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Yorubaland – The Zone Lost More Than Five (5) Prominent Monarchs

IBADAN– Southwest geo-political zone, otherwise known as Yorubaland has never had it so bad in the history of culture and traditions that as at the spate of thirty (30) days, the zone lost more than five (5) prominent monarchs.

It would be recalled, however, that two out of the five monarchs died the same day.

The Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III and the Olowu of Owu in Abeokuta, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, both died on December 12, 2021.

Oba Oyewumi, who came from the Gbagun Ruling House of Ogbomoso reigned for 48 years and died at the age of 95 years.

Prominent personalities across the country commiserated with people of Ogbomoso and Oyo State at large over the demise of the monarch.

These included President Muhammadu Buhari, who urged sons and daughters of Ogbomosoland to be consoled with the fact that Oba Oyewumi accentuated his reign with the development and progress of the community through enduring peace and extension of hands of fellowship to people of other lands.

Former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu described Oba Oyewunmi as a highly referred traditional ruler who worked for peace, unity and development in Ogbomoso, Yorubaland and indeed in Nigeria.

Governor Seyi Makinde said the monarch made a lasting impact, saying the death of Soun was a huge loss to the Ogbomoso Kingdom, Oyo and humanity in general.

Former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, who later died on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, said the sudden demise of Soun was a personal loss to him not knowing that he too would join his forefathers so soon. Exactly a month after the demise of the monarch, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala died in his sleep.

But the celebration of a life well spent by the monarch was cut short with the demise of his eldest child, Professor (Princess) Taibah Danmole barely a month the monarch joined his ancestors, and later the former Governor Alao-Akala.

The death of Princess Danmole occurred during the process of selecting the new Soun of Ogbomoso.

Princess Danmole died on January 9 2022, while it was learnt that as at January 8, about 21 persons had collected interest of expression form for the throne of new Soun of Ogbomoso.

Her death came a few days to the 40th day Fidau prayer for her deceased father who reigned for 48 years as Soun of Ogbomoso.

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Princess Danmole, a Professor of Science Education at the Lagos State University (LASU) and governing council member at Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, died in Ilorin after he was sick for close to about one year, according to a family source.

The late Princess was also a one-time Commissioner in Oyo State. She has been buried in the Kwara State capital.

The Olowu of Owu in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu also died on 12th December 2021, after a brief illness.

It was learnt that the traditional ruler was rushed to the hospital on that fateful Sunday but died shortly after at the age of 80 years.

Oba Dosunmu, who was a veteran TV producer, ascended the throne in 2005 as the 13th Olowu after Adewale Adisa Odeleye, Lagbedu 1 who passed away in 2003.

The monarch was said to be a close ally of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He was a civil servant, broadcaster and politician.

He attended King’s College in Lagos State in 1956 and was later admitted into Hendon College of Technology in London to study Drama and Television Production in 1963.

He also attended Landmark Baptist College, Tennessee, the U.S. in 1987 where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Theology.

He worked at the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Ebute Metta, Lagos State and later joined a broadcasting organisation where he rose to the position of Head of Drama Department.

After he exited the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation in 1975, he proceeded to establish a private film production outfit, Starline Films Limited.

Oba Dosunmu was a devoted Christian, who preached to his aides and palace workers on weekly basis, about Jesus Christ.

At different times during his lifetime, Oba Dosunmi had said he did not partake in any ritual before and during his reign as monarch.

The third in the series was Asigangan of Igangan, Oba Abdul-Azeez Adewuyi Aribiyan, who died on 21 December, 2021.

His death came barely eleven days after the demise of Soun of Ogbomoso and Olowu of Owu.

Igangan is one of the towns in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State.

The town was famous during the attacks of suspected Fulani herdsmen on the people of the community and its environs.

It was learnt that more than 20 households were attacked killing more than 50 people while the palace of Asigangan was also set ablaze by the attackers. The attack was a reprisal to the warning given to the Fulani herdsmen in the community and the banishment of the Seriki Fulani from the town by Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

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On January 2, 2022, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogunguniso I, also joined his ancestors at age 93.

Oba Adetunji was a successful businessman and Ibadan was peaceful during his reign.

Almost everyone that paid tribute to Oba Adetunji averred that his reign was most peaceful with visionary and purposeful leadership.

President Muhammadu Buhari, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Governors of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala; former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, Bada Balogun of Ibadanland, Oloye Adegboyega Adegoke, are among the dignitaries that paid last respect to the late monarch.

President Buhari, while urging the state government and people of Ibadan discretion in selecting a new Olubadan, he affirmed that the late monarch was a visionary and compassionate leader, who used the spheres of his influence as a respected traditional ruler and lover of the creative industry to advance the progress of his people, encouraging and motivating them to give their best in their vocation and service to the country.

The former President Obasanjo prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed monarch and promised his readiness to assist the family whenever the need arises.

In his tribute he wrote in the condolence register, Obasanjo said, “Kabiesi, sun re. You lived for the service of family, community, state and the nation. You served committedly and God granted you longevity. We pray that your soul will be with your creator and the family and community will continue to thrive.”

Tinubu said the Olubadan’s death, coming shortly after the demise of the Soun of Ogbomoso, was a big loss for Oyo State and the Yoruba race.

He described the late Oba Adetunji as “humble, humane, mature, calm and decent, always a symbol of unruffled dignity.”

On his part, Governor Makinde, who expressed shock at the passage of the monarch, described him “as an exemplary royalty, a great leader and an exemplary royal father” and that his death was painful in spite of his old age.

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He maintained that the late king gave his all to see that Ibadanland is developed and took its pride of place as one of the major cities in Africa.

Bada Balogun, Oloye Adegoke said, “despite the well life spent by the first-class monarch, his death is a great loss to people of Ibadan, Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole.

“Oba Adetunji was known for his consistent in promoting peaceful and harmonious co-existence, had respect for religions and diverse cultures in the state and country as whole.”

In his message, Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams also described the death of Olubadan as a huge loss, even as he said the demise of the first class monarch had robbed Nigeria and the entire Yoruba land of a mature and peaceful monarch.

Aare Adams said the late Oba Adetunji was mostly loved by sons and daughters of Ibadanland, having the most peaceful reign in Ibadan in recent times.

Despite all these attributions to the late Oba Adetunji, the choice of the next Olubadan has been generating controversy as a result of promotion given to some Ibadan High Chiefs by the late former governor, Abiola Ajimobi during his tenure.

The fifth Oba in the series was Olu of Ayepe-Olode in Ile-Ife, Oba David Omisore, who died on January 4, 2022, two days after the death of Olubadan.

Oba David Omisore, who was the Olu of Ayepe-Olode in Ife South Local Government Area of Osun State, was the father of Senator Iyiola Omisore, an APC stalwart, former Deputy Governor under the Alliance for Democracy (AD), a two-time Senator representing Ife East Senatorial District under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a two-time gubernatorial aspirant under the PDP and Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 2014 and 2018, respectively.

The monarch passed on some days ago at the age of 90.

Among those who expressed condolence to the late monarch is President Muhammadu Buhari.

The President joined the people of Ile-Ife in mourning the well-respected traditional ruler, who will be remembered for his lifelong dedication to the development of his people, providing leadership with dignity, love and respect when it mattered most.

The President expressed confidence that the Omisore family, friends and associates will continue to honour the departed patriarch’s avowed commitment to peaceful settlement of disputes and promoting harmony among different ethnic groups.

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