Happy birthday to my teacher, mentor, and royal father.
I first met Oba Dokun Abolarin when he taught me Government at the Oyo State College of Arts and Science, Ile Ife, Osun State, in 1982.
Uncle “Dokzy,” as he was then known, was a delight to watch as a teacher. He had class. He had style. He had panache. He was brilliant. His characteristic “bouncy” walk and American accent made popular with the students.
But he is much more than fashion and brilliance. He is a lover of humanity. He continuously stresses the importance of education, spirituality, service to mankind, respect for women and children, the development of the black race, and the future of the Yoruba race and Nigeria. The personal advancement of everyone he encounters is of paramount importance to him.
It was in the 1990s when I worked as a journalist that our paths crossed again. Although not a journalist, he has close ties with any Nigerian journalist worth knowing. He was a veritable contact for journalists due to his close relationship with eminent Nigerians.
Later, he joined the Editorial Board of the Nigerian Tribune, where I saw further evidence of his commitment to humanity.
He was installed as Orangun of Oke Ila in 2006. This came as a surprise to many of us because he had established a successful legal practice with his Dokun Abolarin & Co and established a vast network within the Nigerian political class when he served as Special Adviser (Legal) to the Senate President of Nigeria.
The truth is, Kabiyesi sacrificed all to serve his people. We have discussed this issue quite often, and he always asks, “Deolu, if I don’t make the sacrifice, who will?” each time it comes up.
He has already left his mark on the sands of time. He established the Abolarin Model College in Oke Ila. Indigent students and the poor are the beneficiaries of the tuition-free school.
Kabiyesi has used his wide network to help scores of indigenes of the town gain admission and into higher institutions, along with scholarship opportunities. He works his contacts constantly to find opportunities for career advancement for his people.
This is wishing Kabiyesi, Oba Dokun Abolarin Aroyinkeye I, BSc (Political Science), MSC (International Relations) LLB, BL, a happy birthday and many happy returns.
Igba odun, odun kan.
•Professor Akande is the chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)