More controversies are trailing the senator representing Ogun West Senatorial District, Tolu Odebiyi over his ancestral lineage. Odebiyi is claiming to be from Iboro in Yewa area of Ogun State and he is believed to be a son of the late Senator Jonathan Odebiyi, who was the Minority Leader in the second republic senate under the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), founded by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. But facts are emerging that Tolu Odebiyi is not from Iboro and that some things are being covered up in relation to his claim that Chief Jonathan Odebiyi was his biological father. People are pointing to the contradictions in the claims of Tolu Odebiyi in the forms he filled before he was appointed as the Chief of staff to ex-governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State. In the said form, Tolu Odebiyi said he attended primary and secondary schools in Okemesi in Ekiti State, whereas he was silent on his state of origin. The question people are now asking is that how did he get to Okemesi that he filled in the form then since his father is from Iboro area of Yewa in Ogun State and the fact that he never had any cause to live in Okemesi. Chief Jonathan Akinremi Odebiyi, nationalist, politician, educationist and leader of men was born in Ipaja in what is now Lagos State to Daniel Ajibode Odebiyi (Olowo Igbo) and Abigail Solabomi Odebiyi (nee Orebiyi) both natives of Iboro in what would later become Yewa North, Ogun State on the 11th of March 1923. Tolu Odebiyi was said to have been born in Okemesi on April 23, 1956 as shown in his details in wikipedia. But at that period, based on the profile of Chief Jonathan Odebiyi, he was sojourning somewhere in Ilaro, Ogun State from where he was appointed Minister of Education, Western Region and a year later became the Minister of Finance at the age of 33 in 1957. Events watchers maintained that not once was a mention made of Okemesi in the profile of Chief Jonathan Odebiyi, making them to wonder how Tolu Odebiyi could have been born there as his son. People are now asking that why is Tolu Odebiyi shying away from his state of origin and his ancestral lineage of Ekiti. All the history, educational career and job career of Chief Jonathan Odebiyi revolved around Lagos and Ogun State from where he would later travel abroad for one reason or the other. In all the profile of the late Chief Jonathan Odebiyi no mention was made of Okemesi, leaving people to believe that Senator Tolu Odebiyi could not have been his son and that his claim of being from Iboro area of Yewa in Ogun State did not “add up and that he must have resorted to that for political purposes.” People are now claiming that Tolu Odebiyi’s mother probably had him for another man, who hailed from Okemesi in Ekiti State as against his claim that Jonathan Odebiyi was his father. They insisted that there was nothing to suggest that the man, Jonathan Odebiyi had anything to do with Okemesi. “It is clear that Tolu Odebiyi is not actually a son of the late Chief Jonathan Odebiyi and if he is, then he should tell the world how he got to Okemesi in Ekiti. “If Odebiyi were his father, where did he get his Ekiti lineage from, he should tell the world, who his father is or was. There is no doubt that this man is not from Yewa area of Ogun State and yet he is representing Ogun West at the senate and he wants to go back there in 2023. “He should allow people from Yewa to represent themselves, he is completely not from that area and he should go back to his home state as he has not even identified with the people of that area since he got to the red chamber,” said a constituent who lives in Ilaro. It had earlier been reported that some documents and sources have revealed that Odebiyi hailed from Okemesi in Ekiti State contrary to the belief that he hails from Iboro in Yewa area of Ogun West.
It was gathered that he even filled Okemesi in his resume before he started working with former governor Amosun. “It is now obvious why Odebiyi has not done much for the people of Ogun West since he got to the red chamber and his contradictions have sold him out now.
For record purposes, Chief Jonathan Odebiyi, between 1928 and 1936 was a pupil at Saint Andrew’s Primary School, Ipaja and from 1937 to 1941, a student of the prestigious CMS Grammar School, Lagos. In January 1942, he was appointed a pupil- teacher at his alma mater and in July of the same year he got employed as a third class clerk in the Judicial Department of Lagos and was later seconded to the Rent Assessment Tribunal as Clerk and Interpreter to the Board. As a young man with a burning desire for education, he resigned his appointment with the Judicial Board in July 1944 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree Course of the University of Durham, at Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone. While there, Jonathan Odebiyi shone like a star. He was elected President of the Students’ Representatives Council for two consecutive years which was a rare feat (the usual practice being a year term for each President). It was while at the College that he met the late Emmanuel Alayande, later priest and politician; Adekunle Ajasin, politician and educationist; Venerable Adelaja, M.G. Ejaife, Eldred Durosimi-Jones, the writer; and Samuel Ighodalo (scion of the famous Ighodalo family). Odebiyi completed his studies in 1947, returned to Nigeria and took up a teaching job as a graduate teacher at the famous and prestigious Abeokuta Grammar School, under Reverend J.O. Ransome-Kuti (father of Fela Kuti, the world-known Afro musician; Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, former Health Minister and Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, etc.) as the school principal. Some of his students then were Chief Ayo Adebanjo, politician and Afenifere chieftain; renowned highlfe musicians, Victor Olaiya and the late Bala Miller; as well as accomplished medical practitioner and scholar, Professor Ade Elebute. Odebiyi also taught briefly at CMS Girls School, Lagos and later at St. Anne’s School, Ibadan where he had as some of his students the likes of the Miller twins, Justice Atinuke Ige, and Professor Oyinade Olurin. In 1951, Odebiyi became the founding Principal of Egbado College now Yewa College, Ilaro in what is now Ogun State. And in September 1951, on a Postgraduate Scholarship, he enrolled at the Institute of Education, University of London, for a Postgraduate Degree in Education. It was at Fourah Bay College that his political prowess was first noticed and his friendship with Adekunle Ajasin, later Principal, Imade College, Owo who would later become first civilian governor of Ondo State and Emmanuel Alayande, later Principal, Ibadan Grammar School, brought out the politician in him. Jonathan Odebiyi was part of the inaugural meeting of the Action Group in April 1951 in Owo, the home town of Ajasin where these young Nigerians with a host of others elected Chief Obafemi Awolowo as their leader and laid the foundation for unprecedented party politics as well as educational, economic and social development in Western Nigeria. In July of the same year, Odebiyi was elected to the Western House of Assembly. Prior to this, he was at various times Chairman, Egbado Ketu District Council Ayetoro, and Chairman, Egbado Divisional Council, Ilaro. At the age of 33 years in 1957, Chief Odebiyi was appointed Minister of Education, Western Region and a year later became the Minister of Finance. In 1959 he added to this responsibility the role of the Leader of the Western House of Assembly. He combined his position as leader of the Parliament and Minister effectively, until a state of emergency was declared in the Western Region in 1962, following the crisis between Chief Obafemi Awolowo, leader of the Action Group and his protege, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, the Premier of the region. During the state of emergency, Odebiyi was restricted to Osogbo, now in Osun State, Burutu in today’s Delta State; and later Lagos. He was released in November 1962. Between 1963 and 1966, he was Leader of Opposition in the Western House. An unwavering disciple of Chief Awolowo, while in the opposition, he steadfastly stood behind Awolowo, who was then imprisoned in Calabar. As the Senate Leader of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) from 1979 to 1983, and the de-facto Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, he was a thorn in the flesh of the government of the ruling National Party of Nigeria. With his principled, steadfast, well-prepared and beautifully articulated position on national issues, delivered in impeccable English, his stern and faultless logic had always given meaning and direction to the politics of the Second Republic. Chief J.A.O. Odebiyi contested for various elective posts six times and won in 1951, 1956, 1960, 1965, 1979, and 1983; arguably (if not the only Nigerain) one of the very few Nigerian politicians to have achieved this feat; thus becoming one of Nigeria’s longest-serving legislators of all time. He was on the Board of CSS Bookshops Limited between 1963 and 1983, and it was during his tenure as Board Chairman that the famous and imposing Bookshop House, Marina, Lagos was built. During the military rule, he went back to his much-beloved teaching profession and founded Eyinni High School in Ibadan. He ran the school successfully until the military take-over of private schools in 1975/76. He also did well in business as founder and chairman, Tejumade Odebiyi Property and Investment Company (TOPIC) Limited. It is on record that Chief Odebiyi did not allow his eminence as a key player in national politics to blindfold him into neglecting his people or his faith. He was from 1953-2000, a member of synod of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Iboro; St Andrew’s Church, Ipaja, Lagos and St Paul’s Church, KajolaIboro, Ogun State. As member of the Diocesan Board, Lagos, and also later Egba-Egbado, he worked tirelessly with others for the establishment of Yewa Diocese (Anglican Communion), with its Cathedral and Headquarters at Christ Church, Ilaro. Senator Odebiyi facilitated the provision of electricity, pipe-borne water, roads and schools in several towns and villages in Yewa/Awori. Not the least was the establishment in 1962 of the prestigious and one-of-a-kind, Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, Ogun State. No doubt, it was in recognition of the innumerable contributions of this most illustrious son of Yewa/Awori to the development of Yewa/Awori, Western Region and Nigeria that he was conferred with several chieftaincy titles. On the other hand, Tolu Odebiyi’s working career spans several real estate development projects both in the United States and Nigeria. He was at a time responsible for the generation and brokerage of commercial and residential transactions in excess of $150million in the United States. He sat for his West African School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in Okemesi Grammar School, Okemesi-Ekiti, and did Higher School Certificate (HSC) in Polytechnic, Ibadan. He has B.Sc degree in building construction and engineering technology, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston Massachusetts.