Management of Relationship: Ralph Adeola Alabi and Others By Engr Akintunde Zedomi

Paper presented at the 10th RALPH ADEOLA ALABI LECTURE by Engr. (Chief) Akintunde Sean Zedomi FNSE, FNIM, F.IoD,NIMechE, F.AutoEI, F.CostE, FNIPE, MIPLantE.

I need not bore you with basic definitions which i am sure is known to us all. MANAGEMENT is the science or act of studying things with a view to using the result to achieve a set goal which again can be Cultural or Social. In this case we are looking at the behavioural attitude of someone who can pass as a Mentor.

RELATIONSHIP is a comparative attitude between or amongst people. In this case we have a MENTOR – MENTEE Relationship.

My paper has a setting of The Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) Lagos branch which obviously is the Mother branch of Engineers in Lagos State. It is permanently domiciled within the University of Lagos Campus for the purpose of members carrying out their professional functions. NSE had its office in NITEL Compound along Herbert Macaulay Street in Ebute Meta, almost opposite a popular social outlet then called Casino hall, Yaba. I recall that as a young primary school boy, i would cross the Herbert Macaulay street, pass by this famous Casino hall along Queen street into Akinwunmi street to go my Primary school at Ladi – Lak School.

The Nigeria Society of Engineers is currently domiciled in Victoria Island – No. 1, Engineering Close, Off Idowu Taylor street where till date, it remains a liaison office in Lagos.

Meanwhile, the population of active, registered Engineers had grown to a large number coupled with the Traffic situation traversing The University of Lagos campus, the need for seeking alternative meeting venue became inevitable. Then came the birth of where we are all seated today called The Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) Ikeja branch which was the brain Child of Engr. Chief (Dr.) Ralph Adeola Alabi FNSE, F.IoD, FNIMechE, OON. The Ariwajoye of Akureland in Ondo State. A Proud and devoted product of Technical College, Ibadan in Oyo State. (Now called The Polytechnic, Ibadan).

We have other old students seated including myself in this hall now. This formed the basis of our Engineering Practice till date. From here young Adeola Alabi was recruited into Guinness Nig. Ltd as Assistant Technical Officer (ATO) – in – Training having acquired the OND (Mech. Eng.) and C & G intermediate (Mech. Eng.).

As was the practice those days, armed with the Guinness Scholarship, he went abroad from where he returned back to Guinness Nigeria with a B.Sc. (Mech. Eng.) degree. He was a College graduate from St. Joseph College, Ondo where a Past President of NSE – Engr. Ademola Olorunfemi FNSE, FNIM was his college mate although Ademola did not meet him in college but the then Governor of Ondo State Dr. Mimiko was Engr. Alabi’s junior but senior to Engr. Ademola who he eventually made Commissioner for Agriculture and later SSA to the Governor.

It is pertinent to postulate that it was not all about Engr. Ralph Adeola Alabi alone. There was a Master schemer, an articulate Ijesha man, who for many years was the General Secretary of NSE which he took over from Engr. Ife Akintunde FNSE, FNICE, F.AEng. – a Past President of NSE and a Construction Engineering guru currently resident in Ibadan. Engr. Olu Awoyinfa FNSE, FNICHE, F.AEng. at a time was the Secretary General of WFEO – World Federation of Engineering Organisation. He was a highly respected Engineer and became NSE Orator. He instructed me to go and form NSE Apapa branch which was admitted as the 41st branch of NSE on 16th March, 2001 by the special Grace of God and the cooperation of colleagues like Engr. Senator Chief Femi Kila FNSE, FNICE, and Engr. Dr. O. J. Mbonu FNSE, FNIMechE, F.AEng. and college classmates like our Guest of honour today – Alhaji Babatunde Balogun when he was then the Vice Chairman of Apapa local government (named The Golden local government). Hence NSE Apapa branch is called Golden branch. Engr. Olu Awoyinfa is another Mentor. We his boys are seated here in the hall.

Other Mentors include Engr. Chief Akin Oludaiye FNSE, FNIEEE – my big boss in NEPA those days. He took over from Engr. Ralph Adeola Alabi as Chairman Ikeja branch. An astute Electrical Engineer. Engr. Chief Akin Oludaiye was the inaugural Chairman of NSE Kano branch with Engr. Mohammed Khaleel Inuwa FNSE, FNIM, F.AEng. as the general secretary and later went on to be a Past President of NSE after his Commissionership in kano. Today as we speak, Engr. Khaleel Inuwa is my Deputy President in NIM. Engr. Chief Akin Oludaiye was transferred from Kano to Enugu as the Director of Distribution and later to Ibadan.

He called me ‘Oloju-come-and-do’ and i met my wife in his office in Ibadan. She was one of his account officers then. He was later transferred to Lagos where he took over from Engr. Obaseki FNSE when Obaseki died whilst playing Golf at Ikeja Golf Club. Engr. Akin Oludaiye’s boys who later became M.D/CEO of EKO, IKEJA, IBADAN Electricity Distribution entities would have been in the hall today if not for the demise of one of us – Engr. Abiodun Ajifowobaje FNSE, FNIEEE, former M.D/CEO Ikeja Electricity and former National Chairman NIEEE. A pleasant and fine Electrical Engineer like his Mentor.

Engr. Chief Akin Oludaiye FNSE is the father of one of us Engr. Mrs. Abiola Kosegbe FNSE – Chairman NIEE Lagos Chapter and current General Manager LASBCA (Lagos State Building Control Agency). She is a member of NSE Ikeja branch.
Engr. Chief Akin Oludaiye FNSE was a Mentor to us all.

The person who took over from Engr. Akin Oludaiye as Chairman NSE Ikeja branch is my good friend and colleague at Country Club Ikeja. Engr. Chike Morah FNSE, FNICHE was another sound Engineer who never rocked the boat at Ikeja branch. He managed the branch with the same zeal as he learnt from those before him until sickness took him away from us. Engr. Ademola Olorunfemi FNSE, FNIM, was the President of NSE when Chike passed – on.

Permit me to speak from one of Prof. Pat Utomi books where he was one of seven Professors who facilitated a Leadership Training in US for local government Chairmen from a major Nigerian Southwestern State. In the course of the Training, he averted to a January 13, 2018 column he wrote about how Power literally damages the brains of people who wield it and causes them to be dissociated from reality.

A few of the Chairmen resorted to prayers. But as he went on to expound the research on the psychology of power, the less resistant they became.
Almost everyone he knew wonders why people in power change radically; why they become so utterly disconnected from reality that they suddenly become completely unrecognizable to people who knew them before they got to power; why they get puffed-up, susceptible to flattery, and intolerant of even the mildest, best-intentioned censure; why they appear possessed by inexplicably malignant forces; and why they are notoriously insensitive and self-absorbed.


With Engr. Ralph Adeola Alabi, he related with us his boys & girls (awa omo Aba) very closely. Any difference was promptly brought to the fore, discussed and whatever decision reached promptly effected and disposed off.

Led by our Egbon, Engr. Grp. Capt. John Obakpolor FNSE, F.AEng. I am proposing that we take off this annual function of Ralph Adeola Alabi lecture from the branch as he is a thorough breed NSE Man. The way and manner NSE Ikeja branch handles this function belittles his profile. This is unacceptable to us (Omo Aba).

I am equally using this opportunity to call on Members of NSE Lagos branch to please immortalize our hard fighting colleague – late Engr. Prof. Musibau Salau FNSE, FNICE, FNIStructE, F.AEng. former Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos. Akoka. Lagos. For many years Chairman Technical Committee of NSE and COREN. He was a former Chairman NSE Lagos branch. Engr. Dr. James Akanmu FNSE, FNICE, FNIProcE took over from him as Chairman of NSE Lagos branch.

We look forward to both Engr. Dr. James Akanmu and Engr. (Prince) ‘Biodun Oyedepo FNSE, FNIMechE, FNISafetyE – former Chairman NSE Lagos branch, my Ottun, and the National Chairman NISafetyE to please lead us in this assignment.

May God help us all in our daily lifes.
Let us put a smile on somebody’s face daily.
This is what Engr. Chief (Dr.) Ralph Adeola Alabi FNSE, F.IoD, FNIMechE, OON lived for till he passed – on, on a day like today.
How many people have you Mentored?
Let us not be POWER (or POSITION) drunk.



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