Ijebu Igbo: Day Abiodun installed new Orimolusi, 28 yrs after!

It was not only all the public primary and secondary schools that were closed, the churches, mosques, markets, parks and garages were also firmly closed.
Though the roads were not closed, but they only led to the Abusi Edumare Grammar School’s mini-stadium; venue of the presentation of certificate, staff of office and installation of the new Orimolusi of Ijebu Igbo, Kabiyesi Alayeluwa Oba Lawrence Jaiyeoba Adebajo, by the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 will, for decades to come, be memorable in the annals of the incident town of Ijebu Igbo. It was a day indigenes returned home, friends came calling, the entire Obas in Ijebuland who are also members of the Ijebu Traditional Council, clergy men, Imams and Alfas, traditional worshipers, old and young, strong and feeble came out to witness an historic event; in fact, the lame pleaded to be carried to witness the crowning of a king; filling the vacant throne of the Orimolusi of Ijebu Igbo, which had taken 28 solid years to materialise.It was a day to be remembered for good.
When the late King, Oba Sami Adetayo, Ikupakude IV, joined his ancestors in 1994, no one could have thought that it will take 28 years before another Orimolusi would be crowned.
It was a journey through tick and thin, ups and down; even some frontliners in the clamour for a new king had departed to the great beyond; they did not live long enough to witness the ascension of Oba Lawrence Jaiyeoba Adebajo Ojuromi VI to the throne of his forefathers.
The announcement by Ogun State Government on Friday, February 18, that the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, had approved the appointment of a new Orimolusi of Ijebu-Igbo finally laid to rest the apprehension of concerned people spanning three decades.
The appointment, according to a statement signed by Adesoji Adewuyi, Director, Chieftaincy Affairs, at the Ogun State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said the appointment took effect from Wednesday, February 16, 2022.
Oba Adebajo is from the royal ruling house of Ojuromi from Oke Tako, having been born to Prince Tanimowo Adebajo and Safuratu Adebajo on November 11, 1953, in Fowoseje, a remote village of Ijebu-Igbo.
His elementary school was at St. Bridget Catholic Primary School, Fowoseje, while his secondary school education was at St Vincent Catholic Secondary Modern School, Ijebu Igbo. The Royal Father ventured into transport business and made success of it, becoming a transport magnate and transport chain contractor to reputable organisations in Lagos.
A detribalised leader, devoid of religious tribalism and sectarianism, his appointment was well applauded by all and sundry. With his installation, Oba Adebajo has become a member of the Ijebu Traditional Council (ITC) and a permanent member representing the Ijebu Traditional Council at the Ogun State Council of Obas.
The profile of the Orimolusi was underlined by the arrays of traditional rulers at the event, who were led by Kabiyesi Alayeluwa Oba Yinusa Olawale Adekoya, the Dagburewe of Idowa, who stood in for the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona.
Furthermore, the physical presence of the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to personally present the staff of office to the Orimolusi not also underscored the importance of the event and the stool, but also added glowing colours to the installation.
While presenting the staff of office to the newly crowned Orimolusi, Prince Dapo Abiodun enjoined him him to be “accessible, receptive and responsive to the yearnings of the Ijebu Igbo people.”
The governor equally urged the monarch to continue to champion all efforts that will enhance peaceful co-existence with other royal fathers within Ijebu Igbo and its environs in order to justify the mandate and trust repose in him by the Ogun State Government. Abiodun, was of the view that the ancient town, which witnessed 28-year interregnum, would begin to witness upward swing with the installation of the new Orimolusi.
While describing the event as “symbolic testament reflective of the time past and a new beginning in community spirit and selflessness”, the governor expressed optimism that the monarch, with his pedigree, would espouse development of the town.
He congratulated all the sons and daughters of Ijebu-Igbo who had painstakingly waited for almost three decades for the new monarch, and the entire people of Ijebuland on the coronation which according to him, has opened a new phase in the traditional lives of Ijebu Igbo people.
Abiodun also commended Prof. Ademola Adedeji-led 11-member kingmakers/warrant chiefs, for carrying out a process that was “open, transparent and credible, expressing assurance that the monarch would be guided by the laudable and enviable legacy of honour of all his predecessors.”
While noting that “this is the third interregnum the stool of Orimolusi had witnessed; the first one was between 1887-1889, the second happened from 1905-1928 while this one lasted from 1994-2021”, the governor added that “all of us must have learnt one or two things in the intervening period and realize that together we can achieve more.”
“For instance, we have learnt that the delay in the appointment and installation of the new Orimolusi was as a result of the differences among the various contestants which led to litigations that started from the High Court and stretched up to the Supreme Court, which delivered judgment in the appeal on 7th May, 2021. I thank God that at the end of the day, the voice of the people is the voice of the Judiciary and God. I also wish to state unequivocally that there is no victor, no vanquished in the entire episodes leading up to this installation. We are all winners. We must do everything possible to put the town’s interest first”, he stated.
“I know that the new Orimolusi of Ijebu-Igbo possesses the requisite skillsets, experience and exposure required to steer the ship of Ijebu-Igbo. Let us, therefore, see today’s ceremony as an opportunity to come together and move Ijebu-Igbo, Ijebuland, and, by extension, the entire state, towards attaining more socio-economic development,” the he governor remarked.
Facing the new monarch, Prince DAPO Abiodun said: “Kabiyesi, as a father, you are expected to be accessible, receptive and responsive to the yearnings of your subjects at all times. You are to note Kabiyesi that you should continue to champion all efforts that will enhance peaceful co-existence with other royal fathers within Ijebu Igbo and its environs in order to justify the mandate and trust repose in you by Ogun State Government. Kabiyesi, by your appointment, you have become a member of the Ijebu Traditional Council and Permanent Member representing Ijebu Traditional Council at the Ogun State Council of Obas. Kabiyesi, I urge you to regard this appointment as a call to greater duty and responsibility. I implore you to extend magnanimity in victory to all and sundry in Ijebu-Igbo and reconcile all contending parties.”
“On our part, we have continued and will continue to prioritize the welfare and wellbeing of traditional rulers because they play a pivotal role in the sustaining the rich cultural heritage of our people as they are custodians of our value systems, norms and mores. We consider them indispensable partners in the Building Our Future Together Agenda of our Administration and integral part of our Security Architecture”. Abiodun stated.
The governor, however, expressed worries by the slide in the moral ethos and the palpable mindlessness that accompany the get-rich-syndrome in the society, particularly among the youth, declaring measures would put in place to nip the menace in the bud.
“I am always traumatised beyond words when I hear of our youth’s involvement in the spate of killings and dismembering of human beings for ritual purposes. I am particularly scandalized these young ones – teenagers – are being fingered as perpetrators of these dastardly acts. Let me use this opportunity to solicit the support of our Traditional Rulers, Parents, Teachers, Heads of Various Institutions of Learning, Community leaders, Religious leaders and indeed all of us, to always preach and act as a good moral compass and mentors to our children and youths. Money should not be the sole determinant of success. Integrity should count more. But, let me also warn that we shall deal decisively with anyone involved in any heinous crime in accordance with the relevant laws. There is no compromise on this. Ogun State is known over the years for being at the vanguard of ‘Omoluabi’ ethos”, he added.
He reiterated that “our Administration has continued and will continue to espouse programmes and policies that engage the youths positively. We are doing everything possible to ensure that Ogun remains a trailblazer in youth development, human capital empowerment, economic growth and prosperity. We are committed to providing necessary technical, logistic and institutional support to security agencies and for our youths to actualize themselves through provision of jobs, creating a conducive environment for them to learn trades and become net employers of labour, as well as other avenues and opportunities to be gainfully and prosperously engaged without resorting to crimes.”
“Let our elders, parents and guardians do their own to inculcate the right attitude into their wards to help the moral fibre of our society. We all owe it a duty to stop this scourge by whatever legal means possible. I can assure you that we will fight this menace with everything at our disposal. We will not be identified by this notoriety. Our culture frowns at this and we must bring propriety back into the psyche of the children who we will leave the future behind for. For us, we have emplaced security measures in schools and all the villages, hamlets and towns to ensure zero-tolerance for ritualists. We will trail them, apprehend them, investigate them and make them serve as examples for those harbouring such sinister routes to wealth acquisition”, Abiodun submitted”, the governor said sternly.
The Secreatry to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, who, few days back, paid a pre-installation visit to the Orimolusi, congratulated Oba Adebajo and prayed for his peaceful reign as he ascends the throne of his forebears. The SSG admonished people of Ijebu Igbo to support the new Oba and give their maximum cooperation.
It is to the enviable credit of the Abiodun Administration that the 28 years jinx on the Orimolusi throne was finally broken with the installation of Oba Adebajo., by no less a personality than Prince Dapo Abiodun, Governor of Ogun State, himself, a royal blood from Iperu Remo

*Tunde Oladunjoye, journalist, writer,  public analyst and commentor covered the historic event for posterity