Rite Foods’ chairman, Adegunwa becomes Asiwaju of Ijebu land

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.As Tinubu, Abiodun, Awujale applaud him

Chigozie Amadi

According to a report published in the Punch Online Newspaper of Sunday, April 28, 2024, the Chairman of Rite Foods Limited, Dr. Sulaiman Adebola Adegunwa OFR, and his wife, Hajiya Fatima Adegunwa, have been pronounced as the Asiwaju of Ijebu and the Yeye Asiwaju and Arobake of Ijebu respectively, at a ceremony held at the Awujale Pavilion in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

The Business Mogul was reported to have succeeded the late Prof Adebayo Adedeji, a former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, who died in April 2018.

President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, described the Rite Foods’ boss, Asiwaju Sulaiman Adegunwa, as a living legend and one of the greatest sons of Africa who should be emulated in his efforts to develop the African continent. The President added that Asiwaju Adegunwa radiates a striking personality of immense humility despite his invaluable contributions to business enterprise and creations of jobs for thousands of Nigerians.

The President said,“As we celebrate the conferment of Asiwaju of Ijebu on Pa Sulaiman Adegunwa and Yeye Asiwaju and Arobake of Ijebu on his wife, we have to recognize that he is a legend of his time. He is one of the greatest sons of Ijebuland and Africa, who has actively contributed to the advancement of industry and enterprise in Nigeria.”

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, was also quoted to have described Adegunwa as an astute business mogul and reputable philanthropist, whose life remained a source of encouragement to others. In the governor’s words, “Adegunwa is a source of pride for the state, worthy of emulation by all”.

In his address at the event, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, who spoke through Dr. Sunny Kuku, the Ogbeni Oja of Ijebuland, stated that the invaluable contributions of Adegunwa and his wife to enhancing the socio-economic development of Ijebuland and Nigeria as a whole, as well as their support and loyalty to the Awujale’s throne made them worthy of the befitting honour.

In response to the well wishes, Asiwaju Adegunwa pledged to remain committed to serving humanity, and enhancing socio-economic development across Ijebuland and Nigeria. He expressed gratitude to the Awujale for deeming it fit to honour him and his wife with the chieftaincy titles.

Guests reported to have attended the elaborate event included the Ogun State Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako-Oyedele; former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his wife, Bola; former governors of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, Segun Osoba, and Gbenga Daniel, who is currently representing Ogun East at the Senate. Others were the Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa; the Secretary to Ogun State Government, Tokunbo Talabi; paramount rulers of Yewa and Egbaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and Oba Adedotun Gbadebo respectively, among others.

DR. Sulaiman Adebola Adegunwa OFR, is a Nigerian businessman, philanthropist, and former chairman of Sterling Bank Plc. He is the founder and chief executive officer of Essay Holdings Limited; Parent Company of Rite Foods Limited., the beverage giant with award winning brands in its portfolio. He is a member of the Board of directors of Thai Farm International Limited, a Nigeria-based company that focus on the production and processing of cassava. Last year, he celebrated his sixty years of business trajectory while stepping down active business activities. He is the founder of Sulaimon College of Education, Ososa, Ogun State, Nigeria amongst other non – for – profit initiatives.