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Why Femi Otedola Remains Indebted To Adedapo Onafowokan

Femi Otedola
Femi Otedola

Unlike the average man, it isn’t every day you find the wealthy being grateful or being indebted to another, for throwing them a lifeline. But not businessman cum investor, Femi Otedola. If there is one man, he will continually show gratitude to, even in death, that person will be the late Dr Adedapo Onafowokan. And the reason is not far-fetched.

The late Onafowowokan was instrumental to Sir Michael Otedola emerging the governor of Lagos State. The older Otedola, an easy-going businessman, was persuaded to contest the election by his ambitious and daring son, Femi. But it wasn’t until the run-up to the 1992 elections after accepting to contest that the older Otedola realized that elections is a money-guzzling venture.

At some point, his campaign council ran out of funds. It was a crucial time and funds were badly needed. Expectedly, Femi undaunted, tapped into his contacts and connections to raise the required funds for his father. But it was a generous intervention from the late Onafowokan that salvaged the situation.

He gracefully, without hesitation gave the younger Otedola a cheque of N250,000 which reignited the campaign and eventually led to the victory the older Otedola recorded on the platform of National Republican Congress, NRC. Five years after, Onafowokan passed on at the age of 97.

Onafowokan who was from the Ikenne and Tunwase Royal Family of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, was the founder of LADGROUP, an agricultural company that engages in the processing and export of shea butter.

Ladgroup Limited started as a commodity trading company in 1971 focusing on the export of commodities like ginger, gum, cocoa, shea nuts, etc. For many years, Ladgroup was the biggest exporter of cocoa and other agricultural commodities and was the first indigenous private company that imported rice from Thailand to Nigeria.