B ARRISTER Ishola Filani will turn 70 years in less than two weeks from now. He is a Nigerian political activist who demands adequate tribute being paid on his life and times. Ishola Filani represents a political force that just cannot be ignored.
A product of that famous secondary school, Christ School Ado-Ekiti, Ishola Filani’s achievements in life have justified the great School’s name that he attended. He journeyed from Christ School to become within his 70 years on earth a political supremo who just must be acknowledged. I call him simply “I SHOW.” He has senior relations who are very close to me. They are Professor Filani of blessed memory and Tunde Ogbomola who has been my friend for over 50 years. Professor Filani was at the University of Ibadan before he answered the supreme call. Tunde Ogbomola is still alive, kicking hard, though we have not seen now for over 30 years.
They all (including Ishola Filani) came from Ikole Ekiti (a well known Ekiti city, very near Aiyeodun) equally called Egbe Oba.
In law, Ishola Filani is a respected name. He worked with the irrepressible fighter for the rights of the common people of Nigeria, the late Gani Fawehinmi. Ishola Filani cut his legal teeth from the Gani Fawehinmi chambers in Lagos. He joined Gani’s chambers shortly after his return from Edo State, where he had worked with the Observer group of newspapers. His stay with the Nigerian Observer as legal adviser cum columnist was a success story.
Ishola Filani left the Gani Fawehinmi chambers to establish his own chambers, which equally flourished. It was from this base that he launched his political career.
His first port of call in politics was when he became the National Publicity Secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) – One of the two Ibrahim Babangida-created political parties of the early 1990s. It was as Publicity Secretary of the SDP that he met with Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, the leader of the party. They still remain friends till this day. The other political party created by IBB in those days was the National Republican Convention (NRC), led by Architect Tom Ikimi. The two parties — SDP and NRC — were ideologically referred to as left and right of centre respectively.
Ishola Filani equally contributed to the success of the SDP as Publicity Secretary that no one could write about the effectiveness of SDP of those days without mentioning the name and contributions of Ishola Filani.
When the PDP was created by elders who mounted opposition against the late Sani Abacha regime, Ishola Filani joined the party and became an active voice of the party in Nigeria. He later rose to become the National Vice-Chairman of the PDP and Chairman of the South-West PDP.
He was a frontline member of the National Committee of PDP like minds that supported Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George in his ambition to be the National Chairman of the PDP. Ishola Filani is deeply convinced that the PDP needs an experienced hand like Olabode George to lift the party up from the very tragic situation that the Party now finds itself. The desire and drive to effect an Olabode George leadership has been temporarily put on hold as a result of the activities of some young men who are currently governors from other states and who are championing a political blackout of maturity, age and experience in national politics.
Only God knows how many articles Ishola Filani has written in his political and public life. “I SHOW” does not shy away from controversies. His writings even encourage such controversies. Ishola Filani, however, is a Nigerian who, at anytime, is ready to call a spade, a spade. He never talks with his tongue in his cheek. He will always tell you point black the truth of events. He is a younger Nigerian than me, but who I hold in very high esteem.
Oluwadare Ishola Filani is a Chief of Ikole and Egbeoba Kingdom. He is the Asiwaju of the great Kingdom. I am equally a senior chief of Ikole and it is a great privilege for me to be labeled among the chiefs of the Egbe Oba Kingdom.
A number of activities have been lined up to honour the 70th birthday celebration of Ishola Filani. On Monday September 19, a social party will be held at 10 Decrees Events Centre, Billuas Way, Oregun, Lagos. The Guest Speaker at the event is His Excellency, Dr. ‘Segun Mimiko, the Governor of Ondo State. By the special grace of God, we will all be at the event to honour our “aburo” Oluwadare Ishola Filani.
A special brochure is being prepared by the Sighton Projects Limited to mark the 70th birthday celebration. It is inside the brochure that all tributes to honour Ishola Filani will be published.
You cannot but like “I SHOW.” He has no room to nurse animosity against anyone. He has the unique ability of laughing off all tribulations. Ishola Filani is well loved by all those who have contacts with him.
I sincerely wish Ishola Filani a happy 70th birthday. I wish him many more years of service to Nigeria. A very strong Methodist, I wish him greater success in God’s vineyard.
BRAVO FEMI OGBONTIBA
On 20, August, 2016, Femi Ogbontiba launched three books at Ibadan. Femi, an alumnus of the University of Lagos, was a former political editor of the Nigerian Tribune.
He has written books on Papa Obafemi Awolowo and the Glory of Yoruba Race, among several others. Above all, he is a Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
He has equally written books on the Church of God. They include Sustainable Church Growth in a Competitive Era and Sustaining the Landmarks of Pastor Enoch Adeboye for Church Growth.
Femi Ogbontiba loves Papa Awolowo with passion. He is an Awoist – very unrepentant Awoist. He believes in all Papa Jeremiah Oyeniyi Obafemi Awolowo has done on earth. Femi Ogbontiba is ever ready to swear on the name of Awo. May God continue to bless this young man. I wish him success in life. He is a jolly good fellow!
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