Isaac Babalola Mabayoje Akinyele was a Nigerian religious leader, philanthropist and titled ruler in Southwest Nigeria who was the Olubadan of Ibadan. He was also a founding member of one of the city's earliest elite organizations: the Egbe Agba-O-tan. Among members and attendees of the group's meetings were: Adesoji Aderemi, Salami Agbaje, Bishop Akinyele and E Oke.
Isaac AKinyele was also known as a major authority on Ibadan history though some of his writings may have been influenced by political calculations and events during the early twentieth century.
He was one of the early leaders of the prayers groups that mushroomed in the country during the 1920s. One of such group he led in the 1940s was the Christ Apostolic Church or the Aladura group.
He was also known for his favorable disposition towards prayer healing and using holy water.
Akinyele was born to the family of Josiah Akinyele. He was born on April 26, 1882 in the Alafara quarter of Ibadan. He was an in-law of Jere Ladele. Akinyele started school at St Peter's Day School, Aremo during a time when children turned up missing as Ibadan was going through a transitional period from the chaos of the the nineteenth century. In 1897, he folowed his aunt to Ilesha and continued his studies at St John's School, Iloro Ilesha. The next year, he went to Lagos and completed his secondary studies at C.M.S. Grammar School (1898-1901). He started his trade trying to learn tailoring but later reneged and moved to other affairs particularly those affecting Ibadan. In 1903, he joined the Ibadan Native Authority's Customs and tolls department as a clerk and learned the art of revenue collecting. Thirteen years later, he was made council clerk under the leadership of the baale of Ibadan, Situ. Relatively well educated, he was by then one of the educated elites in the city. However, he left the Native Authority to take on farming and was quite successful as a cocoa farmer.
In 1933, he returned to the I.N.A., or Ibadan Native Authoirty as a councillor and was later involved in the city's judiciary. In 1936, he was an associate judge and later the head of the Lands Court. By 1954, he had become the city's Chief Judge. A year later, he was crowned the Olubadan with the support of the party he identified with, the Action Group.
Akinyele's works dealt mostly with religious themes of love, dedication to God and morality; political themes such as Ibadan unity was also central to his book on Ibadan history.
- Toyin Falola.Yoruba Gurus: Indigenous Production of Knowledge in Africa.