In this interview with ADEWUMI ADEMIJU, the new Oore of Otun narrated the scenario behind his emergence, while faulting allegation of imposition. Oba Adeagbo explained that the selection process was backed by chieftaincy and traditional laws in accordance with the stipulated rules of Obaship in the community and Yoruba land at large
What should people of Otun and Mobaland be expecting now that you have emerged as the Monarch?
We have our six cardinal points which we have reiterated many times as part of our mission and vision statement. First and foremost is education for our little children, secondary and tertiary education, and skill acquisition for them, both formal and informal for the benefit of our people. Secondly, we are looking at our archives, to make sure that every Otun sons and daughters know the source of origin.We want them to be informed in this regard in order to connect to their source, identity is critical. Thirdly, we want to ensure that our relationship with the Arole Oodua Ooni of Ife is harmonised. There is a strong relationship between the throne of Ife and that of Oore. The meaning of Oore means Oloore,(benefactor). That’s the genetic name (Oloore Oodua), benefactor of Oodua. Our predecessor, Oba Adedapo Popoola hosted the late Ooni Olubuse, Oba Sijuwade here for two days to cement that relationship. By the grace of God, we want to go further, we want to extend it and be the mouth piece of Oduduwa worldwide. Fourthly, we are talking about agriculture, so that our farmers, young women can go into mechanised farming and have access to facility like Bank of Industry loan, with this, apart from exporting the farm products, there will be food provision for the community. In the fifth cardinal points, we are also thinking about sports development for youths, we believe there will be stadium within the towns and communities by the grace of God, so that the youths can express themselves, not only on formal education, but also extra curriculum activities, because the mind must be round in terms of intellectual and physical capacity. The goal is the development of Otun/ Moba. The development of Moba is our priority. Finally, we are looking at the establishment of Moba University. By the grace of God, with this generation, yet unborn can partake from this empirical education.
Your emergence came up amidst controversy from other ruling houses. What is your reaction, and is there any effort on harmonisation?
Basically by the 1957 and 1961 declaration. There are different ruling houses that take the position turn by turn. In Otun, we have five ruling houses- Obajeu, Iletun, Imoru, Imoya and IleYaba. There has been a sequence of order as listed, from the Oore that emerged in Obajeu to Iletun (where we have Oore Oyinloye) to Imoru ( where we have Oore Aroyinkaye), Imoya (Odundun,Oore Popoola) and Ile Iyaba which is our humble self. Basically, ruling houses are determined by law, nobody chooses himself. By the western region chieftaincy law, the king of any particular region is chosen by government under the ministry of chieftaincy and local government affairs. Once the order is followed, there would be no rancour. We didn’t go for it as if we are agitating. It is the turn of our ruling house. They called that Ifa mentioned us in IleYaba, we responded based on that, we never bribe or try to coerce for it. IleYaba ruling house then held series of meetings, up to five times, we discussed how we can forge ahead and work as a team in the ruling house. We were able to express ourselves, in sharp contrast to what some people earlier said that no candidate in IleYaba which is quite wrong to arrive at such conclusion. IleYaba is so great that we have a lot of intellectuals abroad- Scientists, Big-time multimillionaires, they might not be here locally, but are aware of what is going on International level, the world is a technical/ global village, you can always connect home in a split of second, so for some people to conclude that no candidate in IleYaba and that the ruling house should be zeroed off is unfair, but we thank God, we are here today. After the process, government realised it was our turn in IleYaba, they wrote us formally- from the chieftaincy council, to the local government, to our ruling house. It was an open game. All IleYaba princes who were interested in becoming the Oore were invited. Clearly, we had seven candidates. All were given nomination forms to indicate expression of interest, our names were presented to the kingmakers, at the end of the day I emerged. One of our critical agenda is reconciliation, tranquility and progress. First and foremost, immediately we emerged,we ensured the harmonization of IleYaba candidates to work as a team. The goal is betterment of Otun so that the little kids and generation yet unborn of Otun can be proud of us tomorrow and give kudos to our legacy. We have also reached out to the other ruling houses like the Obajeu, Iletun, Imoya and Imoru, we have told them about our policies, it’s going to be inclusive, we will work together in one focus for progress of the town.
Tell us briefly your education and Professional background before your Emergence?
After primary and secondary education in Ibadan, Oyo State, I gained admission to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, 1987-1991 where I obtained B.SC in Economics. I served in Warri, Delta State, that’s where my carrier in oil and gas commenced. I stayed in Warri for more than two decades. I worked with several multinational oil companies, Shell Petroleum. Crisscrossing regions basically into dredging construction, marine exercise, I worked with several oil companies in Niger Delta such as Volcadoes, Sekelewu, Obembri, Atam, Isiogbo, Ombudsman, many of them in the Niger Delta region that I worked with. Dredging in waterways, is as road to land. It means seeking of oil well. If you don’t dredge for access, the oil vessel cannot get to the terminals where they will pick product and take for export. Our own field was to make sure that those dredging equipment create the channel so that there can be accessibility. I have been a dredging person most of my life working in all these dredging companies, when I finally got to Lagos, we set up with a technical partner at the United States of America.
What’s your reaction to Obaship Tussle, in several communities in Yoruba land. Your advice?
There must be contest. Obaship is different from political position which is four or eight years. Once you become an Oba, it’s for life, it’s valuable, everybody wants it. Despite the fact that they know the truth about the choice, who should be and the ruling house to Produce the next king. Basically, there is a lay down rules and procedures in Yoruba land, there is 1957 declaration. In this regard, a declaration is a document signed by reigned and existing Oore, stating the procedure, sequence, once that is registered with court , nothing can change it. In equity, there must be clean hands, the ruling house that must produce, no matter who they have, even if it’s 2- or 10- year- old child, he must be king. It happened in Delta. I will advise that the ruling house should see it turn by turn and abide by that.
What’s your assessment on the administration of governor Kayode Fayemi?
Governor Fayemi is excellent, taking a look at the way he’s upholding the principle of democracy. I also commend his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi on laudable contributions and motherly roles on gender based issues. I applaud the administration for the proactive response on COVID-19.They have been able to minimize the Pandemic very highly, that’s why we can all sit here today. The Ekiti State government is performing excellently.