TRIBUTE : Dr. Soleye, My Mentor Is 90 This Day, 11/11



The world is full of men that appears like great men but actually most of those men that appear like great men are men with skeleton in their cupboard.

When I see many big men in our society; I shake my head when I remember I have someone who is a father and mentor with high integrity, honesty, Contentment and simple lifestyle…That is Who Dr.Soleye is…a Clean man.

Dr.Onaolapo Soleye do not have too many replica in Egbaland, Ogun State and Nigeria when it comes to honesty and integrity.

He served as a Commissioner in the old Western Region and was a Pioneer Commissioner when Ogun State was created in 1976.

Once a Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Commerce.( TIC).

He was Commissioner for Lands at a time and then Commissioner of Finance.

He later served as Minister of Finance with Tunde Idi Agbon and Buhari.

He was a member of NNPC Board at a time.

He was part of men that shaped the Mining office of Nigeria.

Daddy is so simple and friendly that no one can accuse him of bias.

Unlike men who steal our common wealth today whenever they get into government, he served at different levels and never stole a kobo.

The husband of Mama Womiloju Modupe Soleye.. an Industrious Mama with discipline. A woman that will force you to eat even when you say you just finished eating.

You know you are coming home here; why should you eat before coming here.?

Mummy the mummy Ekiti Kete…Once we Crack such jokes she will laugh.

Daddy will say..Gbenga …Ma ba mummy argue.Awon Ekiti Lori yen.( Gbenga, don’t argue with mummy..That is Ekiti woman for you)

Daddy ki le eyin nso ..? Baba atomo …( Daddy what are you saying there ..Father and son?).

Lover of his wife even at 90.

I love the company of great men like Dr Soleye and I enjoyed our conversations over the years.

Daddy will tell me..when you start going to School after becoming a sound Professional Accountant, you have your integrity to protect.

Every stage of my PhD; Daddy will ask me, how is your Thesis?

When I went back to School to Study Law; He will say, when a man with PhD and over 40 goes to JAMB office to obtain form to study Law full time; nobody should pity you.. Because it is a “Self Inflicted Injury”

Whenever Olori Tokunbo Gbadebo want to ask me my nick name around my journey to Legal Profession…She will say what is that Dr.Soleye’s Phrase to describe what you are doing ….” Self Inflicted Injury”.
That is her own way of asking about my study as a a Law student through that joke.Very loving.Dr.Soleye was the one that told Olori Gbadebo ..my view about a Staff that acted in unethical manner in her office.Then Olori started looking for me.

Alake loves Dr.Soleye so much…and he will say Teacher mi nko.? (,How is my Teacher ) because he went back to teach at BBHS after graduating from the school.I recall on 1st January 2022, Alake was meant to join us in my house for the usually new year celebration …He was busy somewhere and he forgot…Then when he had that Dr
SOLEYE was in my house…He said..why didn’t you call me immediately Dr.Soleye arrived and that would have been a good opportunity to celebrate the New year with him as well.

I did that on 1st January 2023..and in minutes Alake arrived at the house..

What a man who may not have plenty of money like some people who stole but yet a man of honour ..respected by Kings..

I whispered to Olowu when we met at Ake Palace .at that time Daddy was admitted at Red Wood Hospital ..He left Ake palace and went straight to say hello to Daddy.

That same period.Chief Obasanjo said he was going round to greet the Arugbo of Owu Baptist Church ..When he got to the house he didn’t see Daddy
.He called..Ngbo ibo ni Baba Lola wa…? ( asking where Daddy was…) within minutes OBJ arrived.

The worth of a man of integrity is more than what money can buy.

To talk about Patriotism, He is man who cares so much about the situation in the country.

His voice whenver he call is super…He will speak with Bro Lola..The way he use to call Baba Obasanjo…


He will call your full name….Olugbenga Adeoye.

Lakin.. is not Lakin…

Lakin is Oluwafunmilakin.

Bro Lamide is not Lamide.

Olamide.That voice..How is Kumbi..whenever he is talking to him is worthy of note to celebrate as you turn 90.

Sister Bimbo is not Bimbo…She is Abimbola.

Tayo is not Tayo…
EYITAYO…also known as 2.I/C.

Tayo’s greeting even at 10 pm is Mornimg Sir..standing like a Soldier.

He cracks jokes so much.

MororeofeOluwa your grand daughter and MorowoOluwa your grand son and my wife your daughter from Ijebu ..Oluwakemi Adeoye.. say happy birthday ..Daddy sometimes calls my wife Olori Oluwakemi Adeoye.

He is always asking …Hope you are resting ..Then I will say ..actually ..Then he will say ..Shim biro e su ja( We use joke with Ijebu language..Meaning am only asking ..it is not a fight ..When you start with actually…instead or Yes or no…it means you are not resting..

I promise you henceforth I will.be resting very well and return to the course of golf play.

To my wife …He will ask .
How is Supermarket.?

A man who cares about everyone.

He will call everyone and check on you.

That text to.my phone is ( How are you and where are you.Ona.) .I must call to respond.

Daddy knows the day you are returning whether your trip is to Abuja, Enugu, PH and in fact out of the country.

There are some people that like to take advantage of his kindness and good nature; I leave those people to God to deal with on this 90th birthday whether they are far or near.

Daddy does not like to ask for help…He always wants to give..and that accounts for why he never lobbied for help for anyone anywhere .

He is so passionate about the country that he will ask me to see him; let us discuss Nigeria.

I recall one time; Daddy met the Accountant General of the State..Pastor Seye Senfuye as he then was at an event and they talked about me..he said, that restless boy Gbenga is my adopted son..I don’t see him often but at least 4 times between Monday and Friday and every weekend as long as he is in Abeokuta.

The man laughed.He passed a message across to him in proverbs about how close we are.

Daddy does not compromise his stand for you at all time.

I recall one tenant did not know how close we are …He probably thought I was an agent not knowing that Daddy is my father and mentor …He went to him to tell Daddy about me…Daddy stood and said to him..would you get out of my house..How dare you talk about Gbenga like that.? You can’t reach him..?.so what?

He does not shift his ground of love for you.

No one can speak evil about you in his presence.

One attribute about him is that he loves all his children equally .

He knows the areas of strength and weakness of everyone and never get offended that one child is not the same with another.

Mama Ore, Sister Bimbo of Texas ..When that one comes.. now, she will rearrange everywhere and put your things the way she wants it and not the way you want it.

2.I/C…That one…idi re ki gbe bi kan.( He does not stay in one place.) Lakin; Hmmm.. Oluwafunmilakin…If you ask him to come and see Land far away in one bush ..He will say..How.much is the value in that bush….You better sell it…..once it is not Lekki ..VI or Canada ..It is village for Lakin…Alangba Eko..Too Posh for some local sites…He will say it with laughter.

The same Alangba Eko now almost relocated to Abeokuta since March showing love to Daddy almost every day.

Try to force Daddy to do anything..or complain about certain moves he did not make in the past..He will say ..Ejo tiyin niyen( That is your own cup of tea )

He does not live in regret.

A man who hates show off.

He does not go to parties unless it is essential.

Very disciplined and homely.

No drinking..no smoking..a Baptist per excellence…No record of sexual immorality…What a value..?

His voice is so deep in my heart and brain…”Accountant Generallllll….The Lawwwwwwww.”

In my life…I have not seen any man that is a Daddy like Dr.Soleye.

My Biological father Late Moses Aremu Adeoye..has something in common with Dr.Soleye and that is Peace with everyone.

He is not a Complex man.

You are an ICON at 90.

In my house on 1st January 2023.. You gather with us and spoke about an Accountant who turned to a Lawyer.

Your body started showing some signs after March 13 because of our dear brother we lost but in the midst of all of these you still say…Ani lati gba fun Olorun..(.we can’t blame God)

You don’t like to be pitied and so your composure in the midst of pains and adversity taught me a great lesson.

A man who is concerned about the extended family.

He cares about all Soleye’s Family and in fact anyone who is close to him.

Happy birthday Dr.Onaolapo Olusegun Soleye in your style of full name.

You are not an ordinary man.

Your 90 years birthday is a life full of memories of someone who touched lives and showed a good example of honesty, integrity and tolerance.

Even in your old age ..I still see people come around to ask him for help in cash.

I said to him Daddy..Your pension from UI is not even enough for you;; tell anyone that comes that you are a retired lecturer and you did not steal money as Minister of Finance.

He will say…Ma worry…Things are tough for them; you talking now…you are helping a lot or people too…Ika odogba…( Fingers are not equal)

Even the take home of many cannot take them home.

What else do I want in life.?.All of you are around me and I lack nothing.

If you are honest, if you have integrity, if you are Godly, if you are hardworking, if you like to study well, if you are patient; then You will be a friend to Daddy.

When Daddy want to sit you down for gist…

“How Country” is that word and then we would begin.

Daddy will brief me what happens before I arrived.

Very common…report I get from Daddy goes like this ” Stephen sese kuro nibi ni…Tokunbo Debi laaro.(.Stephen just left; Tokunbo came in the morning.”

Deacon Oyedele..Baba Ibeji…is also an ally of Daddy.

I remember Engr.Tony Ojesina who is another nephew of Daddy…I also remember Bro Toyin Jokosenumi too…I met them at Daddy’s place.

The two regular persons are Uncle Steve and uncle Toks..

The three of us..must meet at Daddy’s place by all.means .A good.man to us all.

ECONOMY is a must anytime i.go to the house.

Wo.( look)..”What are they doing about Exchange Rate”?

Daddy will say now that Court has affirmed the President , .Kiwon Fi Bola Tinubu sile kan je o Govern.Ilu o rogbo now ( let them leave Bola Tinubu alone and let him Govern because things are tough for people.).

Happy birthday to You sir as you celebrate this 90 years in the land of the living.

No matter what happens after now; You lived well and we are all proud of you

Dr.Gbenga Adeoye writes from Abeokuta. He is a Lawyer and a Chartered Accountant and one of the Professionals Mentored by Dr.Onaolapo Soleye.

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