Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, will lead an array of dignitaries to the 40th anniversary of the famous social club, Association of Friends, which will kick off on Monday, November 12 with a public lecture in Lagos.
The lecture entitled “Restructuring, to be or not to be” is also expected to be attended by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, royal fathers, captains of industry, politicians and professionals.
The club Secretary, Bayo Babatunde, who disclosed this at a press conference in Lagos, listed other programmes for the 40th anniversary celebration to include Community Health Intervention within the Maryland, Mende and Oningbongbo neighbourhood as well as a visitation to an orphanage.
He said: “We shall be hosting the Anniversary Business Summit on Tuesday, November 13 and On Thursday, November 15, the finals of the anniversary games will be played and medals and trophies will be awarded to winners.
“An inter-religious prayer session will take place in the morning of Friday, November 16, while in the evening, the club will host friends, well-wishers to a special Anniversary Suya Night in honour of the founders/elders of the club with a distinguished member, Adewale Ayuba, who will be on the band stand.
The Anniversary Gala Night will take place on Sunday, November 18, where the pioneer members will be honoured and new members inducted in a mixed programme of fun, comedy and music extravaganza by another distinguished member, King Sunny Ade on the band stand.”
He said the Association of Friends popularly known as “Up Asso” came out of a vision of some young men, eight of them who decided in 1978 to concretise their fledging relationship and dominance of social space into a sustainable institution that will outlive them.
He gave the names of the young men who are now in their late 70s and early 80s as Alhaji Sule Onabiyi, Festus Adeleke Adesina, Akinlawon Akanni Abiola, Oba Fatai Irawo-Ogunsi, Late Prince Ayinde Adesiyan, Evangelist Kola Sanyaolu, Mr. Sunday Adigun.
“As the name implies, Association of Friends was formed by jolly childhood friends and you have to be recommended by two friends amongst other qualities before admission into probation in the club.
“That condition precedence is maintained as integral part of our admission policy. We have in our membership an elected ex-governor, royal fathers, serving speaker and distinguished legislators (serving and past), captains of industries, retired top chiefs, commissioners, directors bad senior management of corporate giants, high ranking politicians and commercial entrepreneurs.
“Ours is an equal opportunity club, where any member can aspire to any position once he can demonstrate capacity and competence. Like any formal organisation, the key to our continued leadership is discipline; we adhere to our constitution which provides the tools for both the management and discipline of our fledging club.
“It is worthy of note that every development that we have embarked upon from inception to date has been fully financed through the generosity of our members, while we are not averse to grants from government as a major social club; we have not been privileged for such yet”, he added.