Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi on Sunday recounted how he was once seriously dazed by the stupendous wealth of an Ibadan born Chief Harry Akande, who, after an encounter, allowed him a pip into what he was really worth.
Ajimobi said having worked in the Shells Petroleum Company, which first launched him into the world of the rich, he used to move about with a gait of pride until he met Harry Akande well ensconced in pool of wealth back in the United Kingdom.
The Governor, it was gathered, told the story of his interesting encounter with Akande earlier in the day at the Cathedral Church of St David, Kudeti Ibadan.
The occasion was the marking of the Platinum Jubilee organised in honour of Chief Mrs Regina Olayinka Akande who just clocked 100 years on mother earth.
The governor who was one of the dignitaries who gave goodwill messages during the Church service for Harry Akande’s lucky mother, spoke in a lighter mood, recounting that he was seriously humbled on knowing how rich Chief Akande has been.
He said having pulled some years in the Shell Petroleum, he usually went about with an impression that he was rich until he once met Chief Akande in London and the latter invited him to his residence, just for a social meeting.
He told the congregation that on the day he was to visit the multi-billionaire, he decided to go with his wife as both were meditating on what Akande was worth on their way.
Ajimobi said as a supposedly wealthy Nigerian in UK, he could boast of dashing out the sum of £100 or sometimes £50 pounds to those in need without blinking, while they both wondered whether Harry Akande could give out much than that to anyone around him.
The governor said it was when he and the First Lady got to the golden Castle abode of Chief Harry Akande in London that they got a whiff of what the man was worth as a wealthy Nigerian and in philanthropy.
The Street Journal quots Ajimobi as saying that Chief Akande’s castle located very close to the Buckingham Palace in London is a place reserved for very wealthy people, while it has all the trappings of affluence with every department of the Castile well computerized.
He said if he was overwhelmed with the vista of stupendous affluence that confronted him on arrival, Chief Akande was to shock him the more when after the meeting with him and the wife, he drew and handed over to him a cheque which he said he never bothered to open until he got into his car.
Ajimobi disclosed further that when he dared to open the Cheque, he found to his utter consternation that he had been made £10, 000 richer, courtesy of the magnanimity of the wealthy Ibadan man he calls ‘egbon’ (elder brother in Yoruba language).
He said since the day of the encounter, his impression about Chief Harry Akande changed dramatically as he learnt to accord him greater respect, most especially in view of his generosity and unequalled philanthropy.
The governor in a parable described the one time Presidential aspirant on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) as a noiseless wealthy Nigerian whose pool of wealth can, any day, create a shock wave for the wealthiest man.
While the section for goodwill messages was on, a woman on a wheel chair also testified to the uncommon act of philanthropy of Chief Akande as he narrated how the family, in particular, the Akande’s mother took deep interest in her and decided to assuage her condition.
She said she got to know the Akandes through one of the acquaintances he named Bayo Alugbin, recalling that her life story changed dramatically the moment she set eyes on Chief Akande and the mother.
As she recounted, so magnanimous was the family that the mother literally turned her into a daughter while she ensured that the family attended to all her academic pursuits up till the Masters level, with all school fees fully paid.
The celebrant, Chief Mrs Regina Akande shocked the congregation when she was asked to give a vote of thanks and spoke extempore, reeling out dates and events, as she spoke for a considerable period of time without a hiccup.
As a mark of honour, the congregation stood up as the Centenarian spoke of memorable events with precision of dates which most people found stunning.
The Platinum Anniversary of Chief Harry Akande’s mother was witnessed by top traditional rulers in the south-west including the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, the Osile Oke-Ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, the Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr) Adekunle Aromolaran as well as the representatives of the Olubadan of Ibadanland and the Ooni Of Ife.
Others in attendance include wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Bola, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, Chief Ebenizer Babatope and a host of others.