By Bose Adelaja

The death on Saturday August 2 of the paramount ruler of Ikorodu, the Ayangburen, Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi, expectedly threw the entire town into mourning. Also not surprisingly the ancient town has been playing host to several eminent personalities, community leaders and concerned citizens coming to mourn the traditional ruler who died at the age of 83 after reigning for a period of 43 years.

While he was alive, Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi, was known to be a no-nonsense monarch who refused to fold his arms and see evil thrive in the ancient town.

In fact, he was said to have supported the creation of the local vigilante group in the town popularly called ‘’Onyabo” which is trying to put an end to the reign of terror in Ikorodu and its environs since it was founded in 2006.

Since the death was announced, many have expressed the sentiment that the monarch would be greatly missed for his sincerity of purpose. Among those who will greatly miss the monarch is his widow of 40 years, Olori Muyibat Oyefusi. Another is a factional leader of Oodua Peoples’ Congress OPC, Otunba Gani Adams, who was conferred with the chieftaincy title of ‘’The Akinrogun of Ikorodu land” by the monarch.

Last Monday, Vanguard Metro spoke with the widow after a telephone conversation with the Akinrogun about the exit of the traditional ruler whose reign many readily attested, has brought tremendous achievement to the town.

The widow, who kept staring at the photograph of her late husband, described him as somebody who selflessly served mankind. According to her, Oba Oyefusi prayed frequently and used everything at his disposal to develop the town before his passing unto glory last weekend.

‘’My husband was a role model who was worthy of emulation. He not only struggled to put things in order but served earnestly to see others grow and become what God has made them,’’ she said, adding thus: ‘’He broke the ethnicity barrier and carried everybody along regardless of their tribe and race. During his life time, he encouraged the unity of the Yorubas, Igbos and Hausas not minding the situation.’’

Support for democracy

‘’I also remember him for being resolute in the struggle for democracy. He once said: ‘Shoot me if you like but I will not bow down to evil’. That was when the struggle for democracy was on but I am pained that he did not witness the fruits of democracy,’’ she noted.

She also described her husband as one who did not support corruption. ‘’He was nick-named ‘a monarch who abhors corruption’. I was in a gathering where people were mentioning some traditional rulers who did not tolerate corruption and his name was mentioned together with the Sultan of Sokoto’’.

He was my everything

Olori Muyibat also said the late monarch was her everything. ‘’He was my friend, husband, father, brother and darling who I will remember forever. He died just as our marriage was forty years and four months. He assisted others without looking back,’’ she said.

His last moment 

Speaking about her last moment with the late traditional ruler, she said: ‘’On July 1, he requested for bananas, oranges and water which we ate together. Unknown to me, that was to be his last meal. Surprisingly, he gave a handshake to everybody present and I asked him why but got no response; thereafter he started shaking his head without uttering a word. His death is so painful that I cannot bear it”.

The best monarch of the year

‘’In July, he was given an award by an organisation based in the United States describing him as ’The best royal father of the year’. Also recently, he was named an ambassador of peace by a foreign body,’’ she said.

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