By Ademola Babalola
For a man who solely financed and hosted African Nations Cup (5-Aside) in Nigeria and presently exposing local but talented footballers to international competitions, this year’s birthday is indeed a time to look back in time and give glory to God.
The man Dotun Sanusi, an Ibadan-born businessman, who clocked 55 years recently, is still receiving honours at home and abroad, as a group under the ‘Friends of Ilaji’ again, on Tuesday organised a special party for him in far away Manchester in the United Kingdom, where they watched Manchester/FC Copenhagen match which ended 1-0 in favour of the host.
A close associate of Engr Dotun Sanusi, Dr Abib Olamitoye, owner of Ibadan Central Hospital, Academy Suites and a host of other investments in Nigeria and Europe, had hinted that “Friends of Sanusi’ that he coordinates would still organise a special party for their man, notwithstanding the grand celebration held last week in Ibadan and believed to have been attended by about 10,000 guests, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi; industrialists, captains of industries; politicians across political divides and top government officials.
Olamitoye had hinted the press that, “We are also organising a party for him (Engr Dotun Sanusi) by October 24th in Manchester.”
The Manchester party didn’t just go without a colourful celebration but also witnessed a donation of Manchester kit, specially made for Sanusi @55 with jersey Number 55 presented to him.
For the observers of the man, Dotun Sanusi, this honour is well deserved because of the celebrant’s extraordinary philanthropic contributions to society and humanity in general.
According to his friend, Dr Abib Olamitoye, “Dotun is a man of the people, made by the people and for the people. He loves people and wants others to prosper in good health. He is pleasant to be around, always reminding all who would listen about the need to support people at this time of pandemic proportion of hunger, anger, and suffering in the land.”
Olamitoye hinted that Dotun Sanusi’s business associates and partners from Czech Republic, Malta and Spain were in attendance at the colourful celebration of Tuesday.
He added that, “the minimum we can do is to encourage him and support his thirst for a better Nigeria, that mankind must be kind.”
He, Sanusi, who built a multi-billion naira Ilaji Hotel and Sports Resort, which has been described by a serving Senator, Ned Nwoko, as perhaps the biggest resort in Nigeria, is a sports enthusiast, who combines philanthropy with innovations in business. He is also a key player in the nation’s oil and gas sector.
The Ilaji Resort has been widely recommended to leaders of government and National Assembly members, especially those from Oyo State to design youth sports programme and competitions therein, in order to effectively utilise the facilities for youths development so as to encourage Sanusi to do more for humanity.
Dotun Sanusi, it would be recalled, hosted African Nations Cup (5-Aside) with 16 countries as participants, just two years ago.
He discovered and sponsored eight local footballers to Czech Republic, while countless other players are now plying their trades in Malta and Norway.
Sanusi, who also founded Ilaji FC and had built two stadia of international standards at Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort, has been using his platform to expose another 200 young talented ones under international coaches and trainers to be great sportsmen and women in the nearest future.
His philosophy and some of his notable quotes are:- “I am God’s project and work in progress. God that created the people is the one that created me. So, he has given me an opportunity to see whether I would bless other people from what he has given me or use it against the people that he created.”