The Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, and the Grand Patron of Abeokuta Club, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo CFR, as well as a foundation member of the Club, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had expressed total support for the conferment of the membership of Abeokuta Club on the Nigerian the nationally acclaimed philanthropist, Sir Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu, CON, KJW, FISM, the Odole Oodua last Saturday, (18-01-2020) at the Abeokuta Club.
The cultural Club which ordinarily draws membership only from male Egba Indigenes, for the first time, conferred honorary memberships on a non Egba personality
Performing the Conferment, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who is also a Patron of the Club, disclosed that under the Section of the Club’s Constitution which allowed such exercise, Sir Kesington Adebutu was a most qualified person
According to the former President, Chief Adebutu popularly known as Baba Ijebu came to the rescue of former Gateway Hotel which had almost become a derelic with a huge monetary investment of over 5billion naira thereby, restoring a life of vibrancy back to the hotel and to Egbaland in general through his numerous investments
Chief Obasanjo also disclosed that his close friendship with Sir Adebutu continues to wax stronger as they are in-laws
He added that the recipient was also one of the most prominent Egba in-laws because of his marriage to a daughter of the immediate past Apena of Egbaland and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Akintoye Coker.
Speaking in the same vein, the Grand Patron of the Club, and the Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo described the honouring of Sir Kesington Adebutu with honorary membership, as an appropriate and a welcome development in the history of the Club.
The Alake described the Awardee as being a very close friend and associate with Egba indigenes adding that his association with him predicted his assumption of office as the Alake of Egbaland
Oba Adedotun Gbadebo gave kudos to Sir Adebutu for his huge investment in Park Inn Hotel, Kuto Abeokuta therby providing jobs for Egba indigenes and others
The Alake also pointed out that Sir Adebutu’s philanthropy and lottery business were a veritable avenue of wealth redistribution among various institutions and the general public which covered education, health, cultural and clubs, numbering about 30
Oba Gbadebo finally enjoined Sir Kesington not to relent in his humanistic exercise of making people living a better life.
In his welcome address, the President of Abeokuta Club and the Onimo Ero of Egbaland, Chief (Engr.) Tokunbo Odebunmi disclosed that Sir Adebutu Kesington’s conferment which was the first of its kind in the Club, was an unanimous choice of the Grand Patron, trustees, executives and general members of Abeokuta Club
According to the President, the provision for honorary membership has been extant in the Constitution of the Club since inception 45 years ago adding that Sir Adebutu Kesington was the very first person found to be proper and fit for the award.
Chief Tokunbo Odebunmi also disclosed that the large heartedness and his philanthropy across all ethnic and sub-ethnic lines stood him as being most eloquently qualified.
Speaking also on the physical development of the Club, the President said Abeokuta Club has made numerous achievements since inception such as construction of drainage network put in place to ease the stress of heavy downpour of rain, among many others
Sir Kesington Adebutu in his Acceptance Speech stated that he is pleased to be part of the Unique Club and equally heartwarming for him to be chosen as the very first Honorary Member of the Club and he promised to do all within his power to justify the acknowledgement of the Club
He added that he will continue to support Clubs and any other noble cause and ventures that improve the wellbeing of the Nigerian citizenry.
The Chairman, Board of Trustee and Life President of the club, Chief Olatunde Abudu was also the second President, supported the Club with a sum of 10million naira to fast track the ongoing development of the Club
The President also disclosed that the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun had promised that he would ensure the immediate completion of the Millennium Hall Project alongside it’s premises adding that efforts were still being made to contact the Governor on that pledge.