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The N.O. Idowu that I know
The beauty of Africa
Is slain upon the high places.
How are the mighty fallen!
SIR: The Erin-wo epitaph clearly sums up people’s general opinion of the eventful life and times of Chief (Dr) Nathaniel Olabiyi Idowu (OFR), the Mayeloye and the Okanlomo of Ibadan land. Chief Idowu led a crowded life of progress and specular achievements in virtually all fields of human endeavour Ð as a community leader, philanthropist, pillar of sports, business tycoon, devout Christian, committed family man and a complete Omoluwabi.
Steadfast, diligent, disciplined, intelligent, honest, firm and forthright, N.O. all though, kept his head while others were losing theirs, in the face of challenges and vicissitudes of life. He was adored by his admirers and venerated even by his detractors, over whom he perched mightily like an eagle bird on the giant Baobab tree. He was in perfect accord with friends and at peace and harmony with all who dug holes round him.
Chief Nathaniel Olabiyi Idowu had no space in his tender heart to harbour malice, rancour and recriminations. His heart was a level-ground for positive thinking and record-breaking tendencies. No nooks, no crannies. Several times he had summoned us in African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre (AHRLC) to Lagos, to discuss confidential matters which touched his heart intimately, and these were matters concerning the progress and development of Eniosa, Adeyipo, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria and Africa. At such meetings, N. O. would bubble with hope, optimism and the commitment of a true messiah, on a rescue mission to improve the lot of his people. A great lover of the rural communityÉ When we took the news to him about Chief Afe Babalola’s unprecedented act of philantropism to AHRLC at Adeyipo village, he grabbed his phone and poured encomiums on the legal luminary telling him, “You have done what Napoleon would not do, Afe, turning back the Duke of Wellington. May Almighty God continue to enrich your purse and bless you abundantly as you put smiles on the faces of my people. Congratulations.”
On Saturday, September 24, 2005, during the official commissioning of AHRLC, Chief N. O. Idowu risked his health to grace the occasion. That day, he met with seven thousand jubilating community people of Olorunda Abaa, Igbo-Elerin and Igbo-Oloyin waiting impatiently to welcome their mentor and leader with traditional dundun and sekere music. Fortified by a sudden gift of good health and strength from above, N.O came that day to Adeyipo smiling, singing and dancing (in company of late Archdeacon Emmanuel Alayande and Chief Mrs. C.A. Idowu, his amiable wife, in front of a vociferous community audience who bestowed on him honour and recognition, never before witnessed in Lagelu Local Government Council of Ibadan, Oyo State. Together with Chief N. O. Idowu (our beloved Grand Patron) we formulated a universal caption for the task ahead of us in AHRLC, it is that: We have great works to do,
We have been called upon to build a new Africa
And a new Black World.
The N.O. Idowu that I know was a patriotic and worthy son of Africa. A man who stretched himself to ensure relief and comfort for the poor and the needy. A man who put others first and himself last; who kept sleepless nights to secure solutions to the problems of the society. A great man who left his footmarks boldly in the sands of time.
Chief (Dr.) Nathaniel Olabiyi Idowu (OFR) can never die, in the hearts of all of us who love him at home and abroad. He will forever be aliveÉ so, Death be not proud! Because those whom thou thinketh thou slayest, Dieth not, Poor Death!
Adeyipo Village, Ibadan
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