Solomon Odunaiya Odutola

Solomon Odunaiya Odutola was the first full Nigerian Anglican Bishop after Samuel Ajayi Crowther‘s consecration in 1864. Odunaiya was educated at Fourah Bay College and the University of Durham, England, with degrees in Arts, and a diploma in Theology. In July 1941 Solomon Odunaiya assumed the headship of the Anglican Church in Ijebu Ode and two years later, Chairmanship of the church District Council. Solomon Odunaiya belonged to the generation and actively participated in the departure of Ijebu from its pre-Imagbon War isolationist attitude. On 23 September 1940, he openly discussed his desire for Ijebu to unite with the Egba in a single administration. His dream would come true in 1976 with the creation of Ogun state. Odutola also promoted independence thoughts for Nigeria. In a sermon preached in Kano, which he began with the salutation, “My dear fellow nationalist”, he affirmed that “no right thinking African will acquiesce in white man domination and exploitation”.

Solomon Odunaiya became first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ondo Benin in 1952 and then translated from the see of Ondo to Ibadan in 1961. After some months of deliberation he has agreed to give up his Ibadan Anglican Bishopric to become first Moderator of the new United Church of Nigeria in 1965. He retired in 1970.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer