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    Thursday, September 29, 2022

    New Dawn in Ijan Ekiti as Top Administrator Ascends Throne

    Ijan Ekiti, an ancient town in Ekiti State is set to open a new chapter as a senior Manager at the Cambridge University Press, Prince Oyebanji Lawrence Aladesuyi, sets to ascend the Onijan Stool.

    Exactly a year ago, the sunset, albeit unexpectedly, in Ijan Ekiti, Gbonyin Local Government of Ekiti State, when the community’s erstwhile charismatic traditional ruler, Oba Samuel Oyewole Fadahunsi, bid the world a goodbye. Since then, the atmosphere in the slippery town has been quite and lull because of the vacuum created by the exit of the monarch.  Few weeks ago, excitement suddenly rent the air following the news that another another illustrious son of the town, Prince Oyebanji Lawrence Aladesuyi, has been chosen as the next Onijan.

    To most people in the town, the pronouncement of Prince Aladesuyi as Oba-elect was an answer to months of prayer that God should choose for the town a credible successor to Oba Fadahunsi.

    A son of the soil, Bukola Ajayi, captured the mood when she spoke to our correspondent. “I think God loves Ijan Ekiti and He doesn’t want us to remain without a leader that would give us direction for a long time. Beyond the timeliness of the selection, we are equally happy and excited that the person coming in is one of our best.

    Prince Aladesuyi is not only a good man for the job, he’s an intellectual and a progressive-minded individual that stands a better chance of taking our community to another level. Since September last year, all the sons and daughters of Ijan have been on the lookout for the lucky Prince who will wear the crown. To this end, all eyes were on the kingmakers and various royal houses, whose responsibility it was to give the community the best of the Princes that will fit the exalted royal stool.

    The last occupier of the stool, Late Oba Fadahunsi, a culture enthusiast came from the United States of America to ascend the throne on September 22, 2002 and ruled for 19 years before his death at age 70. His tenure was a mixed bag of blessings to the community.

    Like other towns in Ekiti, for their new king, the Ijan Ekiti people were not only looking for just an educated King but an acceptable leader with track records that would appeal to all. Though subtle, the race was competitive amongst the princes from the different ruling houses, who all paraded robust profiles, laced with impressive experience in private and public service.

    According to Kayode Oluwadare, a youth leader from the town, the attributes and quality of Obas in many Ekiti towns, has spurred other communities waiting to select their kings to always look far and further for the best. “As a cosmopolitan society with a history of having the most educated people in the country, it would be an anti-climax for any community to throw up one nonentity or colourless person as a king, especially now that the world is fast changing. 

    With this background, everybody can now understand why Ijan Ekiti has suddenly worn a new look with the emergence of Prince Aladesuyi Adebanji Lawrence, one of our shining stars, as the next Onijan. With him as our king, we are not in doubt that Ijan Ekiti will assume a new height,” Oluwadare said.

    Conveying the state government’s approval for the appointment of the new king, the Executive Governor of the state, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi said the state executive council has approved the appointment of Prince Adebanji Lawrence Aladesuyi as the new Onijan of Ijan-Ekiti. The letter addressed to the Onijan-in-Council reads: ‘’I wish to inform you that the Ekiti state Executive Council has approved the appointment of Prince Adebanji Lawrence Aladesuyi as the new Onijan of Ijan-Ekiti’’.

    Prince Aladesuyi was said to be the 1st, male child of Omo-Oba Aladesuyi Joel (Former Olori Odo of Ijan-Ekiti). According to available record sighted by this reporter, Aladesuyi Joel is a direct son of Alabi Fagbamigbe, while Alabi Fagbamigbe is the son of Fatube, a direct son of Ayelugbehin the father of Olajiga, Tinuade and Fatube. Ayelugbehin is a direct son of Oba Afayagbekun.

    A man of many roles and accolades, the new Onijan of Ijan-Ekiti, HRM Aladesuyi is currently the Country Manager with Cambridge University Press. An astute strategist and lover of community development, he has been at the forefront, in conjunction with other prominent Ijan sons and daughters, especially his Late Brother, Engr. James Yemi Aladesuyi, to pursue developments in Ogbon-Omo and Ijan-Ekiti as a whole.

    The new Royal Father, graduated from the University of Lagos in 1983 with Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacology and followed it later from the same University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Mass Communication. In 2001, Prince Aladesuyi was back on campus, this time to arm himself with a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. Meanwhile, between 1990  and 1994, the well-traveled Prince acquired certificates in some short courses in management at the University of Jos.

    As part of his moves to lay a strong foundation for his professional career, Aladesuyi, in October, 1990, attended many management courses at the Farmitalia Training School in Milan. This was followed with African Publishers training in Zimbabwe in August 2003 and Frankfurt Publishing training from 1998 – 2018.

    In 2014, this versatile Ekiti prince caused a stir at a global event when he delivered a paper at the International Publishers Association Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Besides, he has been delivering papers at the Sharjah (Dubai) International Conference from 2018 – 2021 every year.

    An administrator per excellence, Prince Aladesuyi was appointed Managing Director Literamed Publications Ghana Ltd in 1989 and made a huge success of it having led the leading publications group in Nigeria in similar position. For several years, he has been a familiar face at international conferences in South Africa, Nigeria and the UK.

    Among other associations and leadership positions occupied, this Ijan Ekiti Prince is a Council Member, Nigeria Publishers Association since 2006 to date, Chair, Anti – Piracy committee, Nigerian Publishers Association and member (Representing Africa), International Publishers Association, Geneva, Switzerland.

    At Cambridge University Press, where he currently occupies the position of Country Manager, Aladesuyi has, at different times, served as Pupil Publishing Editor (Lagos 1985), Representative North East (Jos 1987 –1994), Manager Benin (1995), Publications Officer (FIIRO, Lagos 1996), and Publishing Manager – Managing Director (Lagos 2007). Others are; Deputy Managing Director, Onitsha 2010 – 2014 and Executive Secretary NPA, 2014 – 2015.

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