High Chief Lawani Asani Oluwo (OMOPUPA NI MUSHIN) 1890-1977. The Great Action Group (AG-EGBE OLOPE) Leader Of Mushin. Mushin, Idi-oro, Isolo, Oshodi, Agege, Shomolu, Bariga, Oworoshoki, Georgey, Obanikoro, Pedro, Ikotun, Igando, Igbesa, Atan-otta, Sango. He firmly, held the Party together in these areas of Lagos that were formerly part of SOUTH-WEST. Absolutely loyal to AWOLOWO.
Incarcerated under severe in-human condition by AKINTOLA at AGODI GOVERNMENT HOUSE IBADAN for over one year, just to denounce Awolowo and join his camp. Enticed with juicy positions, material gifts. Brand new Chevrolet and Vauxhall cars. Houses, Lands at GRA IBADAN and IKEJA. But the Great Warrior of “wild wild west”.
Hope you remember the “Wetie” days. For Lamidi Adedibu in one. “omo oko, ti ki nse omo ale” held on to his believe. The Coup Plotters who killed Akintola, set him free that unforgettable morning. Earlier in 1953, he was tried, discharged and acquitted along with some others over the murder and disappearance of ALFA APALARA at a Lagos High Court, at Tinubu Square.
He lived in Mushin. APALARA was murdered in Ebute Elefun by Makoko-Panti, Ebute Metta. He housed many traders/goods from Yoruba hinterlands who weekly came to trade in the popular MUSHIN market. His house was a sanctuary of sort, during the tumultous political reign of the 60s. If you were good, you meet and enjoy his favours. Your bad side will surely be met by his deviance and severe reprimand.
His long, walking stick was always handy when judging disputes. He was in BURMA FOR WW11. A HONOURED MEMBER OF THE BRITISH WEST AFRICAN FRONTIER FORCE. Also a Peace keeper in BEIRUT/CONGO. Ironically in 1969, while Sergeant Jelili Oluwo, his third son, was battling on the Federal side against the Biafrans. He was engrossed in a street battle along Oshodi-Agege Motor Road, with same Federal Soldiers from Oshodi Army resettlement Camp, who regretably invaded his house.
Once a soldier always a soldier. TAUGHT the military from Oshodi Resettlement Camp, how not to relate with the civilian community. Three of his houses were burnt (see picture) by the Soldiers. A COMMUNITY BANK, (AGBONMAGBE BANK) in one of these houses, was vandalised, looted and burnt. His Petrol/Gas Station (ESSO/SHELL. See picture) Infront of the house, was handy/embering the inferno. Attempts to kill or capture him alive became herculean for the baby soldiers. It was a battle of “SPIRIT vs lilliputants”. “Broda” Waidi Olayiwola, one of his children, a staff of the Bank, miraculously escaped being captured by the rampaging soldiers. It took the intervention of Gen. YAKUBU GOWON, then Head of State, through Brig. MOBOLAJI JOHNSON, then Lagos State Governor, to bring the situation under control. After long hours of guerilla like battle with the unruly, inexperienced khaki boys.
He was a one man riot against the soldiers that memorable day. After SERVICES IN THE ARMY, he went to TRANSPORT business. He along with his famous friend, Baba “OSHA LA GEGE” and ALHAJI RUFUS AJAGBE (went to Hadj/Mecca Jan/Feb 1952. See picture) formed the first motor union (Now NURTW) at “EBUTE ERO” in Lagos Colony. Then he was living at a rented apartment on “OKE-POPO” LAGOS ISLAND. Maternally, he descended from the Royal house of Ado Ekiti. A warrior grandson of the Great Balogun of Ijebu Ode. The progenitor and founder of APARAKI TOWN (interesting story there). A suburb of Ijebu Ode.
Uncle to the ABDULS and High Chief SUBOMI BALOGUN of IJEBU ODE. Who sojourned to and fro our house in search of the golden fleece to London. And Justice TAJUDEEN ODUNOWO . A retired Federal Judge. A gentleman. Sustenance of “okun ebi” Asani, Oni Imushin ajina, oni Imushin ana doru. Omo Imodi-Mosan. Onita itebo, nijebu ode. Baba Kola. His first son, a fine, handsome, gentle officer of the Nigerian Airforce. I will never forget the aura and scenery, whenever Gen. Yakubu Gowon passes through Agege Motor Road, enroute Lagos, Ikeja International Airport.
Routinely, he would stop the entourage. Stepped down and accorded my grandpa his dues as a veteran soldier. In return my grandpa, will give him a ground shaking, marching salute. Respecting his status as the HEAD OF STATE. Retrospectively, he was a good, loving father. Husband to ten WIVES. Dandy of numerous concubines.
Protector of the poor and less privilege of the society. To borrow his words, his “agidity” was born out of his age long stand against injustice. WE CALLED HIM BAALOKE. Sun re o. OMO PUPA NI MUSHIN.