For Obasanjo, Its Love Actually! About Bola, The Apple of His Eyes


HIGHLIFE    with LANRE ALFRED 08076885752

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Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl, said Stephen Leacock, late British-born Canadian writer and economist, in his famous work, Literary Lapses. Leacock’s words unarguably strike a point in the life of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Baba is in love!

After the devastating death of Stella, former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s wife, in 2005, conjectures and speculations arose as to who would step in as first lady. Trust Baba, as the former Head of State turned democratic president is popularly known, he did not publicly announce that he had chosen a new wife. For the remainder of his time in office, he was without an official first lady but those who knew his appetite for bright and beautiful women knew that he just didn’t want to rock the boat. Since he left office though, one woman has become a permanent fixture in his episodic existence.

Her name is Bola. In her early 60s, Bola used to be based in England before she returned home after their hush-hush wedding in 2009 to take firm and full control of Baba’s vast household. Said to be in the good books of Baba’s many children because of her matriarchal appeal, Bola cooks the former President’s meals and is always on hand to attend to his endless stream of guests and Baba’s many needs.

Ibidun Ajayi-Ighodalo is well loved, unlike most women with her condition. The wife of the founder of Trinity House, Pastor Itua Ighodalo, enjoys better fate than most women. Her in-laws are not breathing down her neck neither do they harass her for her inability to get pregnant. Thus while most other childless women are despised like the dehydrated sea of infertility and scorned like the post-menopausal part of the earth, Ibidun’s husband and her in-laws accord her utmost loyalty and love.

Thus even though she is yet to be gifted with the fruit of the womb, she is under no pressure to get pregnant and her husband is under no pressure to take a second wife. It is for this reason that Ibidun celebrates her in-laws. She appreciates their support and love towards her knowing that several other women in her shoes are going through hell in the hands of their husbands and in-laws. They make life unbearable for the woman, not putting into consideration her personal struggle and suffering.

“The depth of their kindness is like none other. A rare kind of love called unconditional. Despite my challenges with infertility, I have never been discriminated against. If I had to do it again, I would choose this family in every life because they are simply awesome. I celebrate the best In-laws ever…the Ighodalos.”

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. Courage makes it both a moral duty and pleasure to speak one’s mind. And the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Frederick Obateru Akinruntan, understands this immutable fact. The highly sophisticated Yoruba monarch is known for his penchant to speak the truth no matter whose ox is gored. Recently, in an interview, the Olugbo claimed to be the owner of the Yoruba nation.

The late Oba of Benin wrote his autobiography which he titled ‘I Remain, Sir, Your Obedient Servant.’ He revealed everything in the book. Oba of Benin said, the Olugbo is the only recognised Yoruba Oba. I am the owner of Yoruba nation. Oba of Benin says Ugbo, very close to Okitipupa, is the owner of the South-West. I know many Obas would be asking ‘why is the Olugbo saying this?’ But I am only saying the truth. We have some similarities with the Benin.”

The current chairman of the Yoruba Obas Conflict Resolution Committee owns impressive stakes in the oil industry that make him arguably the richest African king. In 2014, Forbes Magazine put Oba Akinruntan’s net worth at $300 million.