Regent Moyinoluwa Olubunmi Falowo, who superintends over the affairs of Ibule-Soro Community in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State, is one of the youngest regents in the state. In this interview, she spoke with ADEWALE MOMOH on how she has been piloting the affairs of Ibule-Soro as a young female regent since she ascended the throne, among other issues
What’s your background like?
I am Regent Moyinoluwa Olubunmi Falowo. I am a young princess saddled with the responsibilities of overseeing the affairs of Ibule-Soro Community after the demise of my father, HRM Oba Joseph Adenibuyan Falowo. By the virtue of my position, I provide quality leadership and representation for my people and also contribute to various societal issues Nigerians face daily. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State. I am passionate about community development, strong institutions, women and girl child welfare, and youth development. I am also a Christian.
How would you describe your experience since you ascended your current status as the Regent of Ibule-Soro?
My experience has been awesome, full of unforgettable memories but quite challenging too. Through it, I have got new understanding about life and issues. It has also helped me become a better version of myself. Being a female, would you say the throne has deprived you of certain opportunities or has it further broadened your horizon? I always look at the positive side of things and honestly, the throne has brought me growth and opportunities and I’m fulfilled living one day at a time.
Would you say there are pressures attached to the throne and how do you handle them?
Of course, there is always pressure attached to any leadership position. I have been able to handle the pressures SSG, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane addressing protesters at the Chanchaga bridge, I face by being calm, patient, relying on the support of families and friends and most importantly, taking issues to God in prayers.
As the head of the community, how do you feel after successfully settling conflicts among your subjects, and which one you would say was the toughest for you?
I feel fulfilled settling conflicts and establishing peace. The toughest one was a land ownership dispute because of how valuable land is in this part of the country but it got resolved with God’s wisdom and the insights of elders in my council.
In Yoruba land, there are myths surrounding female regents with the most popular known to be that they can’t get pregnant on the throne. As a young regent, are you bothered about this?
No. I’m unmarried and so, not bothered as there is time for everything. I’ll one day step down from the throne, live a normal life, get married and have children.
How long is it expected for you to be on the throne and what is your take on the selection process thus far?
There is no defined duration for regentship because I am expected to lead the people till a new King is enthroned. The selection process has been quite competitive and challenging. I hope the community and government, stakeholders concerned will work together to ensure that a new King is selected very soon.
As a regent, you have been very active on social media with motivational writeups. What’s the inspiration behind those posts, and did the throne inspire the responsibility or it’s what you have been doing before you became a regent?
God is my inspiration. I have been sharing posts before my enthronement. My position as a Regent only gave me a wider platform to contribute my quota to the society, and reach more people.
In some of your posts, you always bare your mind against ills in the society, particularly the ones committed by politicians. Do you think that if traditional rulers continue to speak truth to power, the way you have been doing, the polity will be saner?
Our Royal Fathers speak the truth to those in power using different methods. Some do in public while a lot do it privately. And they will continue to do so until we all see the changes we desire.
Most rural communities in nigeria are faced with a series of challenges. How have you been using the throne to ensure that Ibule-Soro surmounts such hurdles?
In my capacity as a Regent, I provide efficient leadership and quality representation for a community at the traditional level of government. I initiate, design and implement mechanisms for community peace keeping and dispute settlements. I liaise with the government and investors on developmental projects for the community. I also mobilize, negotiate and sustain development partnerships. Performing all these roles passionately with the cooperation of my council and people have helped me solve certain challenges in our community.
What is your view on the younger generations’ attitude to communal development and politics? Do you think that they have lost track, and what do you think should be done to remedy the situation?
We are a generation that is living in the disappointment of being failed by those that have gone ahead of us. This has caused apathy in the attitude of most youths to nation building. The youth are the future of every nation, and there is need for readiness to take charge not only in communal development and politics but in all spheres of the nation. We need to rise up and implement positive changes. It is the duty of our leaders in all areas to begin to make amends and provide a platform for youths to thrive.