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Ogunoye: Nobody should impose consensus candidate on Owo



Ogunoye: Nobody should impose consensus candidate on Owo

Prince Olanrewaju Ogunoye came into limelight when he led other princes of Ogunoye Royal Lineages to reject the consensus arrangement of Ogunoye family. In this interview with BABATOPE OKEOWO, the Prince said the throne of Olowo is open to Eleweokun Ruling House. He also gave reasons why he is aspiring to lead the ancient town of Owo and the reason he rejected the consensus arrangement of the family


Why did you reject the position of the Ogunoye Lineage on the presentation of a consensus candidate to the Senior Omolowo?

You cannot choose for Owo. There has never been a time in the history of Owo that a single candidate was presented to the Senior Omolowo. In the last dispensation, five Ogunoyes were sent to the Senior Omolowo. Ajike sent two people and Olagbegi sent theirs.

Eleven people contested for the throne. It was a lie that we have consensus candidate from Ogunoye family. We don’t have any agreement as to a consensus candidate among us. We are all vying for the stool of Olowo. The constitution says any prince from Eleweokun Ruling House can apply for the throne of Olowo. We were 12 candidates from Ogunoye who showed interest. We told them to be transparent but they went ahead and fraudulently chose a particular candidate. On that day, they brought police and those of us who did not come with policemen were chased away. Eventually, they raised a hand of one person, which we all rejected.


But the family said they will present a single candidate to the Senior Omolowo…….

There is one authority that has power over the selection of Olowo and it is the Senior Omolowo. There is no other authority that is allowed to do that. From the family side, we thought we could have an agreement in order to present a formidable candidate but all the laid down rules and regulation from the family were not properly followed. They went without our knowledge to consult whoever they went to consult. The people who called themselves leaders were induced. We don’t want any violence in Owo kingdom, whatever decision comes from the Senior Omolowo will be binding on all of us, not from the family.


Do you share the view that only Ogunoye lineage should contest for the throne?

I don’t share that view. The law says every prince from Eleweokun Ruling House has right to vie for the throne of Olowo. We are not going to relegate any other family. Every qualified prince should obtain the form. The Senior Omolowo would now decide who to pick among us. Although the feeling in the town is that it is the turn of Ogunoye, the law says all of us have right including Ajike and Olagbegi. It is the prerogative of the Senior Omolowo to concede to us.


Why are you interested in the throne of Olowo of Owo?

My eligibility to the throne of Olowo in the ancient city, Owo flows from being a direct descendant of Ogwa Elewuokun family tree from which my lineage Ogunoye emanated. My interest in the Olowo will be to promote the legitimate expectations, goodness and welfare of the vast majority of the good people of Owo kingdom both within and the Diaspora. In addition, the sustenance of the legacies of Ogunoye family lineage in the critical area of development, the spirit of harnessing the full potentials and cooperation of Owo citizens is imperative. The necessity to build upon the present level of development for me is an article of faith and a patriotic desire to serve in an uncompromised covenant.


Let us have an insight into your background

I am Prince Olanrewaju Adelotan Ogunoye, born in the year 1947 to Prince Moses Adelotan Ogunoye and Madam Folake Ogunoye (Nee Olutoge). I had my Primary School at CAC Primary School, Igboroko, Owo, LA Modern School, Owo, before proceeding to Methodist High School, Owo. I had my B.Sc in Food Science and Technology from Alabama A&M University, Huntsville Alabama and MBA in Accounting and Taxation from the University of North Texas, Denton Texas.


With this background, do you think you have qualities of an Olowo?

The revered and highly cherished throne of Olowo within Ondo State and Nigeria is essentially a very serious responsibility. Aside from age and experience of life, I have the intellectual abilities, competence and capacity to comprehend, intercept, analyze and conceptualize issues from different perspectives on the basis of rationality. For me, it is about leveraging on my local and international exposure to navigate the basic and fundamental issues as they emerge, yet in full consciousness of the responsibility. It is all about people.


What differentiates you from other princes of the Elewuokun Ruling House?

I will admit with all sense of responsibility and humility as well as my pedigree that I am well qualified and equipped for the task and the challenges ahead. I differ from others due to my innate ability to see the larger picture of tenacity of purpose, the strive for excellence, absorptive capacity, respect for others, astounding simplicity, conscious of the overwhelming desire to cooperate with people and discharge my duties within the context of our custom and traditional values at all times and circumstances. All these and more is purposeful leadership within the framework of exemplary excellence.

How will you reconcile with other princes if you eventually emerge as the next Olowo?

It is all about making oneself the ruler, father of all for the survival of the prestigious throne of Olowo. In the event of being given the opportunity to ascend the throne through the instrumentality of the culturally institutionalised authority of the kingmakers and the inconceivable grace and the love of the Almighty, the process of recommendation becomes inevitable. In the circumstances, the full involvement of our revered kingmakers, stakeholders, contestants, quarter chiefs as well as other prominent citizens will be harnessed in the fullest. It is only in the atmosphere of peace and tranquility that development can manifest. Necessary strategies and implementation thereof will be put in the place.


What are your plans for the Owo town if you are selected as the next monarch of the town?

I intend to promote peace and tranquility in Owo kingdom. I will pursue reconciliation among factions, build confidence and trust between and among perceived and real conflicting interests, the annual celebration of Igogo festival as the cultural festival and heritage of Owo will be further elevated from its current local status to higher recognition of the national and international significance. It will be further redefined to accommodate wider participation by all our chiefs and invited prominent traditional rulers in Yoruba land for unity, understanding, and cooperation in socio-economic and cultural value. There will be quarterly meetings with all our traditional chiefs for obtaining input into our strategic plans and implementation. The arrowhead of the structural-function integration will be led by senior Omoolowo to drive the process, in which all our kingmakers will jointly participate.


How do you hope to achieve these programmes?

I will be working with the support of the kingmakers, a register for documentation of all prominent citizens of Owo in Nigeria and the Diaspora will be opened for the purpose of identifying the legitimate aspirations and projects development. The need for building a befitting new royal palace in Owo within the present location is imperative and extremely important. It shall be monument and legacy with the input of the state government and our people. A think-tank shall be anchored for the purpose to work out the modalities. The full cooperation and support of the state and local government will be sought at all times, while the support and the understanding of our people shall be guaranteed in mutual reciprocity. With these, the aspirations will be met.


What’s your advice to the Omoolowo and the kingmakers on the selection of the selection process?

Kabiyesi Ojomoluda has spoken on this one and I am standing on the protocol of justice and fairness he has eloquently spoken about in a well published and documented press conference a few days or week ago as the run of and for royalty kicked off.


Are you ready to support any other prince that eventually emerges as the new Olowo?

I would like to put on record that my full support for the candidate that may eventually emerge in the final decision is hereby guaranteed. However, this is with a view that the process is devoid of ambiguity, political shenanigans and impunity, characteristic of human tendencies and aberrations. The need to continue with the good name of Oghwa Elewookun family of which the good people of Owo have put their hope and cultural destiny must be protected and preserved at all times. My personal trust and confidence remain incontrovertible in the person and institution of Omolowo in this critical moment of our historical trajectory.

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