HomeSocial EngineeringA Tribute to Dr. Babajide Agunbiade on the First anniversary as Atobaase...

    A Tribute to Dr. Babajide Agunbiade on the First anniversary as Atobaase of Yorubaland and Conferment as Asiwaju of Fiditi.


    Share post:

    - Advertisement -

    By Olajide Olanipekun

    When a man’s trajectory in life is guided by the pursuit of truth, justice, fairness, right over might, and selflessness, the man’s life is bound to be driven by the desire to help others to succeed and achieve their goals. The individual that enjoys assisting others to make their lives more meaningful will always be in the euphoria of ‘being too happy in thine happiness’ as written by John Keats in his popular poem Ode to a Nightingale. Such is the existence of Dr. Babajide Ademola Agunbiade – the Atobaase of Yorubaland whose main driven force is the happiness of others and helping people to achieve their life ambitions.

    Born in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, Nigeria, over Five Decades ago, Dr. Babajide Ademola Agunbiade is the scion of Late Solomon Emiola Agunbiade of the Are-Ago Compound, Fiditi, AFIJIO Local Government of Oyo State. His mother is Mrs. Mary Olufunke Agunbiade from Ibadan. The Are-Ago Compound where Dr. Babajide Agunbiade hails from is a Chieftaincy abode of the Are-Ago of Fiditi, one of the 17 Kingmakers of the OniFiditi of Fiditi Royal Stool. He grew up with his Uncle – Professor Ajiboye Agunbiade, a Professor of Geography and Regional Planning at the University of Ibadan who was a former Student’s Union President of the University of Ibadan during his student’s day and one time National President of the Fiditi Progressive Union – the foremost socio-cultural umbrella body of all Fiditians at home and in the Diaspora.

    Dr. Babajide Agunbiade’s journey as a Scholar and Engineer took off immediately after his graduation with a combined honors degree in Industrial and Production Engineering from the University of Ibadan. He obtained a Master’s Degree in System Engineering from GE Edison Advanced Engineering Development Program (EEDP) in Crotonville, N.Y., USA. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management and MBA from American International University (AIU) in Houston, Texas, USA. He bagged a Ph.D. in Leadership and Business from Higher Place Cristian University (HPCU) Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is also a Ph.D. Scholar in Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University.

    - Advertisement -

    Today, Dr. Agunbiade is one of only 13 subject experts in Subsea Production Systems globally. He has interest and ownership in several oil companies. He is also an executive director of one of the largest oil service companies in the world, which is also the largest manufacturer of oilfield equipment in the world. Dr. Babajide Agunbiade’s over 20 years experience as world-leading expert in Oil and Gas production secures his position as an Oil and Gas magnate. In Nigeria, he is a COREN (Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria) registered Engineer and a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE). He is a member of numerous Engineering professional bodies both in and outside Nigeria. Dr. Agunbiade is an accomplished businessman with many business interests ranging from real estate, trading, energy infrastructure, and shipping to luxury design. His intervention in the world’s energy space makes him a cynosure of all eyes in the world Oil and Gas industry.

    As a humanist, I name Dr. Babajide Agunbiade a Nightingale. What do I mean by naming him, Nightingale? Outside the literary work of the renowned Poet – John Keats earlier referred to, the Nightingale as a bird has a long history with symbolic associations with creativity, nature’s purity and goodness. Nightingale is said to be the voice of nature. Apart from Nightingale’s beautiful voice, the bird is known to become very territorial during the breeding season and aggressively defend its nest territory. Hence, a person who is very kind to someone who is ill could be described as a Nightingale. Florence Nightingale, the nursing hero and reformer, was such a person.

    Illness which could be defined as a condition of being unhealthy in body and mind, is not associated with human beings alone. A condition that makes a society not to function properly and optimally is an illness. It is not in doubt that Nigerian society is ill today and in dire need of Nightingale, who will be kind and nurse it and make it functions optimally. Dr. Babajide Agunbiade is the Nightingale of our time, given the critical roles he has been playing in nursing the ailing society back to normalcy with his philanthropic interventions.

    A founder of the Agunbiade Foundation, Dr. Babajide Agunbiade has been passionate about supporting education through the provision of mentorship for students. As a humanist, he has differentiated himself as a being who is passionate about charitable causes. Dr. Agunbiade had donated about 30,000 books a Libraries in Nigeria and the USA. He had built several Water systems in some impoverished parts of Nigeria, among other interventions in infrastructural developments. He had rebuilt a Church in Fiditi to make it habitable for the worship of the Almighty, he renovated the Assembly Hall of Fiditi Grammar School, he bought several Computer sets as well as a motorized mower for Fiditi Grammar School besides several monetary donations for educational advancement in the school. During the 2020 Fiditi Day Celebration, he donated a huge amount of money towards the roofing of Fiditi Town Hall under construction.

    As recently as May 2022, Dr. Agunbiade donated handsomely towards a developmental project at Oyo Premier Club during the investiture of my humble self as the 26th President of the foremost recreation Club in Oyo town. One can go on and on to itemize the good deeds and interventions of the Nightingale of our time in the service to humanity, but for lack of space. May I quickly add that all the above-stated philanthropic deeds of Dr. Agunbiade were possible through the support of his delectable and ever-supportive Wife, Chief (Mrs) Funke Agunbiade and she has been the greatest blessing to him since their marriage.

    - Advertisement -

    It was against the above backdrop that His Imperial Majesty, the Iku Baba Yeye, Oba (Dr) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III (who recently joined his ancestors) conferred on Dr. Babajide Ademola Agunbiade the prestigious Chieftaincy Title – Atobaase (the one who is fit to be king) of Yorubaland on the 28th day of August 2021 exactly one year ago. Oba Adeyemi, during the conferment ceremony, said he conferred the historical title on Dr. Agunbiade, being an indigene with impeccable character and because of his contributions to society and outstanding representation in his field of endeavor. The Alaafin of Oyo posited that the Yoruba Chieftaincy institution is the pillar, indeed, the bedrock of the Yoruba traditional system of government. Dr. Babajide Agunbiade, for the past one year, has been one of the pillars upon which Yoruba traditional government stands and he has been living up to his billings as the Atobaase of Yorubaland both within and outside Nigeria.

    The Atoobase of Yorubaland made not only the Yorubas and Nigerians but all Africans proud when on the 12th November 2021, the United States Congress honored him and his wife through the United States Congressional proclamation from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, thereby marking November 12th as Atobaase Dr. Babajide Agunbiade and Yeye Atobaase of Yorubaland day in Texas! It was a great and rare honor for Dr. Agunbiade and his wife because the proclamation describes the couple as ‘strong pillars in Houston and Nigeria who have dedicated efforts to giving back to marginalized communities and have played integral roles in several social movements internationally. The Congress also thanked the couple for their worthwhile efforts to enrich the city of Houston through mentorship, community development, educational scholarships and international recognition!

    Now, back in his ancestral home of Fiditi, the traditional ruler of Fiditi – His Royal Majesty Oba Sakiru Oyewole Akanni Oyelere, Eedu II, Gbadewolu I, the OniFiditi of Fiditi, after due consultations with the OniFiditi in council has decided to confer another Chieftaincy title ‘Asiwaju of Fiditi’ on the illustrious son of the Land – Dr. Babajide Agunbiade. No one is in doubt that the conferment on Dr. Agunbiade, the title Asiwaju (the Frontline Leader) is a felicitous one considering all the above interventions and service to humanity of the recipient both in and out of Nigeria, but history must be put in its proper perspective as to why Dr. Babajide Agunbiade deserves the title – Asiwaju of Fiditi.

    Since 2008, Fiditi, a prominent town in AFIJIO Local Government, has had no traditional ruler after the demise of the immediate past monarch. All efforts and entreaties to enthrone a new king for Fiditi were not successful until when Dr. Babajide Agunbiade stepped in. I can say with a great sense of responsibility but with appreciation that the installation of the incumbent OniFiditi of Fiditi on October 18, 2021, was possible through the grace of God Almighty, who used the influence and resources of Dr. Babajide Agunbiade – the revered Atobaase of Yorubaland to achieve the almost impossible feat! Subsequent to the above, the proposed conferment of Asiwaju of Fiditi chieftaincy on Dr. Babajide Agunbiade is most appropriate for an astute humanist and the Nightingale of our time who led, as a frontline leader, the battle to end the interregnum created by the lack of Traditional Ruler in Fiditi for more than a decade! I thank Oba Sakiru Oyewole Oyelere for deeming it fit to confer the prestigious Asiwaju of Fiditi on Dr. Babajide Agunbiade in appreciation of his frontline efforts that made Fiditi to regain her prominence as a foremost Town in Traditional Administration in AFIJIO Local Government of Oyo State, Nigeria.

    Nothing more needs to be said about the person of Dr. Babajide Ademola Agunbiade – the Atobaase of Yorubaland and now the Asiwaju of Fiditi! It is my fervent belief that the conferment of Asiwaju of Fiditi chieftaincy title on Dr. Agunbiade will spur him to intensify efforts to return Fiditi back to the preeminent position the town occupied in Pre-independent Nigeria when a Fiditian – Chief A.O. Adeyi was made a Cabinet Minister in the then Western Region Government by no other person but the redoubtable Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

    - Advertisement -

    I know for sure that Dr. Agunbiade knows those steps to be taken for our dear town Fiditi to regain her lost glories. May, I, at this juncture, send my warm congratulations to Chief Babajide Ademola Agunbiade and Mrs. Olufunke Agunbiade on the first anniversary of their becoming the Atobaase of Yorubaland, which now marks the beginning of conferment of Asiwaju of Fiditi title. ‘Ewe Oye a mo ri o’! *Olajide Olanipekun, a Legal Practitioner by Profession, is an accomplished author, poet and Public commentator. He is the immediate past National President of the Fiditi Progressive Union. August 29 2022

    - Advertisement -


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    In case you missed it..


    ‘Nigerian engineers can compete favourably with expatriates’ – Ndoma Nyambi

    Ndoma Nyambi is the chairman of Cross River State branch of Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE)....

    Celebrating Ahmed Lekan, The ballon Dor’ of NSE

    When i first met Engr kazeem, all he talk about is Engineering and Engineering and more engineering. I...

    Profile of Engr. Goodluck Tony Akpomemine Ohwodo

    Engineer Goodluck Tony Akpomemine Ohwodo was born in Oviri-Agbarho, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State of...

    National Chairman NIFEngM, Oladipupo Mabogaje elevated to Assistant Director at COREN

    by Isqil Najim The Immediate Psst Chairman of the Maitama Branch of Nigerian Society of Engineers, and National Chairman...