Yesterday 23rd October at the Eko FM Multipurpose Hall, Agidingbi the Iyaloja playlet was launched. The book was written by actor and dramatist Omotayo Aderinola.
The book is an academic approach to immortalize a worthy amazon and conceived to engender generational transmission of the good virtues of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji for the youths of today to learn from in an intellectual entertaining manner.
The launch opened with the National Anthem and prayer from the Very Reverend Ayo Oyadotun, Chaplain of the Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, Ikeja. The chairman of the occasion Hon. Yakub Balogun who is representing Lagos Island at the Federal House of Representatives noted that Late Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji was a true amazon of the people, her kindness and virtue extended beyond market women and men.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Communities and Communications, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan representing Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, eulogized the virtue of the late amazon whose role during and after the military era has influenced and given birth to so many leaders that are producing more leaders. He also made it known that late Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji at 31 years of age was a great grassroots mobilizer which she was tutored by the great leader of that time Madam Alimotu Pelewura, that shows that leadership requires apprenticeship which youths of today must embark upon before aspiring for leadership role.
Mrs. Aderonke Adele, who represented the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Abolanle Ambode was also on hand to extol the virtues of Alhaja Mogaji and urged everyone present to buy at least one copy of the book. The Honourable Commissioner for Women Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Lola Akande described the late Iyaloja as an icon of women empowerment and appreciated the author for displaying ingenuity in identifying a creative approach to honouring the Iyaloja. Other dignitaries that graced the event include the Yeye Sewa of Lagos, Chief Mrs Kemi Nelson represented by Hon. Dayo Gbajabiamila, the Iyaloja of Ikeja and the Lagos State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Otunba Henry Ajomale was represented by Chief Funso Ologunde, the Vice-Chairman of the APC Lagos-West.
The chief host, Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu the grandson of Alhaja Mogaji, a member of Lagos State House of Assembly spoke at great length on some virtues he learned from the late Iyaloja and very happy to be part of the book launching because he believes the book will impart the world greatly and disclosed that mama life story must be dramatised to inspire generations to come. He also used the occasion to eulogize Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, espousing his qualities as a father, a leader, a great and distinguished mentor, and also his birthday mate.
The author, Mr. Omotayo Aderinola explained that the greatest virtue he will personally adopt to his life from mama’s virtue is to be a voice to the voiceless because mama stood for the voiceless Nigerians when Nigeria needed one. He also promised to have the drama version of the book developed into a movie very soon.
The compere, veteran actor Prince Jide Kosoko, was in his element as he spoke glowingly of the late Iyaloja and brought the hall alive with his characteristic humour and enjoined the audience to embrace every effort to promote the virtues Alhaja Mogaji stood for. Another veteran dramatist, Otunba Tunji Sotimirin who reviewed the book, could be reported to have rendered a solo performance of the play as his review was not only complete but he captured the essence of every act in the play as he led the audience through the scenes. He particularly commended the playwright for deftly blending fiction with real life occurrences to heighten the drama effect.
Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji was born on the 23rd October 1916 in Lagos State, Southwestern Nigeria. She was the mother of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Prior to her appointment as the President-General, Association of Commodity Market Women and Men of Nigeria, she was the vocal leader of the market women’s association in Lagos State. In recognition of her contributions to trading in Nigeria, she was bestowed with National awards by the Federal Government of Nigeria. She also received several Honorary Doctorate Degrees from recognized Nigerian Universities, such as Ahmadu Bello University and the University of Lagos. She died on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the age of 96 in her home at Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State and was buried at Ikoyi Vaults and Gardens in Lagos State.
A posthumous 101 birthday cake was cut on behalf of Mama by special guests and the book was unveiled by the Governor’s representative, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan.