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The Olubadan at 100 on the intriguing throne

By Ola Ajayi, Ibadan

As the events marking the centenary birthday of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana  Odugade  I, was rounded off,  yesterday, a new record was set in the history of Ibadan. Since the ancient city started  the monarchical system in 1820 with Baale Maye Okunade as the first king,  Odulana is the first king to attain the age  of 100 years on the throne. Others who reigned before him were  actually old due to the well-arranged traditional structure  that is adjudged the best in the South-west.

olubadanThis orderly arranged ascendancy to the throne of the Olubadan  makes Ibadan unique in Yorubaland. Unlike other cities in  the zone where crowning of kings is preceded by fierce  battles by contenders, Ibadan is not known for such. There are two lines to the throne of  the Olubadan: civil and military, which is translated  to Egbe Agba and Balogun.

Title holders are appointed on  rotational basis to occupy the stool immediately a king  passes on. The next to the Olubadan and most senior on both  lines are the Otun Olubadan and Balogun. The remaining  chiefs in the Olubadan-in-Council are the Osi Olubadan,  Asipa Olubadan, Ekerin and Ekarun, as well as Otun Balogun,  Osi Balogun, Asipa Balogun, Ekerin and Ekarun Balogun,  Seriki and Iyalode.

Right from the commencement of the activities marking the  100th birthday of the monarch, Ibadan was a beehive of  activities as notable Nigerians started trooping into the  city to felicitate with the monarch. Among them were  President Goodluck Jonathan, Senator David Mark, the Senate  President, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic  Party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu; Deputy Speaker, House of  Representatives, Mr. Emeka Ikhedioha; and the Minister of State,  FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide (SAN).

Jonathan, who could not attend the thanksgiving  service held at the Anglican Communion of St. Peters, Aremo, Ibadan as a result of the Abuja bomb blast, used the  opportunity to advise other geo-political zones in the  country to learn from the South-west, where Muslims and  Christians live together in peace.  The President, represented by the Minister of  Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, said,  “Yoruba land is a symbol of peace where Muslims, Christians  and traditional worshippers embrace one another.

If there is  no religious violence in Yoruba land, there is no reason for  religious violence anywhere in the country”. Also at the thanksgiving service were the Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Ogun State governor,  Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Senator Musiliu Obanikoro; Minister of Communication and  Technology, Omobola Johnson; former governors of the  state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, Senator Rashidi Ladoja  and Dr. Omololu  Olunloyo; Seyi Makinde, PDP governorship aspirant; Dr. Ola  Makinde, former Prelate of Methodist Church; Archbishop,  Ibadan Catholic Archdiocese, Most Revd. Gabriel Abegunrin; and Oba Obateru Akinruntan, Olugbo of Ugboland.

Jonathan described the Olubadan as a very unique  monarch being one of the very few around who were born when  the Northern and Southern Protectorates were amalgamated.  According to him, it is the clean mind, good character,  clear conscience and good record of service, that the  monarch has that made him enjoy longevity.  Governor Abiola Ajimobi appreciated the life worthy  of emulation that Oba Odulana lives.

Speaking on the celebrant, he said the monarch  played a pivotal role in his administration’s transformation  and restoration programmes. “In the Olubadan is a demonstration of the elusive concept of Omoluabi. The  Omoluabi, for the purpose of clarification, is that man who  carries nobility, human goodness and trust around him like a  pouch. With kabiyesi, you know where you stand as he does  not suffer fools gladly.

In him you find the discipline of a  trained soldier, the consummate nobility of a gentleman and  the astuteness of a man of honour. His own politics  transcended the type found on the streets today; it was the  politics of a statesman. To a statesman like him, politics  could not be worth its salt until it transforms the lives of  the collective citizenry and repositions society on the path  of transformation,” the governor said.  Ajimobi also described the Olubadan as one of the first people to acknowledge the urban renewal initiative of his  administration.

“As a fitting demonstration of his acknowledgment of our  effort in this regard, Kabiyesi bestowed on me the  traditional title of Atunluse of Ibadanland.  While delivering a short sermon, Most Rev. Segun Okubadejo  described the celebrant as an embodiment of virtue who has  served mankind meritoriously.   He said, attaining centenary in one’s lifetime is an  uncommon phenomenon.

“This is unique because it is 100th birthday of royalty. We  should offer sacrifice of jubilation and songs of praise to  God for what He has done in the life of our king. Looking at  the hopelessness, restlessness, insecurity in the world;  looking at a world where life expectancy is now 49, it is worthy of praise for somebody to attain 100 years”  Turning to the celebrant, the cleric said, “You are a unique  and distinguished personality. You are the first Olubadan to  clock 100 years on the throne and the first Olubadan to  serve his subjects meritoriously.

Making reference to the book of Isaiah 3:10, he said the  word ‘righteousness’ in the text does not connote perfection  but connotes someone who has done justice to all. “Your  impeccable record and invaluable contributions to social and  other facets of life would remain indelible. As you live on, you must praise God because he has been so faithful to you.  Praise Him because his undying love is still available to  you till you breathe your last”, he said.

Also rejoicing with the monarch, some members of  Olubadan-in-council, High Chief Eddy Oyewole, Ekerin  Olubadan of Ibadanland, and Oloye Lekan Alabi, Aare Alaasa of  Ibadanland, said, “Kabiyesi is a successful and a private  individual. He was a teacher, soldier, member of House of  Representatives, Parliamentary Secretary to the late Premier  of the Western Region, Sir Tafawa Balewa in the first  republic and he climbed about 22 steps before he became the  Olubadan of Ibadan. We thank God for God’s mercy for him.  What other contribution can anybody make that he has not  made”.


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