involved in sports, beyond what was, in practice, the administrative level as the House Captain, yet I had other ideas. I have always had interest in participating in school athletic sports, but at that point in time, there was an obstacle that I had to either overcome or by-pass. 
 While I had always known that I was good at athletics, me and a number of other guys had, at that time, in our spare times, tested our strengths in athletics and, out of the 11 or 12 of us who used to go to the Yaba College of Technology sports center to run, I almost constantly emerged as the 4th or 5th out of 11 or 12. I remember, for sure, that Michael Bassey (the Labour Prefect), Joseph Chukwu(Sports Prefect) and another guy called Dominic, were undisputedly better than me at athletics and I calculated that if I took part in athletics, the first, second and even third positions would not get to me. The results from the practices I had with these guys in the weeks before the 1995 Inter-house Sports indicated that I had no answer to their superiority in athletics. So what did I do? I decided to by-pass the problem posed by them in athletics by withdrawing from athletics  around two weeks before the inter-house sports, and I got involved in field events such as javeline and shot put. My calculation was that I should be able to hold sway in these sports, and then be able to have it on record that there was an area where I was the best.
 No sooner had I began to show my skills in javeline and shot-put than Michael Bassey and Joseph Chukwu, who belonged to rival houses, also began to show interest in those sports too. And, just as I was undisputedly the master of Javeline and Shot-put in my own Green House, these guys also became foremost in these sports in their own respective houses. So how did things turn out in the end? I was never defeated by anybody in the hotly contested Javeline competition where I emerged the best, and I stubbornly clung to my third position in Shot-Put. At the end of the day none of the three of us was a loser: I emerged as the best in Javeline; Joseph as the best in athletics and Michael in Shot put.
 What was the significance of this experience I had with sports in my secondary school days? The truth of the matter is that my fellow students (and some teachers alike) read political meanings to my involvement in sports. First, people expected that since I, the Senior Prefect, was a Primus interperes and a foremost student, I should also hold sway in sports. The involvement of Michael Bassey and Joseph Chukwu (who were huge, strong guys but whose political ranks were lower than mine in the school hierachy) was interpreted by fellow students and others as a challenge to whatever big image I had in the school. The truth of the matter, however, is that the three of us did not see it as such, but it appeared as if we too were eventually carried away by the sentiments that dominated  people's reaction to our involvemet in sports at the time. These factors resulted in people taking interest in our participation in school sports more than they would ordinarily have shown, and it added to the excitement of the whole show.
 I finished my studies on a very honourable note in Jibowu High School and was awarded The Prize for Outstanding Performance As Senior Prefect. The valedictory service at which I was awarded this prize was the first valedictory service the school authorities would hold for any set of graduating students in many years. Reason? It had been quite a long time that any set performed in a way that impressed the school as our own set did. Though our set was also replete with  brilliant students, it was in the political sphere that we really impressed people, through the highly organised, disciplinarian and amazingly effective activities of my prefectship regime which decisively stamped out the trend of indiscipline that the students of the school had become deeply accostumed to, prior to the inception of the set of prefects I led.
 It is quite interesting that my elder siblings, who also passed out from the same secondary school, were also Senior Prefects during their times and my younger siblings, who attended a different secondary school, were also Senior prefects during there own secondary school days.
During my final years in the secondary school, some teachers, especially Mr Mbanewe, used to talk about 'The Ajibola Dynasty' as a reflection of how successive members of our family who passed through the same school became Senior Prefects. 
Similarly, during our primary school days all of us were prefects.

Today, fellow former students of my secondary school remember me  more as an outstandingly effective former Senior Prefect - and of course more than that, depending on their own individual involvements in the different aspects of secondary school life at the time (as I was involved in almost every sphere of school life at the time), as well as their value system. The nickname 'Sir' with which fellow students used to call me then and afterwards, practically became associated with me more than my real name and was purely symbolic of the very high regard that my fellow students had for me.
  After my secondary school many years elapsed during which I went through many of my own important experiences and transformations that are most obvious to me. Those experiences are of such significance and long-term impacts that they deserve being reserved their own individual sections on this site.
  Today, I am a graduate of History and International Studies in Lagos State University[LASU]. However, in the university, unlike my secondary school, I chose to be apolitical and remained so till the end. 
While being vastly popular among fellow department students during my university days, by my own design I remained relatively unknown to lecturers and other members of the school authority. 
 The mode of my conduct throughout my university years indicated that I did not seek popularity or political relevance, but I still became one of the most popular students in my department. 
The major factor that could help explain why I was well known among my fellow course mates in my department (over 1000 students in my class alone) was the non-profit humanitarian endeavours for the progress of fellow students which I initiated and sustained till the end.
It happened like this because I have always had the intention of becoming a powerful beneficial influence to large numbers of people, not through radical activism or through political intervention, but through private humanitarian initiatives whose success will be driven by my own personal resources, enthusiasm and talent as well as by the acceptance of the people who I intend to help.
 In our final graduation ceremonies I won the
Ambassadors' Award for The Best Behaved Student in my university Department of History and International Studies.
 My original ambition is to become a career diplomat, a profession in which I intend to lay great emphasis on the humanitarian aspect, which itself would be an arm of a larger humanitarian mission of mine with which I am convinced that I am destined to bring succour and happiness to vast numbers of people.
It is in pursuance of this noble mission, that I have set the legitimate acquisition of enormous financial and material resources, as one of my fundamental aims in life.
 Much as I am strongly inclined to humanitarianism, I also see myself as a person that will bridge civilizations in future, using my future career as a diplomat to achieve this.
 I am a moderate, practising Muslim and a bonafide member of the Islamic Civilization - but NOT the type that could die or risk my life or kill or support any form of killing, for the sake of religion. I go to almost extreme lengths to avoid religious arguments (inluding avoiding most religious discussions) even with fellow Muslims, as over the years I have gradually confined religion to a largely discreet, personal affair. I am NOT a very religious person and will never be. 
I have a lot of respect for other contemporary civilizations, but absolutely intent on permanently retaining my practising Muslim identity - my Muslim religious identity being a fait accompli. To permanently retain Islam as my religion is one of the fundamental directive principles of my life policy.

My resolute loyalty to my religion does not however mean fanaticism or any tendency towards or sympathy for it. I do not subscribe to any form of radical Islam, and I am certainly not a fundamentalist. My personality and ideals incline much more towards humanism than to religion. To understand my personality, knowing this fact about me is very important as a first step. I pride myself as a moderate and have no admiration or sympathy for the extreme elements of any religion.  Indeed, I perceive extremists not only as the deviant elements of whatever religion they belong to or profess, but also as people who make religion less attractive by giving it a bad image through their immodest interpretations of religion.[3]
Neither does my loyalty to my religion automatically entails an anti-West or anti-Christian mindset. Indeed, if at all I am destined to marry, I have no strong objection to the idea of courting a Christian or a member of the western civilization if my default intention to marry a Muslim does not work out, especially against the background of my past experiences in which I have, for most times, found Christian girls, ladies and women to be substantially more friendly, accomodating, sociable, and hospitable than their Muslim female counterparts. It is not a secret that I have had a far better deal from Christian women than from Muslim women. The essence of this point is that it takes a very modest-minded Muslim man to have this type of attitude towards women of another religion. 
The major basis of my loyalty to my religion is simply that I find its arguments more appealing and, very significantly, because those arguments agree, in a number of important respects, with my own personal philosophy of life and the nature of my creation. 
My conviction is that I would have practically being a Muslim anyway, or eventually allow myself become drawn into it, even if I had not been born as one.
 My own respect for alternative civilizations does not entail me compromising the  practical requiremements of my religion, but rather implies my readiness to live peacefully side by side with members of alternative religions; an acknowledgement that all civilizations have their own positive values; an acknowledgement of their own right to exist, express themselves and impart their teachings, and an acknowledgement of their right to be loved by me and others, much as I also expect to be thought of, and loved by them too.
 I am a strong believer in an ideologically and ethnically pluralistic societal configuration since I reason that the co-existence of different religions and nationalities have a way of checking the growth of extremist tendencies in different groups. 
 My hobbies/interests include poetry, travelling, general reading with special interest in international diplomacy, military affairs and romantic literature, wildlife, astrology, sports, general internet correspondence and television. I also have practical experience in agriculture, dating as far back as 1984, from which time I have been consistently involved in one form or the other of agriculture.
 Over the years, my personality has increasingly inclined towards individualism, with a high degree of reticence, and I have developed a preference for fewer friends and a smaller social circle. These days, at any point in time I don't keep more than two active, loyal friends at a time, and I don't have a penchant for partying. This does not however mean that I can't attend parties - I do, when it is important. In other words, I am an ambivert - the personality type that is in-between an introvert and an extrovert.
I don't smoke and I am strongly anti-alcoholic.
 The view I have of myself in the scheme of things is that I am essentially a good person; that I have an inborn tendency to become important and profoundly great; that I have this messianic role to play in the furtherance of core values and interests of humanity; that there is a very distinct, special mission that God has programmed me to accomplish, such that a time will come when I will unavoidably become very relevant to vast numbers of people.
I foresee that in the end, I will be highly spoken of by significant numbers of people.



END NOTES
[1] Whenever the term 'Oyo' is used, it needs to be remembered that the Old Oyo Empire, which was a monarchical geo-political entity that is now defunct, is different from the Oyo state that was created from the former Western State in 1976.
Also, the term is also used to refer to an ethno-linguistic sub-group of the Yoruba nation. Oyo people can be found in modern Oyo State itself, as well as in Osun, Kwara and Kogi state. Due to the fact that the Old Oyo empire once held sway over some territories now within their boundaries, Oyo people whose dialect have been altered over time in varying degrees due to other languages' interference can also be found in modern states like the Republic of Benin, Togo and Ghana. Within the Republic of Benin, Togo and Ghana, there are Yoruba people whose origins could be traced to the Old Oyo empire.

[2] In later years, especially during my JSS 3 and SS1 years, it was rumoured that I engineered the rebellion which led to the removal of the then Class Captain and my own appointment in his place. There was never anything to substantiate this. On my first day in my secondary school, I entered the class  for the first time at around 9am and the then Class Captain was removed by around 9:30am and I was immediately made the new Class Captain. Being the rather cool-headed type of person who is never forward, it is inconcievable that I could have successfully organised a rebellion in less than an hour. The fact is that discontent with the former Class Captain had come to a head by the time of my arrival and the instinct of members of the class made them to trust me. The former Class Captain, Wasiu Sanusi eventually became one of my best and most trusted friends. Till the end of our secondary school days, he kept defending me and urging me to ignore those rumours. 

[3] I was impressed by this statement made by Margaret Tweddell, 'People who go around "telling the truth" and bluntly dogmatizing on what they believe have fewer converts than they think they should have. They mistakingly believe that putting energy and force into what they say will produce more converts. Actually, more converts come from demonstrating the law than come by dictating the law...'


 
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