Mr. John Odigie-Oyegun

Your Excellency,

At 82, Dear Chief John E. K. Odigie-Oyegun, CON, you grow each day wiser and more optimistic. You look strong and healthy, youthful and well-preserved, all evidence of the Lord’s grace.

You are a breath of fresh air at the critical stage in the life of this University.

As you know, you are such an important leader to us in this premier institution! No gift could ever express how much you mean to us and how much incredibly we appreciate you as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, University of Ibadan.

This special day provides an opportunity to salute your virtues of discipline, commitment to excellence and diligence which have continued to earn you resounding breakthroughs in various endeavours.

Also, this special day, is a testimony of your well-acknowledged accomplishments and feats in the public services as well as what you left behind for the good people of Edo State as the First Executive Governor.

These achievements, attainments and successes will continue to inspire generations of leaders in our country.

Most worthy of mention was your significant role in the enthronement of the current political dispensation in our country as the founding Chairman of All Progressives Party (APC), among other, memorable, indelible and historic roles as the Deputy National Chairman, (South), All Nigeria Progressive Party (ANPP); Vice-Presidential candidate of the party and later member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

Chief. John Odigie-Oyegun

Chief John Evboyomwan Kenneth Odigie-Oyegun was born on 12 August, 1939 into the family of Pa Daniel Osagiedde Odigie-Oyegun, MBE and Mrs. Shaka Elizabeth Oyegun, new Amurun.

He was admitted to the University College, Ibadan in 1960 and bagged a Bachelor of Science, (Hons) in Economics in 1963. He was a resident of Kuti Hall which he served as the Hall Secretary.

This distinguished Nigerian attended many world-class postgraduate institutions.

He joined the Federal Civil Service in 1963, worked in various capacities and at different levels and was appointed a Federal Permanent Secretary in 1975 at the age of 36. In this capacity, he served the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Science and Technology, 1982 -1983; Ministry of Internal Affairs, February to September 1984; and Ministry of Commerce and Industry, September 1984 to December 1985.

By retirement in December 1985, he had put in a total of twenty two years in the Federal Public Service, nine of which was as Permanent Secretary.

In 1991, he contested and won on the platform of the Social Democratic Party and became the first Executive Governor of Edo State in January 1992. He has since remained a principled yet prime actor on the Nigerian political stage.

A man of steadfast principle, courage and conviction, he sacrificed all to play a key role in the crisis that followed the aborted and now historic June 12 elections of 1992 and the crisis that followed. A staunch member of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Chief Odigie-Oyegun paid a steep price when he was forced into exile where he emerged the Executive Secretary to the NADECO-Abroad. Along with the likes of late Chief Anthony Enahoro, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Prof. Wole Soyinka among many others, he waged a relentless struggle for a permanent end to military rule and the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.

An outstanding boardroom executive, Chief Odigie-Oyegun, at various times, served in the Board of several public, private and international entities.

A versatile industrialist and business man,
he is Chairman of several companies including Teletok Nigeria Ltd, Lagos and Imperial Woodwork Industries Limited, Benin City.

Chief Odigie-Oyegun belongs to many professional and social clubs including the Metropolitan Club, Lagos. He was past President of Rotary Club of Ikoyi. He is a member of Nigerian Economic Society (NES); a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (FNIM) and a life Trustee of the Benin Club. He is a life sustaining member of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) and a very active member of the Benin Branch. On Saturday, 11 June, 2016 the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) Worldwide conferred on him 2015 Most Distinguished Alumnus (MDA) award at an impressive ceremony in recognition of his selflessness and diligence, not for personal gain, but service to God and humanity.

Given the above and others which I could not chronicle, on behalf of Council, Senate, Congregation, Management, Staff and Students of the University of Ibadan, I rejoice with you , your family, friends, associates and admirers across generation in Nigeria and all over the world to give glory and thanks to Almighty God for His abiding grace and mercy on this wonderful alumnus of UI, illustrious son of Edo State and Nigeria on his remarkable 82nd birthday.

May each day of Chief John Evboyonwan Kenneth Odigie-Oyegun be wonderful in the full knowledge as the extraordinary person you are, the quintessential family man, elder statesman, and UI’s global ambassador who has made enormous contributions to national development.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND MANY HAPPY RETURNS SIR!!!

Olatunji Oladejo, JP, MNIPR
Director of Public Communication University of Ibadan

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