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To lose someone very close to one’s heart is a very heavy burden to bear, worse still is to lose somebody who bears the burden. This seems to be the experience with the people, sons and daughters, old and young, natives and non-natives, and in fact those who knew him and those who did not know him. That was the memory the people of Ikeji-Ile the city sited on a hill, have of the transition of Chief Isaac Ojo Akinmokun, a foremost industrialist an illustrious son and an embodiment of hope and encouragement when he was alive. Chief Isaac Ojo Akinmokun passed on, on Saturday 18th July, 2020 at a very ripe age.

Yes he did not die young, but nobody could ever forget his good work in the community. They are facts known to everyone and they are stories the old will always be excited to tell the young. In his heydays he was Ikeji-ile personified. He loved everything about Ikeji-Ile and he did everything possible to promote and lift the community up.

For more than 10 years he single handedly supplied writing materials- exercise books, biro, ruler and pencils to all pupils of St Jude’s Anglican School, the only primary school in the community then and thousands of pupils, natives and non-natives benefited. He did not stop until the government of Governor Bola Ige came to introduce free education at all levels in 1979.

With his other fellow sons and daughters of the community he led the vanguard of several development programmes. Many growing younger people came to know this. It was during his time that Ikeji-Ile had pipe borne water, Maternity Centre, Primary Health Centre, Town Hall, electricity and the community also produced a cabinet member commissioner in the newly created Osun State, then. All these are attributed to the love and unity that existed among the sons and daughters of Ikeji-Ile then.

The small community was an envy of the surrounding communities seeing the radiant love, unity and development that was the main trademark of the town. From that level Ikeji-Ile grew from a rural community to a modern town especially when Chief Akinmokun and his colleagues brought a secondary school to Ikeji-Ile.

When Ikeji-Ile High School came it came as a shining star, a cynosure of all eyes as the dynamism of the Ikeji-Ile elites also reflected in the life and composition of the teachers and the students of the school. From the products of the school the community can boast of international medical doctors, engineers and distinguished professionals across all works of life today.

His contributions and impacts were felt in all aspects of the people and the lives in the community most especially in the Church. His foot prints were solidly felt on the building of the edifice housing St Jude’s Anglican Church now an Archdeaconry.

Chief Akinmokun like many other indigenes of Ikeji-Ile started his life humbly learning trading. He served as an associate of another Ijesa business mogul Chief Isaac Ajanaku, before he moved to start his book merchandise. He established Paramount Bookshop. Like God knew his big heart, he was immensely blessed and he continued to move from one level of elevation to another. He also established Isolak Motors, he had his hands on other profitable ventures, among which were ISOGLASS Nigeria Limited, a windscreen manufacturing company and the first of its type in West Africa.

He was also part of the team that brought International Breweries to Ijesa land, the owner of Trophy and Maltonic brands. He lived a modest life and his good record will ever remain indelible in the hearts and lives of the sons and daughters of Ikeji-Ile. Not even to mention thousands of other beneficiaries outside the community.

To testify to his good work, Samuel Oloyede Oriowo, an indigene and one of the beneficiaries of Chief Akinmokun’s kind gestures wrote in a tribute, “For many years, he single handedly sponsored free education programme in St Judes Anglican Primary School, Ikeji-Ile Ijesa by donating all the stationery needs of all the pupils irrespective of whether you were a native or not. For many years too I benefited from the programme,” attested Oriowo. So also yours sincerely.

“According to findings, wherever funds were needed to be raised for any community project, whatever the total of the contributions the whole community gathered was usually supplemented by Chief Akinmokun’s contribution to complete the project funding. It was always his joy to give back generously to grow his community,” further wrote Oriowo.

He was a leader worthy of emulation, a role model par excellence. Despite his opulence chief Akinmokun lived a modest life. He was a husband of one wife with wonderful children, grand children and great grand children.

Also paying his tribute, another distinguished son of the soil Dr. Biodun Badewa, a US based medical doctor, believed Chief Akinmokun “came,  saw, and conquered. He lived a life of sacrifice, service, and noiseless impact,” praying that the Lord reward him with eternal rest and bountiful blessing for all his children, grand children and great grand children.

To Mr. Johnson Akinyele paying his tribute via social media, the death of Chief Akinmokun was a great loss to the entire Ikeji-Ile community in particular and the entire Ijesa people in general.

Pastor Sanya Olawole wrote,”Chief Akinmokun is really larger than life. He has the interest of Ikeji-Ile as uppermost in his heart, for this purpose he lived and died.

Engineer Olufemi Akosile another budding pride of Ikeji-Ile wrote in from his US base. He has also testified to the open mind and unlimited generosity of the late icon.

“My daddy, the greatest philanthropist from my home town, High Chief (Dr.) Isaac Ojo Akinmokun OON has gone to be with the Lord. You were second to none in our community. Your love for us your children and our birth place of Ira and Ikeji-Ile was matchless. One thousand people cannot fill your big shoe.”

On a personal note he revealed, “You took me up as your son just before my admission to the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I was determined to make you proud. Your fatherly advice anytime I called and visited you in Ibadan has been helping me to move on in life.”

“Back in 1981 , on completion of my secondary school in Ikeji – Ile High School, Chief I. O. Akinmokun offered me a scholarship that I enjoyed through University of Ibadan in the 80s,” wrote Johnson Oluwadare Abe, an Abuja based Engineer, adding that many had benefited from the platform irrespective of their state of origin.

“Generally, I attest to the fact that our Daddy’s contributions to educational welfare of Nigerians is quantifiable ranging from outright scholarship to donations to universities, building structures for academic use,” explained Abe.

My home town Ikeji Ile has enjoyed countless privileges from this serial chief launcher who ended up most time contributing more than twice the sum total of other contributors if need be in meeting up the requirements to deliver respective project. This was the norm since 1970s till date.

Ikeji Ile High School was generously assisted abnitio to be what it is now by the philanthropic gestures our Baba. Over the year it was his pet project in collaboration with other good spirited elites.


This tribute may not be complete if I do not share this my unforgettable encounter with Chief Akinmokun as an indigene of Ikeji-Ile. It was one day in my student days in the University of Ife. As I was passing, I saw chief and a group of people parked by the entrance of Angola Hall. I just walked up to him and greeted him in our local dialect.

His response came with excitement, “Pele o, what is your name?, and I told him. He asked what I was doing there I told him I was a student in part three, after some pleasantries as I began to move on, he called me,  opened his wallet and gave me six crispy notes. I am not sure whether it was six or sixty Naira of those days. But it was indeed a big money to me.

The death of Chief Akinmokun according to the Akeji of Ikeji-ile Oba Adebayo Ogunmokun Adetemi IV, was a great loss to the community. He has done a lot for Ikeji-Ile, he would remain a symbol and role model we cannot forget. Oba Akeji disclosed that delegations have been sent to Chief Akinmokun’s base in Ibadan with the reports of immediate burial rites.

Also to the Olura of Ira Ikeji, Oba Oluropo Matanmi, there is no doubt that the community would miss him as a leader and father to all.

Ikeji-Ile according to Chief Hezekiah Arowosafe has been in a pensive mood since the news of Chief Akinmokun became a public knowledge. “We are all touched that we were not thinking he could die. But once he has chosen the way of all mortals, our solace is to believe in meeting on the ressurrection morning.”

Just like Feyi Esan wrote, “to everything there is a season, as there is the time to be born, so there is the time to die. We believe in his good works. Chief Akinmokun as a good man is not dead, his types don’t die. Apart from biological children he has hundreds if not thousands to live after and keep his flag flying.”

In conclusion, it is our prayers that the good Lord multiply the likes of Chief Akinmokun, not only in the community but in Nigeria entirely.

Chief Isaac Ojo Akinmokun in his days, and until his death would be remembered as a distinguished business man, a generous man with very big heart, a lover of people especially his home base of Ikeji-ile, a national figure and role model worthy of emulation, and an icon who has worked so well and so hard that he deserves an eternal rest. May the good Lord rest his precious soul and allow his good work to live after him.


We are reliably informed that Chief Akinmokun living a simple and modest life would like to remain simple and modest in death. Information  has it that the Chief Bobagunwa of Ikeji-Ile did not want to be kept in any mortuary, a simple and quick burial arrangement has been lined up for him. He died on Saturday July 18, his Christian Wake comes up on Monday 20th July and final burial holds on Tuesday in his sprawling compound at the entrance to the Ikeji-Ile community.

According to family sources restricted number of guests are expected reflecting the mood of global Covid -19 pandemic which does not allow for huge gathering.

May the very precious soul of Chief Isaac Ojo Akinmokun rest in perfect peace. May the Lord also give the bereave, the immediate family, Ikeji Ile, Ijesaland, Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole the fortitude to bear the loss.

Feel free to drop your testimonies of your encounter with Chief Akinmokun and your tributes to his legacy.

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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