By Idris Katib
The Vice Chancellor, Crescent University, Abeokuta Prof. Ibraheem Gbajabiamila has described a veteran journalist and public relations icon, His Royal Highness Oba Olufemi Ogunleye as a distinguished alumnus and worthy ambassador of the institution who sacrificed his time and resources to get to the peak his endeavours particularly in Law.
Prof. Gbajabiamila made this revelation at a formal book launch of the monarch titled “Owu Akinale in Contemporary Abeokuta: Reflections of a Journalist, PR Icon, Law Scholar and Traditional Ruler” held at the Reception Centre of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
In his goodwill message on behalf of the institution’s proprietor, His Excellency Prince Bola Ajibola, the vice chancellor went memory lane narrating how Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, Towulade of Akinale got his diploma and started his Law degree at Crescent University at age 70 until he bagged his Mater’s and doctoral degree in Law from another university.
In his foreword of the book, former president Olusegun Obasanjo described the title of the book as “a big gift wrapped in a small parcel”, noting that “Kabiyesi Oba Olufemi Ogunleye Towulade, has his sovereignty over Akinale, a settlement found by his forebear who was also my forebear on my mother’s side”. Retired Gen. Obasanjo said the author lived up to the old saying that “charity begins at home”.
Head of the Department of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Dr Kola Adesina also notes in the prologue of the book that “in pursuance of the fulfillment those vital functions of journalism as a canvass of historians, this book took its root within the boundaries of observation, participation, research, documentation and commentary” and recommended that the book “will be pure delight to the average reader” from the remit of the author.
The book launch was chaired by His Royal Majesty, Oba (Prof.) Saka Matemilola, the Olowu of Owu as a former governor of Ogun State who was a colleague of the author, Chief Olusegun Osoba, recounted his experience as Oba Ogunleye’s editor of Daily Times of yesteryears. He described Oba Olufemi Ogunleye as a reporter “who always got himself in trouble” through his investigative news reporting.
In his review of the book, the Chief Press Secretary to Ogun State Governor, Mr Kunle Somorin, said the book chronicles the life and times of Oba Olufemi Ogunleye as a journalist, public relations expert, law scholar, chartered arbitrator and traditional ruler of Owu extraction. Mr Somorin ably represented the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari