Friday, June 3, 2022


I started hearing about the name, Maj. Gen. S.A Awosanya in 2002.

At that time, I wanted to run an Islamic programme on OGTV, and was looking for someone who could sponsor it.

I approached many people about the sponsorship, but they were not forthcoming, until someone mentioned the name of Gen. Awosanya as a person I could approach.

I was told that Gen. Awosanya is a devout Muslim who supports Islamic activities both morally and financially.

I was assured that if I could get in touch with him, he would not hesitate to give me the needed support.

But one major problem for me was how to get in touch with him because I didn't know him.

After intense enquiry about him, someone again told me to see Late Alhaji Olufowobi who could link me up with Gen. Awosanya, because the two of them were very close to each other.

I approached Alhaji Olufowobi, who was a senior friend to my father, to seek his assistance in linking me up with Gen. Awosanya, which he immediately obliged.

At first, we tried severally to reach Gen. Awosanya on phone, but wasn't successful.

Alhaji Olufowobi later volunteered to take me to Gen. Awosanya's house in Lagos, and we chose a date that fell on the 4th day of 'Ileya festival' in 2002.

We set out on our journey to Lagos, and on getting to the Ilupeju residence of Gen. Awosanya, we were told that he had travelled out of the country.

We returned home disappointedly, and that ended the search for sponsorship and eventual termination of the proposed Islamic programme.

In 2004, when Oba Abdul-Razaq Adesina Adenugba, was confirmed as the Ebumawe-elect, we planned to publish a special edition of Great Achiever Magazine to commemorate the coronation ceremony of Oba Adenugba.

In the process of putting together the special edition of the magazine, I learnt that Gen. Awosanya is a brother to Oba Adenugba, and he was playing prominent role in the planning of the coronation ceremony.

We therefore decided that he should be featured in the magazine. So, I went on his trail.

At that time, I learnt that he was always visiting the Ebumawe-elect, when he was at Ipebi (seclusion). Therefore, I felt that getting him this time around would not be problem unlike my previous attempt.

I visited Ipebi three times for the purpose of meeting Gen. Awosanya, but was unsuccessful. On each visit, I would be told that he had just left, but I didn't relent.

On this particular day, I drove to Ipebi as usual in search of Gen. Awosanya. On getting there, I saw a large gathering of people surrounding a man at the entrance of his vehicle. Out of curiosity, I slowed down to ask why people gathered there, and I was told they were talking to Gen. Awosanya, who was about leaving. 

I abruptly parked my car and jumped out to see the person I had laboured so much to meet. On getting near him, he saw my desperation and attempt to have discussion with him, but he quickly calmed me down.

When he finished his discussion with the people I met with him, he now asked me to come. On getting to him, he asked what he could do for me.

Without hesitation, I narrated how I've been trying to see him in the past without being successful, and he apologised.

I later told him that we would like to have an interview with him, which will be published in the special coronation edition of our magazine.

He gave his nod for the interview which he scheduled for the following Saturday at his Ago-Iwoye residence. I asked him about the time and he said 6.30am. I was surprised about the time he gave me and I again asked whether he would have woken up by then, to which he replied that he would observe Solat at 6.00am.

 On the following Friday, I drove from Abeokuta in company of our Editorial Consultant, Femi Sodunke, to Ago-Iwoye, where we passed the night preparatory to the interview appointment with Gen. Awosanya at 6.30am on Saturday, which we did not want to miss.

Editorial Consultant: Chief  Femi Shodunke.

At exactly 6.30am, we were at his gate where we saw the gateman. The gateman went to inform Gen Awosanya of our presence and we were asked to come in.

Alas! When we got inside, we met Gen. Awosanya who was already waiting for us. Thereafter, we conducted a very comprehensive, revealing and interesting interview.

After the interview, I requested Gen. Awosanya to give me names of his friends that we could approach to place congratulatory adverts in the magazine to greet the new Ebumawe. 

But to my great surprise, Gen. Awosanya turned down my request. He said: "Don't worry, I don't want you to go to anybody, I will give you N200,000.00".

Instantly, I became speechless. It was like a dream. Within me,  I was confused and not sure of his sincerity. However, with a doubting mind, I thanked him for the gesture.

When we were about to leave, I asked him how I would get the money. He asked me whether I would come to Lagos to collect the money or he should bring the money for me at Ago-Iwoye on the following Saturday. I told him I would come to collect the money in Lagos. He asked me to come on Tuesday and he gave me his house address at Ikoyi.

On Tuesday, I went to Lagos in the morning to keep the appointment. On getting to his house, I was told he just left the house.

So, I had to wait. At about 3pm, he came back and saw me. Again, he apologised for my waiting that long, but he quickly asked why I didn't call to inform him that I was waiting for him at home. I told him that I called his number but didn't connect. He said: "No, my phone was on and I've been receiving calls". He then requested for my phone and dialled his number. He again retorted, "but there was no credit in your phone, you only wasted your time".

After the 'drama', he invited me inside where he issued a cheque of N200,000.00 for me.

On the day of the coronation, I brought complimentary copies of the magazine to him and he was very excited. Immediately after receiving the complimentary copies, he started distributing to Royal fathers and other dignitaries who came for the coronation.

Since then I began to move close to him at any given opportunity.

In April 2014, Great Achiever Magazine organised an Award ceremony in Abeokuta, and Gen. Awosanya was invited as the Chairman of the event.

The event took place on an Environmental Sanitation day when there was restriction of movement from 7am to 10am.

The event was slated to commence at 12noon, and Gen Awosanya assured us that he would be at the occasion at that time.

When it was 11.50am, I got a call from Gen Awosanya, informing me that he was already at the venue of the event, asking where I was.

I was very surprised that he could drive all the way from Lagos to Abeokuta and arrived the venue before the time scheduled for the commencement of the event.

Gen Awosanya stood with us from the beginning to the end of the programme, added colour to the event with his personality and gave us mouth watering donation.

The Awardees, (Sen. Gbenga Kaka, Hon. Kehinde Odeneye, Hon. Remmy Hazzan, Alhaji Ayinde Soaga, Dr. Adetunji Dawodu, Hon J.F Adegbesan, Giwa Tunde Odejayi-Orebela, Alhaji F.G.O Elias, Prof Adejoke Sheyin) were all excited and acknowledged the presence of Gen. Awosanya.

Gen Awosanya's love for his home town, Ago-Iwoye, and humanity at large knows no bound.

He is a silent and great philanthropist, who at every given opportunity demonstrates his readiness to assist.

He believes in spending money to assist the needy, saying that, "if you spend, you will receive".

Gen Awosanya believes that, "if you have money and stockpile it without spending it, more money will not come to you". 

"That is my philosophy, and a reason why people say Awosanya has money, because whatever I have, I spend it to assist people", he noted.

Gen Awosanya once told a gathering of people jokingly, albeit truthfully that, "if you have money and keep it without spending it, the money you are keeping will tell the money outside not to come in because if it comes in, it will not go out again. This assertion could be likened to the philosophy behind spending of money in order to receive more.

His contributions to the development of Ago-Iwoye remains unparalleled.

For the love of his community, Gen Awosanya has established Aletheia University in Ago-Iwoye. This university will undoubtedly further boost the socio-economic, as well as educational development of the town.

Only recently, General Awosanya Chaired Great Achiever Magazine's Award Ceremony in honour of another Illustrious Son of Ago-Iwoye, Prince (Dr) Feyisayo Soyewo, where, in his usual manner added colour and contributed greatly to the success of the event.

As usual, and as our great pillar of support, he donated generously to Great Achiever Magazine.

I must say that it is a very rare privilege for me to have my path crossed with the path of the calibre of Gen Awosanya, who is an Accomplished Military Officer, Great Philanthropist, Erudite Administrator, Successful Businessman and a Highly disciplined personality.

No comments:

Post a Comment