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70 Hearty Cheers To Erelu OLUSOLA OBADA C.O.N.

Her Excellency, Erelu (Dr.) Olusola Obada, former Osun Deputy Governor is 70. But she does not look it. She looks refreshingly younger. She celebrated her birthday in Ilesa, in Osun State, a few days ago, in grand style. The party was well attended by all the who is who in Nigeria. They all came to celebrate with a woman they described as a Good woman.

  She is a worthy daughter of Ijesaland. She was a two-term Deputy Governor of Osun State and was also the Minister of State for Defence and acting Minister of Defence in the past Administration from July 2011 till September 11, 2013.


In 2014, Erelu Obada was conferred the National honors award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), in recognition of her dedicated service to the nation.

 Erelu Obada was born into the Agbeja family of Ilesa and Ibodi, in the current Osun State.


She attended Queens School, Ede/Ibadan, and later proceeded to Watford College of Technology, England where she received the Diploma in Advertising Administration with a Second-Class Upper Division. She also attended the University of Buckingham, England, and bagged the LLB (Hons) Second Class Upper Division graduating top of her class. She later attended the Nigerian Law School in 1986, earning the BL(Honors) and was called to the bar.


At the tender age of 24, she became the Advertising Officer of Nigeria Airways, charged with the responsibility of marketing the Airline across the globe, with offices in Rome, Amsterdam, London, Abidjan, and other West African countries. She left the Airline to pursue her dream of becoming a legal practitioner, ultimately becoming the Managing Partner of Olusola Agbeja and Co.


She was at different times the Managing Director of Irongate Finance and Trust Company Limited (a finance company that fully discharged its obligations to the investing public) as well as Materials Management Services Limited.

 Erelu’s father Mr. David Olatunde Agbeja was a celebrated Permanent Secretary in those Good old days in the old Western Region and one-time Managing Director of the National Bank. She’s, therefore, the product of a rich heritage.

All these sterling commercial and entrepreneurial qualities were brought to bear on her political career when she became the Deputy Governor of Osun State, through dint of hard work, dedication, grassroots mobilization and strong belief in God.


All through her tenure in office as Deputy Governor, Erelu Obada radiated enthusiasm, intellectual capacity, and profound humility. She was a peacemaker par excellence and matron of several grassroots associations, including those of Market women, women groups, and youth groups.


As Deputy Governor she performed executive functions within the State and beyond as assigned by the Governor and was also charged with the responsibility of supervising the 30 Local Government Areas and the Area Office of the State for effective delivery of dividends of democracy to the teeming populace at the grassroots level.


Her loyalty to the Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and dedication to state duties knew no bounds and she was severally adjudged by many media organizations as the “Most Loyal Deputy Governor” in the anal of Nigerian political history. She won several awards as a Bridge Builder and Grassroot Mobilizer. Part of her achievements was to interface and ensure the harmonious working relationships between some serving Governors and their Deputy Governors in some states of the Federation.

These attributes resulted in the exponential transformation of Osun State, a state hitherto ravaged by political brigandage and economic stagnation. Other Deputy Governors, therefore, looked up to her for guidance.


Her brand of politics is entirely service-oriented and people-centered. Within the first two years of her tenure as Deputy Governor, she was able to mobilize approximately 20% of womenfolk into mainstream politics in Osun State, and mainstreamed the same incursion into the ruling party at the center, offering guidance, tutelage, and mentoring.


That Erelu is a bridge builder has manifested in the way she helped to unite some traditional rulers, not just in Ijesaland but the entire Osun State. As a philanthropist, some cottage industries engaged in peasant farming and allied productions owe their survival to her generosity. Several indigent students are also benefitting from her annual scholarship awards.


As Minister of State for Defence/Acting Minister of Defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from July 2011 till September 11, 2013, Erelu was charged with the day to day running of the Ministry of Defence towards meeting its constitutional responsibilities of formulating and executing National Defence Policy, maintaining officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces in a state of combat readiness on land, sea, and air, contribute towards peace and stability in the world through the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations and maintain a proper balance in Arms and Men to meet the needs of internal and external security of the country.


Erelu was instrumental to the establishment of the Federal Government presence in Osun State by the construction of a battalion strength Army Barrack at Ibodi-Ijesa and the construction of a Water Dam at Kajola-Ijesa for the provision of water to Ilesa and its environs (which had not had running water for over 35years).


The Governor and Erelu pioneered in the country the implementation of the Free Meal Scheme for schools in Osun State, an initiative created to increase the level of school enrolment through enhanced nutritional levels with the aim of promoting their mental alertness and general wellbeing.

None of the aforementioned achievements has been as profound as her revolutionary footprint in the Nigerian Agricultural sector. Erelu was appointed into the National Cocoa Development Committee, through which her commitment earned her the sobriquet Advocate of Cocoa Rebirth. At the time Nigeria was mostly dependent on oil and gas revenue, her appointment as the Chairman of National Cocoa Development Sub-Committee on the Alternative Uses of Cocoa, as well as Alternative Sources of Funding for Cocoa Development, created an elixir for Nigeria’s economic reinvention.


She deployed resources and influenced the staging of the first National Cocoa Rebirth Program in Ibadan in 2005, an event that placed cocoa in the front burner of national discuss and has ever since remained a watershed in Nigeria’s Agro-Allied evolution.


Her passion for this agricultural sub-sector earned her several accolades from the Presidency after she successfully facilitated the International Africa Cocoa Summit held in Abuja. The President of Sao Tome and Principe during the event described her

as a blessing to the African Cocoa Economy, while the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) described her as an “inspiration”. Her exploits have also earned her recognition plus an international award by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)in Rome, Italy.


Erelu Obada was one of the most hardworking, loyal cabinet members in the President Goodluck Jonathan Presidency and was the Chairman of Committee on Protocol and Entertainment for the Presidential Campaign Committee in 2011 and 2015.


She was appointed as a Delegate/Elder Statesman to the National Conference, Abuja 2014 which deliberated and took far-reaching decisions on the future of the federal republic of Nigeria.


In May 2015, she was appointed the pioneer Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the Federal University, Dustin-Ma.


Erelu Obada was conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) degree by Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho and is presently a Member, Board of Trustees of the People’s Democratic Party.


Erelu Olusola Obada is happily married to Otunba (Dr.) Felix Babatunde Obada and they are blessed with children and grandchildren.

CityPeople Magazine wishes Erelu Obada a Happy Birthday and many more years in good health and Happiness...

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