Ogun State Government has approved the selection of a Chief Superintendent of Customs, Prince Saburee Babjide Bakre, as the new Agura of Gbagura, Abeokuta, the state capital.
Bakre, 59, who hails from the Jamolu family of Egiri Ruling House, one of the two ruling houses in the community was earlier said to have been picked by the Gbagura kingmakers.
The state Executive Council, last week, approved Bakre’s selection among other eligible contestants following the tradition of the community.
It was gathered that the Agura-elect was picked among other eight contestants after “due process”.
Gbagura is one of the four quarters in Abeokuta, homestead of the late Bashorun M.K.O Abiola, the winner of the historic June 12 1993 Presidential election.
Other Egba quarters in Abeokuta, aside Gbagura are Ake, Oke-Ona and Owu.
Bakre, succeeds Oba Halidu Olaloko, Sobekun II, who joined his ancestors on July 12, 2018 after a reign of 38 years.
An official announcement by the state government, who will also issue a letter of confirmation to the Head of Egiri Ruling House, Justice ‘Demola Bakre (retd.) is expected this week.
Thereafter, the Agura-elect will move into confinement (Ipebi) for traditional rites for a specified number of weeks, before his official installation and coronation.
However, aggrieved members of the Egiri Ruling House, majorly princes have perfected, plans to contest the selection process in court.
A Gbagura chief, who expressed delight at the emergence of Bakre also congratulated the community for the choice of the Customs officer.
“The choice of Bakre as the Agura-elect is a good omen that good tidings are around the corner for the Gbagura people. They (kingmakers) have done their own beat of the selection process and I can tell you that a new Agura will be announced by the government any time this week.
On the threat by aggrieved princes from the royal house, the aged said: “there is nothing bad in them going to court. All I know is that Bakre is most qualified among those parading themselves as princes in term of education, pedigree, influence exposure and other virtues.”
He further stated that in the past, the father of the new Agura, who is the son of an hospitality business proprietor in Abeokuta, had contested the stool with the late Agura, Oba Laloko.
Also, the Agura-elect’s grandfather was also said to have contested the stool with father of Oba Laloko, who remained the longest reign Agura in history after a colossus tenure of 38 years.
Aside Oba Laloko, seven Agura has been enthroned namely Oba Ijaade from the Egiri Ruling House, between 1879 to 1897, Oba Olubunmi; from Jiboso between 1897 to 1910.
Others were Oba Abolade, Oba Adeosun I, both from the Egiri royal house who reigned between 1910 to 1915 and 1915 to 1936 respectively.
Between 1936 and 191960, Oba Sobekun I, from the Jiboso ruling house was enthroned, while Oba Rauf Adeosun, from the Egiri was coronated in 1961 but joined his ancestors in 1978 and was succeeded by Oba Laloko, who transited last year./
The Agura Chieftaincy Declaration of 12th November 1958, recognises two ruling houses; namely Ajiboso and Egiri.
For the records, the first Agura of Gbagura-Egba was Oba Jamolu, from the Egiri Ruling House, who was said to have been crowned in 1870 and transited in 1877.
Aside Abiola, his wife Simbiat and the late first Nigerian woman to own a motor car, Madam Efunroye Tinubu, the late renowned banker, Wole Adeosun among others also hailed from Gbagura.
In the Egba Traditional Council chieftaincy arrangement, the Alake is the paramount ruler of Egba to which Gbagura belongs.
While Oke Ona produces the Otun, Gbagura is the third in rank with the Osi title and the Owu people, the fourth in rank with the Ekerin title.
The last Osi Egba, an illustrious son of Gbagura was the foremost banker, Chief Oluwole Adeosun, who died on Thursday September, 13 2012 at age 74.
According to the declaration, those who are eligible to ascend the Agura throne from the Egiri Ruling House aside from Jamolu, the first Agura are families of Ijaade, Kuyo, Ademuyiwa, Adedisa, who was said to have begotten Abolade, who became a circumstantial Agura in the absence of an Egiri candidate.
From the Jiboso Royal House are the Sobekuns, whose family trees includes the Oyegbatas, Abikanles, Jibua. Olosunde was said to be the mother of Olaloko. Others are the Olusibu, who begot Olajowo, Adeboye and others.
Laluota begets Olubunmi, Idogu and others, while Ladimeji Baderinwa, Makinde Adegbite and others. Ogunboyade was said to have begotten Mosunlade, a female from the family, Abati, Sobande and others. A member of the royal house, Ayodeji, was said to have begotten Lawani, Suberu, Yesuf, Isiaka and others.
Although the declaration specifically stipulated that only a male grandson could ascend the throne; there had been total deviance to this with the late Agura, Oba Sobekun II, whose father was said to have hailed from Igbein.
Also, in the past, Oba Olaloko, a great grandson of Jiboso was said to have been appointed Agura in 1960 through his mother’s line.
Unfortunately, none of the Olajowo, Adeboye and others from the Olusibu have been chanced to mount the throne of their forebearers. Same for the Ladimeji, Baderinwa, Makinde Adegbite and others.
The lineage of the Ayodeji, from the Ajiboso Royal House, who begot Lawani, Suberu, Yesufu, Isiaka, Rufai, Salami and others too has not for once mounted the Agura throne.
Notable prominent sons of Gbagura dead and alive aside Abiola, wife, Simbiat and Adeosun were former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Sarafa Tunji Isola, Oluseye Monsuru, a structure engineer, Engr. Fatai Bodun, former chairman, Abeokuta North Local Government, Habib Ajayi, Taiwo Sobande, Chief Bode Mustapha, ace broadcaster, Ayinde Soaga.
The Ogunwolus, The Ibikunles, The Akinbamis, The Agbajes The Aigoro, The Adetunjis, The Sekonis , Baiyewuns, the Akingbolas, the Animashauns, Aigoros and the Soagas are also families from the Gbagurua area of Abeokuta.
In Egbaland, Gbagura remains the largest entity with vast, expanse of land which interveaves with other sectional quarters like Ake, Oke-Ona and Owu.