The Royal 50th Jubilee Celebration of OIL MOGUL Dr. Babajide Agunbiade Atóbaáse of YorubaLand in United Kingdom

Many close friends refer to him as a man of style and oil mogul, Dr Babajide Agunbiade, FNSE showed off this his well-known pedigree when he hosted two classy, colourful and glamourous ceremonies in the United Kingdom.

The Houston, Texas-based businessman and world traveller hosted a birthday that will linger on my hearts of the guests on account of the spectacular nature of the events.
The party train actually began at the famous Sunborn Yacht Hotel in London. Guests were greeted with champagne and hors d’oeuvres upon arrival as well as 80s Rhythm and Blues being played by London’s Sound House Band.

Guests were seeping in the wondrous atmosphere and savouring the scenery when the celebrant and his wife, Mrs. Olufunke Agunbiade, the Yeye Atóbaáse of Yorubaland walked in to applause from guests just as Fela’s “Water no get enemy” was blaring from all corners of the venue. The evening was a top-rate affair filled with lots of champagne, exotic drinks, good food and exhilarating music. Love and fun were in the air all night long. Fun was high on the agenda and guests had a full dose of it as a magician also spent many moments thrilling everyone with some flicks and tricks. The night ended with pulsating Afrobeats vibes delivered by London’s famous DJ Omowhyte.


The regal celebration continued the following day on the celebrant’s exact 50th birthday: Saturday, 16th of April 2022. The venue this time was the prestigious Leeds Castle in Kent which had been specially decorated for the occasion. Without a shadow of doubt, this was a befitting venue for a Royal celebration. The castle has been home to numerous Kings of England and was residence for other British aristocrats.

Leeds Castle has been a Norman stronghold; the private property of six of England’s medieval queens; a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon; a Jacobean country house; a Georgian mansion; an elegant early 20th century retreat for the influential and famous; and in the 21st century, it has become one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain. Dubbed the centre of lavish hospitality for leading lights of the society. Leeds Castle was wearing anew look that day as a huge flag with the crest and insignia of the celebrant with his title: Atóbaáse of Yorubaland flying proudly on the Grade 1-isted building and heritage site.

Guests arrived dressed to impress and were greeted by a red carpet and royal guards holding flags that had the Atoobase crest. The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception where chilled drinks and canapes were served. Moments later the celebrant Dr Babajide Agunbiade and wife, Mrs Funke Agunbiade made a grand entrance to the sounds of trumpets blown by the British Royal Guards. The stunning couple gracefully walked down the stairs from the bowels of the Castle where they spent the night and enjoyed the stunning view.
Guests headed down to the dinner room where they were greeted with the sounds of a harpist in the most glamorously decorated space.

Guests enjoyed a gourmet 3-course meal and viewed a surprise documentary dedicated to the celebrant, which was produced by Mrs. Agunbiade. After the cake cutting and just when the night couldn’t get better everyone was ushered outside for a “special presentation” While outside, Dr Babajide Agunbiade gave a heartfelt speech, which he rounded off by thanking his friends and family and beautiful wife for a beautiful night and just as the toast was made, the celebrant and guests were surprised with a 6-minute fireworks display to Coldplay’s Full of Stars.
Just when the guests thought the night was over, the elegant  Mrs Funke Agunbiade had more plans up her sleeves for her dear husband.

Guests were greeted with an open bar, sounds by DJ Omowhyte, and beautiful go-go dancers. The celebrant was surprised by a personal show girl performance while everyone cheered.
Oh what a night it turned out to be as guests partied all night and left with an assortment of gifts which included Dolce & Gabbana Wine and Chocolates,  personalised Atobaase champagne, blue-tooth speakers, candles, amongst others. It was indeed a night to remember!

Sunborn Yacht London (Day 1 -Welcome party)
US Planner: @dureevents
UK Planner: @manolaluxeweddings
UK Planning assistant: @bolanle_lb
Hair: @eugenze @tifihair_houston1
Makeup: @mana.mumin
Bespoke Gown: @eseazenabor
Venue: @sunbornlondon
Hubby Tux: @mochee_kent
Band: @thesoundhouseband
Photo: @sottuphotography
Videography: @oprea.production
DJ: @omowhyte
Custom Acrylic Stationary @tntcreationsllc
Magician: @tombracemagic
Leeds Castle (Day 2 -Birthday Celebration)
US Planner: @dureevents
UK Planner: @manolaluxeweddings
UK Planning assistant: @bolanle_lb
Hair: @eugenze @tifihair_houston1
Makeup: @mana.mumin
Bespoke Gown: @eseazenabor
Hubby Tux @dolcegabbana
Venue @leedscastleuk
Photo: @sottuphotography
Video: @specialfunctionsfilms
MC: @ramthemc
Decor: @Chicwedsuk
Cake: @tycouturecakes
Fireworks: @alchemyfireworks
Custom Easter Baskets: @ribbonandbowstore
Custom Champagne & Box @ribbonandboestore
DJ: @omowhyte
Building Projection: stlproductiongroup
Harpist: Jeanette
Custom Acrylic Menus: @partypresentation
Gifts: @ribbonandbowstore


Without any shadow of doubt, he is a loyal officer who served Nigeria with pride and distinction. At seventy, Chief Tunji Alapini NPM, Msc Psc, mni, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) still cuts a trim figure like a man in his 50s.

Dashing, humble and amiable, he is probably the only one among his peers who has as many young friends as he has old ones on account of his sterling accomplishments in and out of the uniform. His 70th birthday party, hosted by family and a few friends was classy and glamorous.

Held at the Civic Centre in Lagos, the event where SB and his band performed with Tee A and Gbenga Adeyinka as comperes was an evening to remember. Long after that jolly good night, OVATION International Editor, Michael Effiong James had an exclusive interview with Chief Alapini whose traditional titles include: Bobadara of Egbaland, Atobase Okemesi Ekiti, Maiyegun Edunabon,Atayese of Akinale, Akogun of Itoriland, Aremo Towulade of Akinale, Maiyegun of Owu Kingdom, Aare Agbonfinro of Iperu, Otunba Akogun of Ike-Ila Orangun, Otun Oluwo Adimula of The Source, Ile Ife and Fiwajoye of Iloko- Ijesa, where he spoke extensively about life, service and turning 70.


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My role as Iyalaje Oodua will benefit Yorubaland. It is an additional responsibility to spread our culture, tradition and lifestyle to all parts of Nigeria and in the Diaspora” These were the words of accomplished philanthropist, businesswoman and Chief Executive Officer of Fisolak Global Resources, Princess Toyin Kolade during an exclusive chat with OVATION International months after her grand installation as Iyalaje Oodua by His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II.

According to her, ” I have always been close to the traditional institution and I am glad to state that I have learnt more than enough to last me a lifetime. I am well versed in Yoruba heritage and also my the Arole Oduduwa, Baba Ooni whom I hold in a very high esteem, I have always been close to the traditional institution and I am glad to state that I have learnt a lot enough to last me a lifetime have also helped me grow into the present role.

“This a role that came as a surprise. I was humbled by the gesture of his His Imperial Majesty and I will do everything to justify my appointment. I will be using this platform to create awareness about our culture, help women grow economically and inspire our girl-child and ladies to reach their full potentials. I have been the global promoter of the annual Aje Festival held in Ile-Ife for many years now and I will continue to attract the best and the brightest people and events to Ile-Ife.

It will be recalled that Ilesa, Osun State-born Princess Kolade was installed at a grand and colourful ceremony held at the Ile Oodua Palace and the ancient city was literally on lock down. Accompanied by her amiable and humble husband, Prince Kayode Kolade, family members and a retinue of friends from Nigeria and abroad, the ever bubbly Princess Kolade showed that she commanded the right clout and connection for such a title.

Recalling the show-stopping ceremony, Princess Kolade stated ” Upon my entry on Thursday evening, I was received at Ilero Spot at Iremo road, Ile-Ife by a group of cultural women (Obinrin Ilero) and the Ooni’s traditional aides (Emese). There the initial traditional rites were performed before we walked to the palace to pay traditional obeisance to the Arole Oodua. After which I proceeded to the sacred Yeyemolu Well for blessings.


Dr. Stephen Akintayo, Managing Director/ CEO of Gtext Homes, one of Nigeria’s fastest-growing international Real Estate and Housing Development companies with offices in Dubai, New York and UK marked his birthday in grand style by presenting brand new cars (Each car costs 16.7m) to the company’s best marketers of 2021 at its International Head Office in Banana Island Lagos as well as hosting a classy foundation and book launch.

For the car rewards, the categories were individuals: “The Highest selling affiliate member”(Gtext and associates) and “The Highest selling internal full time staff”. Speaking at the event, the affable Dr. Stephen pledged to keep it up by dishing out cars monthly for outstanding performers. In his words,“ We pledge to give brand new cars every month in the year 2022 for those who are diligent in service.”

The company also announced that it was offering a promo, where everyone who purchases a house outright will be rewarded with a brand new car too. The Chief Marketing Officer, Mr Fleming Rontved added that Gtext will increase training for all marketers to enhance their efficiency and enable them trade all properties owned by Gtext Homes across the globe.Mr Raj Micheal, the COO and CPO conducted the signing and transfer of documents to the awardees.Meanwhile, later in the evening at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Hotel, Dr Stephen Akintayo host the cream of Nigerian society at the launch of his new book and Stephen Akintayo Foundation.

The classy began with a praise and worship session with gospel star, Mercy Chinwo performing and later guests were thrilled by the evergreen melodies of Evangelist Ebenezer Obey. Everyone had loads of fun and rollicked till the wee hours.


The city of Benin, and in fact the entire Edo State was agog and filled with excitement as the man of the people and first-rate businessman, Sir (Chief) Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion marked his 87th birthday with prayers and thanksgiving.

In his characteristic manner, the occasion began with a series of cultural performances and visitation by different groups. The real celebration got into full swing on September 11, 2021 with the Annual Morning Dew Service, which unfolded as an interdenominational devotional service where Christian Ministers took turn to shower the octogenarian with prayers.

The event which unfolded at the God’s Historic Chapel, located within the expansive home of the inimitable philanthropist was well attended by royal fathers from across Nigeria and leading lights of the state. In their separate messages, Rev Felix Omobude, Rev. (Dr.) Olu Abinuomo, Rev. B. O. Ekhator, Bishop M. A. Okpebholo, Rev. (Fr.) Alfred Agbonlahor, eulogised the celebrant, and prayed for more years in good health.

The following day, a Thanksgiving Mass was held at St Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church to offer praises onto the Lord for the life of the Esama who has touched many lives with his wealth as an employer of labour.


Mr. Mahmood Ahmadu, serial entrepreneur, passionate philanthropist, Founder and Executive Chairman, Online Integrated Solutions (OIS); a specialist visa application agency that provides online passport, visa processing, and technical support services for governments, has done it again!The amiable and understated gentleman has been selected as one of the leading lights of business on the continent and honoured with the Best of Africa award by Forbes.


Mr. Ahmadu was selected as the recipient under the ‘Corporate Visionary Leadership’ category and received the prestigious award, on behalf of the company.Recipients in other categories were: Sam Matekane, Kwame Bediako, Mahmood Ahmadu and Leo Stan Ekeh. Other awardees include: Wendy Ackerman, Rajan Mahtani, Ken Sharpe, Claver Gatete and Paul Adefarasin.

According to the Chairman of the Foreign Investment Network (FIN) Group, Mrs Olayinka Fayomi, the awards are a result of several months of concerted research and verification, by FIN and FORBES; “which identified changemakers and innovators that are making outstanding contributions towards building a prosperous and equitable future, for Africa and Africans”. At the event, a goodwill message was delivered by Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) who was represented by the Minister of Trade and Investment Otunba Niyi Adebayo; a keynote address was delivered by Pastor Paul Adefarasin, President of the Rock Foundation; while the awards were presented by Mark Furlong, President of Customs Solutions, Forbes.

Mahmood, a recipient of the Nigerian National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) who only last year won the Forbes Outstanding Leader Award 2020 has his footprints in many sectors of the economy such as; Mining, Real Estate, Construction, Agriculture, Bottling Water, E-education, E-healthcare, and Fintech spread across 53 countries in 5 continents.OIS is part of Mr Ahmadu’s vision for a future-ready and digitally empowered Africa. Mahmood’s philanthropic activities have made it possible for hundreds of students to afford good quality education both locally in Africa and abroad.Responding to the recognition, Mr Ahmadu thanked the Foreign Investment Network and Forbes, as well as his team at OIS; congratulating them on their collective commitment to a technology led transformation across Africa.


“I would like to thank FIN and Forbes for this recognition, and express my appreciation for the talented team at OIS; who are constantly motivated, dreaming big, and aspiring for world-class excellence”. He continued “As a conglomerate, we are proud of our team, their conviction and hardwork, which are the key to the rise of a world class IT conglomerate. We are also proud of our African roots, and passionate about empowering our customers with innovative solutions”.Mahmood’s OIS is the official partner to a number of diplomatic missions.

It is a specialist visa and passport application agency that manages visa and passport issuance related administrative and non-judgemental tasks. The company ensures the security and confidentiality of client information, and has instituted a series of streamlined processes and best practices in its operations. OIS’s partnership with diplomatic missions enables faster and informed decision making, in consular and identity management services. Its Dubai-based, dedicated visa and passport application centre; intuitive and easy-to use-website; and expert visa and passport processing services; facilitate hitch free travel from the UAE to other global destinations. OIS appreciates the sensitive nature of documents required to obtain a travel visa, or a passport; and ensures data and document security, as a top priority.

The accomplished entrepreneur who was born on September 9, 1966 is from a very humble beginning. It is not by accident that this significant achievement coincides with his 54th birthday.The easy-going businessman attended ATBU and Nasarawa State University, where he obtained his qualifications. Records have it that Mahmood Ahmadu obtained further educational qualifications in the form of management, IT and communication industry courses. He has since utilized these skills to start and operate small businesses involved in the exchange of various profitable products and services.At quite an early age during the early 1980s, Mahmood received a family inheritance with which he established his first company called A2A Communications Limited.

The company shot him into limelight as one of the pioneers in the field of GSM business, especially in Northern Nigeria with branches in almost all the state capitals. He has since shown class in the field of buy and sale, service delivery among others, establishing various facets of companies to accommodate the teeming and growing Nigerian workforce.Mahmood has further leveraged on his growing goodwill over the years and dexterity in creating opportunities to expand his venture both locally and internationally. He has also raised awareness on the importance of education and has also enhanced the quality of education through scholarship programmesMahmood Ahmadu has always aimed to be the best in whatever he does, and thus has stayed on top in managing a strong international network between IT and Telecom companies thereby boosting his capability, capacity and credibility.

This has given him an edge in relating seamlessly with both the international and local business world, giving his companies a multinational presence.His company has been able to build an African multi-business conglomerate with special focus on Information Technology which many African countries have leveraged on to achieve cost-effective services for their people and governments.Over the years, Mahmood has been known to work within the ambit of the law, and in his years of practice, has not ran foul of the laws of any land. Little wonder his altruistic tendencies, hard work and selfless benevolence have endeared him to many, and attracting many recognitions and awards internationally, like the UK Asian Voice Charity Awards for community empowerment (he is the first to be recognized with this award), London Leadership and Peace Award at City Hall, London awarded by Boris Johnson. That was not all, he also won the Euro Knowledge ‘Africa Change maker Entrepreneur’s’ award at The House of Lords in London for his Fintech platform and his drive for social inclusion for the millions of financially excluded and unbanked.Mahmood strongly believes in CSR, and has inculcated it as a form of belief, faith and culture. There are strong indications that this young man is heading for the very zenith of business success.


It was such a huge opportunity for thanksgiving and giving glory to God for astute Football Administrator and President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick when he hit 50. For him, though rolling out the drums was necessary, what was highest on the agenda was giving back to society and showing gratitude for the grace of God in his life. Pinnick who describes himself as a child of destiny, was first elected NFF President in September 2014 and insists that he cannot remove God from his affairs because if not for divine intervention, he would not even be alive to celebrate this milestone.


He spoke with sombre tone when he relives an incident in February 2011 during a St Valentine Event in Warri, Delta State. According to him, a few years after his 2007 marriage to his adorable and gorgeous wife, Julie, he decided to create an event for couples whom he noticed have been going through tough times.
During the event tagged “Valentine’s Day Party” he usually assembled older couples to engage and mentor younger ones, and it was during a fireworks display to round off the ceremony at that 2011 edition that his face was almost blown and his life snuffed out.


According to him “I was standing close to a firework and it landed straight on my face. I had to undergo 13 surgeries within three months and I also had three more because the accident also affected my eardrum. There was a major crack in my eardrum.
“I was in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Shell, Warri for 10 days. I only had five minutes to stay alive if I wasn’t hurriedly taken to the hospital. That is why I believe I am a child of destiny”
Born into a large polygamous home to Chief Oritsetimileyin Japhet Pinnick and Madam Rebecca Pinnick (nee Ayomike), he grew up in an atmosphere of love and humility. His father was a top staff of UAC and rose to become one of the pioneer managers, his mother was a big-time trader and being from a prominent Warri family, “The Ayomikes” was well known.


Though he was the 15th of 19 children of his father, Pinnick revealed that there was never any rancor in their household because his father provided for them all and ensured they were all educated.
Reflecting on his family, the amiable gentleman stated “I cannot deny that he was rich. I was born into a modest home. My father was one of the first Africans to rise to the position of Manager at UAC at the time. We were well taken care off and travelled frequently.
“I believe my family should be a model for most polygamous families. My father passed on many years ago, but we have maintained peace in the household till date. I am even closer to my stepbrothers than my own direct siblings. Unlike others, we did not share my father’s properties. If anyone needs anything, he or she can make use of it. Our bond is so special.
“Whenever I see or hear of siblings fighting over their parent’s properties, I feel sad because in my family we genuinely help one another, despite being born by different mothers”
As a young boy, like many Nigerian boys, football was the No. 1 game of choice. In his case, his love affair with the beautiful game was stronger than most because he attended the famous Hussey College, Warri.


The school which produced such great Nigerians like Isaac Adaka Boro, Brig-General Mobolaji Johnson (retd), Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni (retd), Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II was a centre of sports excellence, raising great sportsmen and women who represented the country.
Amaju was a goalkeeper and striker but his penchant for his books ensured his concentration was more on academics than sports. At Hussey College, he was an A student and so when he finished his West African School Certificate exams, he had so many options.
“With my secondary school certificate, I could study whatever I wanted. Medicine, Law or Engineering. Some people wanted me to study Law because I was a good debater in school. I won many competitions for the school and many saw men as a great public speaker.
“My aspiration was to become a Public Speaker and Pastor. While my aunt who was based in Ibadan at that time wanted me to study Medicine at the University of Ibadan, I had very good grades in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics.


According to him, his adventure into football administration was inspired by late Mr. Patrick Okpomo, a seasoned Administrator and one-time Secretary-General of the then Nigeria Football Association. Okpomo was a formidable force on football matters and well known across the country and beyond.
This was why despite everything, he decided to study Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Benin.
Incidentally, his sojourn in football actually began at the University of Benin when he was made the Team Manager of his Faculty’s football Team. Of course, he proved his mettle during the inter-faculty tournaments, and his face lights up with excitement as he recalls those days by the sidelines with classmates screaming and cheering.
After University, he worked briefly at Hallmark Bank before he was appointed Chairman, Delta State FA in 2010. He was also Senior Special Adviser to Governor on Foreign Relations and Chairman, Delta State Sports Council where he excelled.
As Sports Council Chairman, grassroots sports became his forte. Realising that different parts of the state had people with different abilities, he groomed talents in Swimming, Athletics, Football and the likes.


His dictum was always that preparation mixed with determination, resilience and the right financial support leads to success in sports. He preached this wherever he went.
It was therefore no surprise that when he threw his hat into the ring to contest for the position of NFF President in September 2014 everyone knew that he had a pure heart, little wonder, he won spectacularly because of his knack for excellence and track record of performance.
As Chairman of the NFF, he has been tried many times on financial matters but he has come out smelling like roses.  Many who are close to him said his winning formula is his outstanding leadership skills and the great ability of being a good team player.
These sterling attributes and more earned him the historic record of being the only NFF President to get a second term.
Today, Pinnick is well respected in Africa and in World Football. There is no major event that he hosts that the FIFA hierarchy is not present or represented.  This was very evident at the glamorous dinner to celebrate his 50th birthday and the Awards he has hosted.
He had been rewarded for his passion at different occasions. He has been President of the African Cup of Nations, he has been 2nd Vice President of Confederation of African Football (CAF), Executive member, CAF and 1st Vice President, CAF, Member, Organising Committee of FIFA Competitions (reputed to be the most important committee in the world football body).


To prove that he is not power hungry and always looking up to God, when everyone believed he would be the natural successor to Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantekyi as Member, FIFA Council, Pinnick abstained and the position was won by Malawi’s Walter Nyamilandu.
An epitome of humility, he was one of the young Turks that caused the revolution that led to the emergence of Ahmad Ahmad as CAF President.
As NFF President for the past six years, Pinnick revealed that it has been illuminating and challenging.
“In the past six years and eight months at the NFF, we have all worked at not only steering the ship but doing things differently. We have looked at the strategies, methods and processes and we have tried to make positive changes that would make things easier for those coming into the organization.
“We have planned, ploughed, planted, prayed and we earnestly believe that our efforts will end in praise. Nigerian football has so much potential, we believe the work we have been doing will begin to manifest very soon.
‘There have been tribulations and simulated slippery ground here and there, but we have managed to weather it all and stand tall. These trials have not been our making, but the sincerity of our desire to improve the way things are done for the good of the game has never been in doubt.


“The Congress, Executive Committee, Management and Staff have all been committed to the cause and were have stayed on course as one united and indivisible unit.”
Amaju recounted how the football governing body in Nigeria has always depended solely on government since its inception in 1945, but he and the team had devised ingenious ideas which has reduced dependency on government funds by 60 per cent! His dream before he passes on the baton is to make NFF self-sufficient.
It was during his stint that AITEO Energy Resources, a leading Energy Solutions Company became “Official Optimum Partner” of the NFF. The deal ensured that the era of unpaid salaries of national team coaches was history. AITEO also took over sponsorship of the famous FA Cup- adding glamour and colour to the nationwide competition.
Zenith Bank has also supported the Pinnick-led NFF as partner.  It was responsible for capacity building for administrators, youth development programmes and payment of coaches.
On the eve of the Russia 2018 Fifa World Cup, qualification, two partnership agreements were signed in one day with Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group as “Official Food Sponsor” of the Super Eagles and PayPorte Global Systems as “Official Online Store” of the NFF. Cocacola also sealed a 5-year deal with the NFF, becoming the “Official Soft Drink of the National Teams” while Nigeria Breweries Plc signed a N2.2 Billion deal that made its brands: Star “Official Alcoholic Beverage of the Super Eagles” and Amstel Malta “Official Malt Drink of the NFF and National teams
That was not all, Cadbury Nigeria’s brand, Tom Tom signed a deal to become “Official Candy of the Super Eagles”, while WAPIC Insurance sealed a sponsorship deal as Official Insurance Company of the NFF and the National Team and Emzor Pharmaceuticals has a long-running contract that has been retained.


In December 2017, Nigeria became the first African country to be on FIFA Connect, the centralized portal for the registration of football players and other stakeholders, this was after an engaging 2-day workshop was held in Abuja.
Under Pinnick, former Nigerian football stars have been considered for coaching positions in the various national teams. For example, Pinnick had the courage to appoint Sunday Oliseh as Super Eagles Head Coach in July 2015 but the later fell short of expectations. Former goalkeepers, Imama Amapakabor and Alloy Agwu have been in the Super Eagles, Samson Siasia coached the U-23 while Emmanuel Amuneke coached the U-17 and U-20. While Joseph Yobo is serving as Assistant Coach.
It is not in his character to be a one-way traffic who concentrates only on the men, the women have received a big boost too. It was under his watch that he encouraged the establishment of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) which has Aisha Falode as President. Florence Omagbemi, Perpetua Nkwocha and Ann Chiejine have all worked in the Super Falcons set up.
In his words this is a deliberate effort “The NFF recognizes and appreciates the great efforts of our great footballers who have done well locally and internationally for the glory of our great country. They are the most important aspect of the game because without them there will be no NFF, FIFA or sponsors. The NFF Foundation is being put in place principally to look into the welfare of these these players”


It was in this same spirit that the Federation during its 2019  NFF/AITEO Awards honoured the Super Eagles Class of 94 (which is reputed to be the most successful Nigeria National Team). It was a moving moment for the players and their families at the event held at the prestigious Eko Hotel & Suites.
Despite his achievements so far, he is not taking his eyes off the ball. For him reaching his goal is “Non-negotiable. We are determined to improve football infrastructure and facilities both at national and regional levels as can be seen by the FIFA projects across the nation.
“We are equally committed to training and retraining and enabling mass participation in the game of football which is the single biggest unifier of all peoples across several mental and physical divides and also lures boys and girls away from social vices. Not to talk about its immense international image-building component. We are passionate about the game at the grassroots.
Having built a sterling profile in football across the continent and with his NFF Presidency ending in 2022, it was widely rumoured that he would take a shot at the CAF Presidency.
But Amaju has stated in clear terms that he has no such ambition “ We are  supporting the aspiration of  Dr Patrice Motsepe of South Africa (The billionaire owner of Memolodi Sundowns  FC).We believe he has the clout and organizational savvy to take CAF from its present low level to a place of regard and respect among the six confederations of FIFA.
He however revealed that he would be taking a shot at the FIFA Council Seat “I have consulted wide and this is the route I feel comfortable taking now. Membership of FIFA Council also confers a lot of opportunity to make crucial contributions to the running of world football.


He made his declaration in a statement titled “My Journey, My Passion, My Intention” He wrote:
“Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it”-Uthman Dan Fodio.
“I have “picked the quote above, by the famous Islamic scholar, because it aptly captures the essence of public service and what men must be guided with in administering a sector of intense public interest such as football. There is no alternative to being true to yourself in seeking to deliver on promises made when seeking office, and this has guided every step of the journey of my life in public service.
“Following consultations far and wide and within the broad spectrum of continental and global footballing interests and concerns, I have decided to be a candidate for the FIFA Council at the next Elective Congress of the Confederation of African Football scheduled for 21st March 2021 in Rabat, Morocco.
For me, it has never been a matter of personal ambition. Always, it has been the passion for service and desire to change the old ways of things and embrace wholeheartedly the new and exciting, and more innovative and impactful ways.
“I come from a very small minority ethnic group in my native Nigeria, a part of the country known as the Niger Delta, known globally for its combustibility and ruggedness, indeed with a touch of brilliance and resilience. Scores of Nigeria’s most famous football players ever hail from the Delta region, and our football culture is enrapturing. So, I caught on to football from an early age.
From the beginning, even while contributing at the local level, I imagined myself at higher levels, making impact, giving joy to multitudes through this game that means so much to millions, billions of people. It is this passion, nurtured from adolescence, that has kept me going and working for Nigeria football despite the bricks and bats, the odds, hurdles and obstacles, and man-made challenges that would have seen men of weaker fibre throw in the towel long ago.


It is this same passion that has made me put life and limb on the line, 3 years and 8 months ago, for what I believed was a genuine collective desire for change – in the governance of African football.
In an alignment of forces with kindred spirits, we were able to effect a change at the top of African football administration, tossing out a 29-year old conservative regime. Opportunities and possibilities have been presented to the hierarchy to make positive changes since then but these have been, nonchalantly, frittered away.
For more than six years, I have worked very hard, with like minds, to effect a positive change in the administration of football in Nigeria, and this has been attested to by many. As 1st Vice President of CAF and President of the Organizing Committee of the AFCON, I know the hard work and commitment that went into enabling the 2019 AFCON finals hold in Egypt. At great personal risk, I toured all the venues in Egypt, travelling at night most of the time, all to ensure the success of the tournament, yet gave all the credit to the President.
At the unexpected turn of events (non-renewal of my tenure as 1st Vice President), I took solace in the words of Romans 8:28: “Everything worketh for good for those who love God.” I stand tall today, that every gospel of change that I preached, has been vindicated.


It is my firm belief that after 63 years of existence, the Confederation of African Football, and by extension, African football, should be in a much better position than it is presently.
My focus and vision is to be at a vantage point to contribute immensely to the renaissance of African football and African football administration, through quality contributions at football’s high table. I am aware of the immense plans and programmes of FIFA President, Mr. Gianni Infantino, for the African game, and it will take men of mettle, selflessness, clear and scientific thinking, acuity, sapience and resourcefulness to give him the support he needs to bring all those plans to fruition. In a fast –changing global environment with ever –improving technology, we must be able to adopt and adapt, upscale and upgrade and be fluid in the way we do things in order to stay relevant and competitive.
The previous season, three Africans emerged the top scorers in the English Premier League – the most exciting football league in the world. This underscores the humongous possibilities of the African game, with talents mushrooming everywhere but in need of the right structures to hone those talents, be nurtured and guided on the right path to greatness.
In remote African cities and provinces, nooks and crannies, there are dozens of Mohammed Salahs, Sadio Manes and Pierre Aubameyangs, as well as Wilfred Ndidis and Ahmed Musas to be unearthed, polished and unleashed to make tremendous impact on world football, just like the George Weahs, Tony Yeboahs, Jay Jay Okochas, Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayews, Nwankwo Kanus and Lucas Radebes before them.


However, this will take the right kind of people sitting at football’s high table and pushing Africa’s agenda with all their might and mirth, and not mere tourists who sit on the Council for the perks and sitting allowances.
Club football is the lifeblood of the game. Today, the only clubs making the finals of African competitions are almost always from one region. So, you ask, where are those famous African clubs like Canon Sportif and Tonnere Kalala of Cameroon, Hafia of Guinea, ASEC Mimosas and Africa Sports of Cote d’Ivoire, Enugu Rangers and IICC Shooting Stars of Nigeria, Gor Mahia of Kenya, Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak from Ghana?
A whole new orientation is imperative in the business of representing our esteemed continent on the FIFA Council. There is urgent and cogent need for farsighted and enlightened solutions, in tandem with the times, rather than inclination to short termism.
I fervently want to work with like minds and men of genuine calibre to restore the pride of the African, exorcise unflattering words like ‘laughing stock’ and ‘scandal’ and replace them, through hard work and enterprise, with ‘respect’ ‘probity’ and ‘transparency’.
I have a burning desire to reconnect with the basic ideals of African football, reconnect with the authentic African values in a way that Africa’s legends who toiled to make Africa great in the game will be proud once more.


We will seek to engage each Member Association on the African continent, on their peculiarities and specific needs, and proffer appreciably realistic home –grown solutions to these needs and challenges. We will travel to these places and engage the chieftains meaningfully and robustly, not for photo opportunities or mere tourism.
We must make very conscious, precise and specific efforts in our desire to attain our goals in launching Africa on the pedestal of greatness. We will escalate actions where necessary and move with the tides and times.
There is a United Nations Declaration that “sport is a veritable tool that could be used for the successful attainment and achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.” In no sport is this truer than football, with the passion and followership that it attracts, the frenzy it generates among the young and the old, and the availability of television money that can propel the game to new heights.
This is not a time for pursuing vendetta, nourishing animosity or engendering acrimony, but a time for genuine forgiveness, to completely refocus, rebuild, revitalize and rejuvenate the African game and African football administration to earn its due respect in the global sphere. It is a time to imbibe the spirit of oneness and excellence, and to have the fear of God in all our dealings.
Football is an industry with capacity to employ dozens of millions of Africa’s population, with several ancillary opportunities apart from those directly involved in playing the game, coaching, refereeing, administering, providing medical support, marketing, rights-buying, player-management, osteopath and psychology services, statistics-gathering and analysis, and journalism.


It is also an industry capable (and already doing so in the advanced climes) of contributing significantly to a country’s Gross Domestic Product. We will seek to set Africa on the way to making football the enormous industry that it is in several other places, and build a veritable future for our teeming youths who l”ove the game to bits.
I believe that with my experience, my knowledge and my passion, I can make a huge difference in the governance of football in Africa in my position as FIFA Council Member, ipso facto CAF Executive Committee Member. The voice of Africa will be heard loud and clear; and the interests of Africa will be served to the fullest.
What is more; I will be working under the leadership of one of the biggest international bodies in the world where every knowledge and experience can and will be brought to bear, especially in the areas of governance, quality service delivery, transparency, accountability, resource management and development. Such knowledge, unquantifiable, might just come to be useful over time, in the direct running of the game in the future.
I therefore humbly declare and seek the support and blessing of all, to be elected as FIFA Council Member in 2021.” The letter received accolades across the continent and he has been gathering support in the advancement of this worthy cause.
Talking about his 50th, he swung back to expression of gratitude “I give glory to God Almighty. It is a milestone and one must look back and reflect on how the journey has been. I am very happy about my journey which has been mainly about football and business.


“I am fulfilled with the tremendous success I have achieved in both, and I pray that God will continue to guide my path so that I can accomplish even greater things in all areas. There is nothing that I have achieved of my own power, strength, wisdom or intellect. Everything has been down to to God Almighty”.
Despite being a man of means, Pinnick’s has an abundant amount of human kindness flowing in his veins. Indeed, philanthropy is innate and he has involved in it from the get go when he began to make some money as a businessman, long before he entered football administration. He has been doing his thing silently away from the prying eyes of the media. His vehicle has been Brownhill Foundation where he ploughs 5 per cent of his earnings to worthy causes.
Many students have enjoyed scholarships, while former sports personalities which challenges have also benefitted. For example, Ex Super Eagles star, Wilson Oruma who was swindled and ran into hard times was rehabilitated by the foundation.


At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which necessitated a nationwide lockdown in Nigeria, the Foundation offered food items including rice, noodles, garri, condiments and cash of between N10,000-N15,000 to 500 families in Communities in Ogunu, Warri, Delta State.
In addition, following the death of NFF Head of ICT, Tolulope Abe, the Foundation has taken up the educational needs of his two older children while similar arrangement await the others once they are admitted into higher institutions.
And it was in this spirit of giving that he went back to his alma mater, Hussey College as part of his 50th birthday celebration to make a huge donation.


Weddings are memorials which last forever in the minds of couples, their parents and all the witnesses, and so every couple strives their utmost to make it even more memorable. But the duo of Majekodunmi and Eyitayo families went the extra mile pulling all stops to ensure that their children, Bukola ‘Bukky’ Majekodunmi and Tayo Eyitayo, had the best of memories when they called it quit with spinsterhood and bachelorhood, said “I do and came together as one.

Taking with them all the razzmatazz associated with classy celebrations, the wedding party berthed at the prestigious Balmoral Events Centre within the premises of the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, where undiluted joy preceded the final merging into one of the Majekodunmi and Eyitayo  families as the two love birds tied the nuptial knots to begin a glorious journey in matrimony.

The marriage ceremonies began with full fledged traditional activities where the Yoruba culture was explored to the fullest, recalling nostalgic feelings of how things used to be.

The legendary local MCs: Alaga Iduro and Alaga Ijoko were at their best, and had a field day with the audience, recreating an admixture of culture and entertainment to the admiration and applause of everyone present.

Shortly after the traditional proceedings, the couple changed to formal English outfits appropriate for what has been described as a talk-of-the- town reception.
In his speech, the Chairman of the occasion, Pastor Godman Akinlabi, stylishly admonished the couple on almost every aspect of matrimonial existence, focusing on the need to be tolerant as well as respect each other’s feelings.
The well dressed guests were treated to the best of local and continental cuisines with a large dose of choice beverages while being serenaded by lovely tunes from Ayo Balogun and band.
The well-attended event which was smoothly planned by @golditeventsolution, witnessed the presence of notable dignitaries among whom were former First Lady of Osun State, Mrs Omolola Oyinlola; Mr. & Mrs. Bisi Onasanya, Mr. Debola Williams and Mr Sijibomi Ogundele.


Ibinabo Fiberesima is a former beauty queen, actress and one-time President of the Actor’s Guild of Nigeria.
Born to a Nigerian Medical Doctor father and an Irish mother, Ibinabo had her early years in Port Harcourt, Rivers state and attended Federal Government College, New Bussa.
She holds a Bacherlor of Arts Degree in English & Literature from the University of Ibadan and made headlines in 1991 when she participated in the Miss Nigeria pageant and was first runner-up to eventual winner Bibiana Ohio.
Before that contest, she had already won the Miss Wonderland Crown in 1990. Today, she is the organiser of the yearly Miss Earth Nigeria Beauty Pageant.
In this exclusive 50th birthday interview, the gorgeous IB as she is fondly called spoke candidly about life’s lessons in the last half a century.
Looking back, what do you miss most about your youthful days?
In truth, I really miss the energy, that energy to be almost ubiquitous. But most importantly I miss the proclivity to take risks. You know youth is synonymous with risks, the age when you really have nothing to lose. When you can conveniently fail and have time on your side to rebuild. At this stage of my life, I have to consider too many things, too many people. Every decision I take affects someone, so a lot of caution is necessary, caution which defeats potentially enormous goals.
Tell us about your parents
Growing up was a lot of fun. I grew up in love within a very close knit family. I still experience that love and camaraderie that typified my early years. The support I got during my latter travails was proof of that. My family never abandoned me and till today I still get the love and care I received as a child. My dad dotes over me and as a practicing Medical Doctor I’m one of his priority patients. To my Aunty Bisola fifty is just a numerical thing. I was a heady kid growing up, just like that trending kid comic Bridget Bema, but I also stood for justice and ensured that everyone got their fair share of equity. My parents are the best I could ever ask for.
Who were you closer to, your mom or your dad?
It’s obvious. I was closer to my dad and I still am. Whenever I have current issues he is my go-to-guy. I will also notably mention my grandmother. She taught me the bible in Yoruba at a very early age and if she were still alive I guess dear daddy will be easily knocked off the top perch.
Can you recall some of your childhood friends or school mates?
Oh yes I can. I’ve got quite a few but these ones deserve notable mention. There was Janet Olu. I’ve been friends with Janet all the way from primary school till date. She’s a Jehovah’s Witness but boy, did we indulge in mischief those yesteryears. Then, there is Ibiwari, my sweet sister and best friend. Ibiwari is literally my wing-man and we’ve shared and still share so many beautiful experiences together. I became friends with Odiatu Patricia immediately after secondary and we did practically everything. Timi Oki and Muzaan Yellowe were friends from the same neighbourhood. My friendship with Muzaan is the classic cat and mouse one. We never agreed on anything and till present it’s still the same, but try to get in between us at your own peril. Then, there is Julie Abigo. She was the most intelligent of us all, the perennial first position kid. We secretly ‘beefed’ her. You know that kid, your parents would chastise you to emulate, while painfully pulling your ears, yes, and that was Julie. But I admit she did inspire us to better, bless her. I also have to mention London Kio. He’s the listening ear and literal shoulder. He’s always been there through thick and thin.
How did the decision to contest in a beauty pageant happen?
Well, I’ve always had an adventurous spirit and if you go through what I have accomplished in my life you’d see that that fact is manifestly apparent. Almost every goal I set for myself is something that took me out of my comfort zone, which challenged me, that threw me against the odds. I always love to take on daunting ventures. I always crave to try new things, and contesting for a beauty pageant was one of those bold, new things. A lot of people might say having beauty as an edge was perhaps a motivating factor, but as a veteran of pageants, both as a contestant and a judge, I can readily tell you that there is nothing farther from the truth. Pageantry involves beauty, yes, but it also involves intelligence, poise, talent, with speech fluency and a fair amount of luck. So once I thought pageantry was a fitting challenge, I gave it a shot. It’s much the same way I try to encourage the girls contesting for the Miss Earth crown to accept the challenge with grace.
You then went into acting, tell us how you got into it?
Recall I talked about trying new things; well this was another opportunity to explore a new terrain amidst the exciting buzz of a budding neo-Nigerian film industry. Looking back I am extremely grateful to have been a part of the early days of Nollywood and indeed further grateful to have played a latter role as her first female President. I like to believe that the history of Nollywood will not be complete without a paragraphed mention of Ibinabo Fiberesima, but then I must confess I was scared stiff on the set of my first movie and had it not been for God’s grace I probably would have called it off. A movie set is not as easy as people think and I have to thank my sister Regina Askia for her encouragement and for dons like Zeb ‘The Sheikh’ Ejiro and my dear friend the late Chico Ejiro for the opportunities and encouragement. The movie ‘Most Wanted’ marked a watershed for me in an industry that has contributed in an enormous part of making me who I am today.