Born: Sunday, 25 May 1884
Died: Saturday, 10 May 1952
Adeyemo Alakija was a Nigerian businessman, lawyer, politician and Freemason who forever changed the political course of his homeland.
Freemasonry, though a speculative science in nature, teaches its initiates to participate in the world around them. The teachings of Freemasonry are designed to inspire those who receive them to take action in support of humanity and the achievements of civilization.
One man who took these lessons to heart was Bro. Adeyemo Alakija, a Nigerian businessman, lawyer and politician who forever changed the political course of his homeland. Bro. Alakija was born on May 25, 1884 at Placido Adeyemo Assumpcao, the descendent of freed Brazilian slaves who had returned to their ancestral homeland. Born to well-educated and well-connected parents, Adeyemo Alakija was educated first at a Catholic school and a British grammar school in Lagos. After completing his secondary education Alakija worked in civil service for just over a decade before studying law in London.
After completing his studies and passing the bar in 1913 he returned to Lagos and established a small but successful law practice in the British colony. An idealist in his heart, Alakija stood for numerous elections and faced many defeats before finally winning a seat on the Legislative Council as the representative of the Egba division in 1933, a position that he would hold until 1941.
The trades of politics and law however, would not be enough to hold the attention of Ayedemo Alakija and in 1926 co-founded the Nigerian Daily Times, one of Nigeria’s most successful and long-running newspapers. He would go on to serve as the chairman of the Nigerian Printing and Publishing Company, an affiliate of the newspaper. During this period of his life Nigeria was undergoing a national awakening and was beginning to shed the colonial chains of the British Empire. Alakija was a voice of moderation and civility during a time of high emotion and violence in his native land.
Ayedemo Alakija participated in Nigerian civil society throughout his life, from politics and legislative organizations to societies like the Island Club and the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce. He was also devoted to the practice and expansion of his beloved Freemasonry.
- BROTHER ISAAC NEWTON
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