The annual Ilese Day celebration has grown beyond mere cultural event to a gathering for showcasing talents, rewarding passions and promoting our cultural heritage. Over the years it has grown in leaps and bounds from small beginnings to become what it is today. However, the development isn’t automatic, it’s the summation of efforts of distinguished and selfless individuals who invested their times, energies and money to ensure visitors into Ilese for the event are not disappointed. Let’s look at some of these great and magnificent individuals.
Chief Rufus Olukayode Odusanya:
‘Baba Ijo’ as he’s fondly called is one community leader who has paid his dues and is still daily casting a long shadow and leaving extraordinarily large shoes to fill in Ilese community and beyond via his selfless contributions to Ilese community development. He’s simply a major factor in Ilese community development.
This former General Manager of Siemens Nigeria has been on ground for years, contributing his time, energy, knowledge and money to the advancement of our dear land. He’s presently a respected Patron of Ilese Dynamic Association (IDA). Before now, he was a foundation member of same Ilese Dynamic Association where he first served as Treasurer, then as Vice President and finally elected as President in December 2020. He has equally served at Ilese Community Development Association (ICDA) as the Chairman for over six years from 2005.
Chief Rufus Olukayode Odusanya is one of the big players and forces behind the annual Ilese Day Celebration.
Otunba Kunle Kalejaye SAN:
Over the years, the name ‘KK’ as he’s fondly called, has been associated with blazing trials, charting paths and crashing ceilings. He is the proud progenitor of what is now annually celebrated as Ilese Day and he was the pioneer Chairman of the Planning Committee until few years ago.
Borrowing from Saint-Olawale Jimoh’s description of him, ‘his snail doesn’t put mouth to the bottom of a tree without climbing!’ His many wins and triumphs is a testament to the fact that whatever he starts flourish. He’s indeed a man with a Midas touch.
He’s currently the President of Ilese Dynamic Association and Chairman, Ilese Charter of Demands Committee. He’s one of the big financiers of the annual Ilese Day celebration.
Otunba Segun Demuren:
This seasoned legal icon has always been on ground from day one, pointing directions, sharing valuable knowledge and contributing financially to the success of the annual event. His being the incumbent Chairman of Ilese Development Council (IDC) and former President of Ilese Dynamic Association between 2004-2007 is a testament to his past and present selfless commitment.
He’s one of the formidable forces behind the annual festival and carnival.
Otunba Sola Mogaji:
He’s the incumbent Chairman of Ilese Day Planning Committee. OSM as he’s fondly called, puts everything else on hold when it comes to this yearly exercise. There were lots of doubts when he took over as the Chairman of the Planning Committee because of the standard set by the former and pioneer Chairman, Otunba Kunle Kalejaye but he shocked the doubters with his giant strides and undeniable achievements.
From the start to finish of the 7–Day event, his country home at Esepa-Ilone axis become an unofficial administrative headquarters of the annual Ilese Day celebration, with visitors thronging in and out in large numbers to sort one issue or the other relating to the event.
Pastor Bayo Ayanga:
He’s the incumbent Publicity Secretary of Ilese Development Council and former Publicity Secretary of Ilese Dynamic Association. When it comes to multi-tasking and meeting tight deadlines, give it to Pastor Bayo Ayanga. He’s a perfect and smooth organiser. When it has to do with Ilese issue, he runs around like it’s his personal business. He deploys his energy, time, knowledge and money to this yearly event. Where the elders cannot go, he’s there.
He’s one of the big forces behind the success of the annual Ilese Day celebration.
Pastor Mike Okueyungbo:
He’s the incumbent Vice President of Ilese Dynamic Association. This seasoned private sector expert, former Managing Director of Gulf Bank and an accomplished businessman has played prominent roles in this yearly event. He contributes largely in all aspect and his inputs cannot be quantified.
Aside Ilese Day celebrations, Pastor Mike Okueyungbo is ready to part with his resources as long as it’s for the development of Catland. He’s one of the formidable forces behind Ilese Day celebration.
However, there are still few other individuals, old and young working tirelessly and investing their resources to the success of the event but not mentioned because of the shortness of deadline in making this article available for publishing. They’re are equally important and valuable assets to the community.
– SAINT OLAWALE JIMOH
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