Sir Adeyemo Alakija was a newspaper entrepreneur who co-founded the Daily Times of Nigeria. He was also a member of the governor's executive council, the legislative council of Nigeria and was president of the Nigerian Youth Movement. He was heavily influenced by the tidal waves of cultural nationalism in Nigeria during the early twentieth century. It was this self-assertiveness that led his family to abandon their assimilated Portuguese name in favour of a native one, Alakija, in 1913. Towards the end of his life it culminated in his ascending to the aristocracy of his tribe, as he was created the Bariyun of the Ake Lineage of Egbaland and the Woje Ileri of Ile-Ife. The Oloye Alakija, whose first name originally was Plasido, was of Afro-Brazilian descent like many freed slaves resident in Lagos. The groups were sometimes called Amaros. The Alakija family for a while were the most prominent Amaros in Nigeria.
Alakija attended CMS Grammar School, Lagos, studied at Oxford University in the early 1930s, and became an ardent proponent for the provision of tertiary education to Nigerians during the colonial period. In Nigeria, he embraced some traditional elements of Yoruba socio-political and religious history when he co-founded the reformed Ogboni society and became the Olori Oluwo, or "Lord of the Lords", of the brotherhood. As a member of the Ogboni confraternity, he introduced the use of masonic symbols inside the organization, such as the unblinking eye on an inverted V and three vertical shapes.
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