He may not be a history scholar, but he is an historian of sort, particularly on the Egba people in which he is one
He is prince from the Egiri Ruling House of the Gbagura section of the Abeokuta, the political capital of the Egba people and the Ogun State capital.
Chief Ogunwolu Akinyele Sharafadeen, who appears to have taken after his late father, Chief L. A. K. Ogunwolu, wastes no time in telling you off hand all you may want to know about the Egba and the old provinces.
The Gbagura section according to Ogunwolu consists of 7 towns with Ido as its political capital.
Among other sections in the town are Ika, Owe, Ojesemi, Oje Ile, Ofa, Ibadan, Iwo, Ikereku Idan, Ikereku-Iwere, Orun among others.
His great grandmother, a princess, hailed from Orun, while his mother of blessed memory hailed from Ijoko and Kemta Kilaso respectively.
He speaks further:
Q. How did you become so versatile in Egba history?
I did not study history in any tertiary institution, but I am a student of Egba history. To God be the glory. I took after my late father, who in his lifetime was an authority on Egba history. He was also a politician of note having worked in different capacities with the late founder of the then Unity Party of Nigeria, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Aside hailing from Gbagura, his association with the party also made him to be associated with other different sections of Egba, namely, Ake, Oke Ona and Owu.
Q. When you were in active politics, why were you always in opposition until recently?
Thanks for this question. I had long expected it. I started politics in 1987 at Erunbe, my maternal side after I left the Ogun State Government Press, now Ogun State Printing Corporation in 1986 as a senior printer.
Q. Why did you quit civil service?
I voluntarily resigned my appointment from the service after the plans by the late military governor, Col. Oladipo Diya, that he was going to sack workers. Having put in a considerable number of years, I felt it was honourable for me to quit when the ovation was loudest.
Q. Who was your political leader when you ventured into politics?
The late Ogun State political amazon, Chief Titilayo Ajanaku was my leader under the Peoples Front of Nigeria, an organisation founded by Atiku Abubakar. Even though, I was Ajanaku’s stalwart, I led a political rally – “Woro” by the Erunbe people for the candidature of Chief Olusegun Osoba in his desire to become the governor the state, which he eventually succeeded.
We did not solicite the moral or financial support of Osoba, we just supported him because my father had told me that he was the choice of the Egba people. Unfortunately, someone, Dare Gbolahan, (a.k.a.Serubawon) reaped from where he did not sow. Although I had a Volkwagen Beetle with registration number OG 5645 EC, we could not use it for the “Woro” Rally. So one of us, Taiye Ali, (a.k.a.Taiye Caterpillar) suggested that we should approach “Serubawon” to hire his pick-up van. On the van was an inscription which bears his address as an executive barber on 39, Ijaiye Road, Ijaiye Junction, Abeokuta.
Although, we covered the address, but some group members under the influence of alcohol removed the white paper with which we covered the address of the barbing salon. We were on our way to Ago-Oba when we met other Osoba’s supporters at Itoku and the governorship candidate directed that my group should lead other “Woro” groups. I did not know why he chose my group, but I sensed that it was because of my transistor amplifier and decorations on the van that probably did the magic through Abeokuta that day as we moved round, popularising the candidature of Osoba. In his attempt at rewarding and compensating the group for their previous efforts, Osoba on the fifth day through the address on Gbolahan’s pick up van, went to Serubawon’s office during which he gave him money to be shared among my group. Osoba had thought that the owner of the executive barbing salon was the leader of the “Woro” group.
It was during the visit that Osoba unknowingly picked “Serubawon” as a coordinator, believing that he was the organiser of the “Woro”/campaign for him. Since I did not know what transpired, I also led the group at Ijebu Igbo where we were chased out of the town because a son of the soil, Gbolahan Osinowo was also contesting. It was at Oru, a nearby town that I mounted the amplifier again and gave the microphone to Osoba to the delight of his supporters in the town.
That was how we commenced his gubernatorial campaign. Again, Osoba thought the campaign was coordinated by “Serubawon”. But for my loyalty to Ajanaku, which was not doubted by her, despite political shenanigans and bickering by people who often reported my closeness to Osoba to him but she was not disturbed. I had gone to Osoba’s house to collect the amplifier to be used during a reconciliation meeting with Osoba and Ajanaku when the former requested that I should bring a note from “Serubawon”, but I told him point-blank that I was the owner of the amplifier. He was shocked with this disclosure as he later put a call through to “Serubawon”, who verified my claim of ownership.
The following day at Ota, where we had gone to campaign, there was a mild drama as I prevented the use of a new public address system just procured by the duo of Osoba and “Serubawon”. The new public address system was to be operated by one Adejojo of Ijaiye Area of Abeokuta. I disrupted the rally as I prevented the usage of the new public address system with Osoba, who was on the rostrum. I succeeded in preventing them from using the new machine. The following day at Osoba’s house where I sat close to him, I had rejected pap and “moin-moin” which was served as breakfast.
Osoba was surprised at the way I rejected the offer and asked what must have gone wrong. I did not hesitate to express my dislike at the way he rejected the amplifier which he had been using since at the Ota campaign. Osoba, a broad-minded personality was quick in exonerating himself, shifting the blame on “Serubawon”, he concluded.