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Awujale of Ijebuland Sets Record As First Monarch In Nigeria To Mark 60th On The Throne.

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SIXTY YEARS OF AWUJALE ADETONA ON THE THRONE
By
Fassy Adetokunboh Yusuf*

NEVER in the history of the circa one thousand years old Ijebu Kingdom did any king reign for up to sixty years. However, Awujale Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba II, Paramount ruler of Ijebuland from the Anikinaiya Ruling House has broken every known record having ascended the throne on April 2, 1960 thus, incredibly clocking sixty years as the monarch of Ijebu nation- a no mean feat, and still marching on in the service of his people as the custodian of their culture and tradition.

There were fifty-seven Awujale (Awujale Ademolu Fesogbade ascended the throne twice!) before him starting from Awujale Olu-Iwa to his immediate predecessor on the throne, Awujale Daniel Adesanya, Gbelegbuwa II, who reigned from 1933 to 1959. He is no doubt the longest reigning first-class monarch in Nigeria and has been a major actor in the socio-cultural and developmental history of Nigeria since the countrys independence.

With his six decades on the throne, Oba Adetona has seen the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of the Nigerian polity. No wonder, he bestrides the traditional institution like a colossus. A sagacious, courageous, charismatic, dependable and reliable traditional ruler, a statesman and an incorruptible monarch, Awujale Adetona is known to always damn every demagogue. Indeed, he is providentially always on the side of history and has weathered many storms that would have consumed lesser mortals.

In his seminal book, The Ijebu of Yorubaland (1850-1950): Politics, Economy, and Society, the late Emeritus Professor Emmanuel Ayankanmi Ayandele (1992), an eminent professor of history, gave a remarkable account of an equally remarkable and uniquely adaptable people. In a generous but factual assertion, the author in the Preface, inter alia, stated that in any computation of human excellence and ability to make the best of any situation, the Ijebu stand very high in Africa in general and in Nigeria in particular. … Internally, in the bewildering power politics of Yorubaland … held their own in a spectacular fashion, the Ijebu kingdom being the only survivor of the large-scale cataclysmic eruptions that shattered other Yoruba States in the nineteenth century.

Ayandele further disclosed that perhaps the best illustration of the genius of the Ijebu for survival and timely adaptability was their going the polar opposite by recognising and appropriating in the nick of time, the dynamics of social and economic process offered by westernism, their erstwhile bugbear which they had strenuously resisted to the point that the British maxims and seven pounders had to speak to them. The Lagos Times of May 9, 1890 was right when it wrote that Ijebu is about the only province now in what is commonly described as the Yoruba country that has not lost its original seat from the vicissitudes of inter-tribal warfare, which has sorely affected the land.

Young Prince Sikiru Adetona who personifies the attributes of Ijebu that include fierce and sturdy independence, candour, objectivity, sincerity, entrepreneurial spirit, reliability, and resoluteness was born on Thursday, May 10, 1934. He variously attended Baptist School, Ereko, Ijebu Ode; Ogbere United Primary School; and Ansar-Ud-Deen School, Ijebu Ode between 1943 and 1950. For his secondary education, he was at Olu-Iwa (now Adeola Odutola) College, Ijebu Ode from 1951 to 1956. Between 1957 and 1958 he took up appointment with the then Audit Department of the Western Region, Ibadan. The charming prince resigned his appointment in 1958, to pursue further studies in Accountancy in the United Kingdom. He left Nigeria by sea from Port Harcourt in late December 1958.

By a letter, dated January 4, 1960 referenced CB. 4 1/333, the Permanent Secretary in the defunct Western Region Ministry of Local Government conveyed to the Local Government Adviser in Ijebu Ode, approval of the Western Region Governor in-Council, the appointment of Prince Sikiru Kayode Adetona as the Awujale of Ijebuland with effect from that date (January 4, 1960). It was indeed, a new dawn in the annals of Ijebu people. The king-elect thereafter, proceeded to undergo the traditional seclusion at the Odo for three months.

On Tuesday, April 5, 1960 newly crowned Oba Adetona, took his seat as a member of the defunct Western Region House of Chiefs, after a formal introduction. And, as if confirming the aphorism that a golden fish had no hiding place, the new Awujale was appointed by the Western Region Government as a Minister and Member of the Region’s Executive Council. This position he occupied until the outbreak of the Western Region’s political crisis in 1962. With the declaration of a State of Emergency in the Western Region by the then Federal Government led by the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the late Dr. Majekodunmi who was appointed the Administrator of the region found the services of the young Awujale indispensable. He was thus made a Commissioner during the Emergency period.

Since 1960, Oba Adetona has succeeded in raising the status and reckoning of his Ijebu people. He is known and perceived as one of the country’s greatest monarchs, dead or alive. A philosopher and social scientist, his fame and popularity extend beyond the shores of Nigeria.

Awujale Adetona is loyally and devotedly committed to the Nigerian State having built bridges across Rivers Niger and Benue. He admonishes his people to be thoroughbred wherever they find themselves. No wonder that the Ijebu people have not only comported themselves wherever they are but it is on record that no inter or intra ethnic clash has been recorded in Ijebuland since he ascended the throne (in 1960).

He was in the forefront of finding a national solution to the political logjam of 1993 to 1999. Oba Adetona consulted widely and hosted several fora. He was never a sell-out. He brokered peace and concord in 1998 and 1999, and the current major actors in the nations main political parties will readily attest to this disclosure. The incorruptibility of Oba Adetona is unsurpassable as spoils of office cannot corrupt the monarch. He is just, transparent and equitable. Oba Adetona loathes indecency and eschews corruption like the plague. He has been known to chastise corrupt leaders and quite often to publicly denounce them. Woe betides any Ijebu person who gets his hands soiled as such an Ijebu has no home to return to. His long and enviable reign has not made Oba Adetona to decay nor decompose.

During the Abacha era, he was amongst the few leaders that stood to be counted on the side of history. Time has indeed vindicated him. Oba Adetona, to paraphrase Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819 to 1881), is one leader whom the lust of office does not kill. A leader whom the spoils of office cannot buy. A monarch who possesses opinions and a will. A king who has honour, who will not lie. A legend that has always stood before a demagogue and damned his treacherous flatteries without winking.

He is a monarch among monarchs that successive administrations in Ogun State and indeed, Nigeria hold in high esteem as a manifestation of his incorruptibility, transparency, objectivity and sagacity. He has immeasurably succeeded in bringing about religious harmony among his people to the extent that religion does not dichotomise the Ijebu as Christians live in harmony with Muslims. The traditionalists are equally not isolated. The common saying in Ijebu is that religion cannot divide us. The Holy Quran confirms this, to wit: to you, your religion, and to me, my religion.

Albeit Oba Adetona, is the President of the United Muslim Council (an umbrella Islamic organisation for Muslims), he attends Christian functions and he is quite versed in the Holy Bible. The Ijebu Christian Community holds the New Year Prayer Session in the Awujale Palace. Many of his high-ranking Otunba and Chiefs are Christians. The Palace is an admixture of Christians, Muslims and traditionalists.

Oba Adetona’s purity and righteous deeds are accounting for his success in this world and would surely account for his securing al-Janah (paradise) in the Hereafter. Given his spirituality, one is left in no doubt that Oba Adetona will reign for many more years as God guarantees longevity and good health for leaders who fear Him and thread His path.

This spectacular monarch has used his sagacity and creative ingenuity to bring the Ijebu traditional institution in tandem with civilisation. The old and fetish practices have been jettisoned in Ijebuland, thus making the institution to be attractive to successful technocrats, professionals and business moguls of royal lineage. As a monarch, Oba Adetona has personal warmth and integrity. He has positive attitude and high energy level. The Ijebu monarch has enormous sense of humour.

The revival of the Ijebu Age Grade system (known as Regberegbe, in local parlance), the building of the gigantic palace and the Ojude Oba pavilion, the novel and unique Ijebu Development Board on Poverty Reduction, the unsurpassable Awujale Adetona Professorial Chair in Good Governance at Olabisi Onabanjo University, the granting of coronets to many communities in Ijebuland are some of the everlasting legacies of Oba Adetona.

Albeit, one issue agitating the mind of this quintessential monarch is the desirability of creating an Ijebu State out of the present Ogun State, his subjects are unanimous with him in his quest. Indeed, for justice, fair play, and equity to reign in the land, the Ijebu deserve a State of theirs. Surely, at Gods own appointed time, Ijebuland would become a State.

To preserve history, Oba Adetona published on the occasion of his fiftieth year as Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland and to coincide with his seventy-six birthday his autobiography with the title Awujale: The autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba S. K. Adetona, Ogbagba II. The seventeen-chapter book with seven appendices tells it all. It is a master piece and a must read for anybody interested in the history of the Ijebu of Yoruba nation and monarchy in Nigeria.

On behalf of the good people and friends of Ijebu nation, this is a unique opportunity to salute the living legend, the great and amiable monarch as he strikes diamond on the throne of his forefathers and prepares to mark his eighty-sixth birthday on May 10, 2020. May his reign continue to be peaceful, progressive, and beneficial to Ijebuland and indeed, our dear nation.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ogunbase

    April 4, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Congratulation Kabieyesi

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BREAKING: Malami ‘Speaks On Releasing 300 Boko Haram Sponsors’

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The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami has denied releasing any Boko Haram Financier, contrary to a report by online news media on Friday.

Malami, in a statement signed by his media, Umar Gwandu, stated that the report of him ordering the release of Boko haram Sponsors was ‘False’.

The statement read; “None of the suspected financiers in respect of whom remand orders were procured by the Federal Government was at any time ordered or facilitated to be released by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN.”

“The report by Sahara Reporters of the alleged release of 300 suspects by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is a malicious misrepresentation of facts relating to the ongoing investigation of terrorism financing suspects in Nigeria.”

“It is important to reiterate at this point that the fight against the menace of terrorism is an ongoing operation characterized by intelligence gathering, arrest, investigation, and prosecution.”

“The story is inherently contradictory and substantially mischievous. The contradictions in the story can best be understood from the point of the analysis of the affidavit that was said to have been procured by Sahara reporters as deposed before a court in relation the subject matter.”

“By their own showing, the Office of the Attorney General, has deposed to an affidavit on account of which an order of a Court was obtained, seeking for the continued detention of those financiers that were alleged to have been in custody. This, by implication, established that the matter is effectively submitted to the jurisdiction of the court.”

“It is common knowledge that where a matter is submitted to a Court of law, it is only through the judicial process that any subsequent action can possibly be taken. The question then arising from the claim of Sahara Reporters is this:”

“When was an application filed in Court by the office of the attorney general by which the release of the purported suspects was procured?”

“It amounts to approbation and reprobation for the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation to, in one breath, obtain an order seeking for continued detention of the alleged financiers of Boko Haram and at the same time having them released. Sahara reporters must have lost their sense of logic in view of their inherent illogical position.

“If the interest of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation was to have the people released, the idea of approaching the Court for an order of the court seeking for extension or time to have them in custody couldn’t have even arise in the first place.”

“The most important, and in fact, interesting aspect that people would like to know about the mischief associated with the position of Sahara Reporters story was who are the custodian of these people alleged to have been taken into custody. One needs to know by which communication or correspondence or application was their release procures since the matter is already pending before the court of Law, and they were taken to custody on account of Court order.”

“It does not add up for the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation to procure the release of someone that has been in custody on account of Court order without approaching the Court.”

“The public, in essence, are entitled to know which application was it that was subsequently filed to procure the release financiers. When was the application filed, before which court was it taken and which lawyer is it that has taken the application and where is the Court order on which account the release was effected?

Your credibility as a news medium remains terribly tainted and I wonder when it will ever be redeemed!

We are also amazed that an allegation of bribe taking is made.”

“The public is entitled to know who the originator of the bribery was. Who facilitated the giving of bribe? Who accepted or collected the bribe on behalf of the Attorney General? Who were the vendors and facilitators? Expect, perhaps, if Sahara Reporters in their own rights were the perpetrators and indeed, vendors of the bribery allegation.”

“Sahara Reporters are simply using the hard earned reputation of the Attorney General of the federation as an associated ploy to re-enact their lost glory and goodwill to win a reading consideration of the public against the background of the fact that people have lost faith and confidence in them. They are indeed, battling to see what they can sell in terms of fabricated stories in line with their tradition of fabricating lies and sharing same in the public media space.”

“The public are entitled to know further information arising from their wield, unfounded and baseless allegation which is characterized by mischief and falsehood.”

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FBI: 11 Nigerians Indicted In US For $117 Million Romance Scam (SEE LIST)

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Federal investigators with the Department of Justice say 35 people in North Texas are accused of conducting romance schemes to defraud and steal money from older adult Americans.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas and the FBI announced a multi-year investigation into a wide-ranging criminal enterprise operating out of North Texas.

Investigators announced indictments for criminal charges against 35 people accused of wire fraud and money laundering as part of a very sophisticated scheme that stole more than $17 million from more than 100 people nationwide.

According to court documents, these defendants allegedly preyed on older victims, many of whom were widowed or divorced. They assumed fake names and trolled dating sites like Match.com, ChistianMingle, JSwipe, and PlentyofFish, searching for targets.

Conspirators would pose as an interested partner and then build a level of trust with their target before eventually sharing a sob story that ended with them needing a large sum of money.

Crimes like these are especially despicable because they rely not only on victims’ lack of internet savvy, but also, their isolation, their loneliness, and sometimes their grief,” acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said at a press conference announcing the charges. “The only mistake these victims make is being generous to the wrong people.”

In many cases, investigators said, the alleged thieves would then siphon thousands of dollars from their victim’s bank accounts.

“Once they depleted the savings they vanished into thin air,” said Shah.

Investigators said the funds are taken from the victims eventually made their way to accounts located in Africa and Asia.

Shah added that romance scams are often difficult to prosecute because victims are often embarrassed, feel duped, and don’t want to come forward. Still, they encourage victims to come forward and reassure them that the scams are more common than one might think — more than 20,000 people lost $600 million in romance scams in 2020.

Eleven of the arrests were made in the Northern District of Texas while 24 arrests were made in the Eastern District of Texas.

Those charged in the Northern District of Texas include:

David Animashaun, 38 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy

Oluwalobamise Michael Moses, 40 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy

Irabor Fatarr Musa, 51 – arrested in the Eastern District of Texas, charged by the Northern District of Texas wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy

Ijeoma Okoro, 31 – arrested in DFW, wire fraud conspiracy fraud, money laundering conspiracy

Chukwemeka Orji, 36 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy

Emanuel Stanley Orji, 35 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy

Frederick Orji, 37 – arrested in Dallas, charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy

Uwadiale Esezobor, 36 – arrested in Lubbock, charged with mail & wire fraud conspiracy

Victor Idowu, 36 – arrested in Los Angeles, charged with mail & wire fraud conspiracy

Afeez Abiola Alao, 37 – wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy

Ambrose Sunday Ohide, 47 – wire fraud conspiracy

All of the defendants named are innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face up 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud conspiracy counts and up to 10 years in federal prison on the money laundering conspiracy counts.

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Use Your Position To Stabilise West Africa – UN Secretary-General Tells Buhari

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The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to leverage on his leadership position to ensure stability among West African nations, in terms of democracy and good governance.

According to a statement by Femi Adesina, spokesperson to the president, the UN secretary-general said this at a meeting with Buhari on Friday, at the 76th session of the United Nations general assembly (UNGA) taking place in New York.

“According to the UN scribe, Africa, especially West Africa, was generally seen as an ocean of stability and good governance, but was deeply concerned at recent reversal of fortunes in democratic rule in some parts of the West African sub-region with coups overturning elected institutions,” Adesina said.

“He, therefore, urged President Buhari to continue to show leadership as he looks up to Nigeria to help stabilise the sub-region in terms of democracy and good governance.

“On terrorism, the secretary-general commended the efforts of Nigeria on this global phenomenon, assuring the Nigerian leader of the United Nations’ continued support in her efforts to address the prevailing security and humanitarian challenges that have arisen, especially with the internally displaced persons.

“He also commended Nigeria’s efforts on climate change, expressing willingness of the world body to cooperate with the country in this regard.

“President Buhari applauded Mr Gutterres for his global leadership and the success of the 76th session. He assured the secretary-general that Nigeria had achieved appreciable successes in tackling the insecurity caused by terrorists and bandits.

“The president also thanked him for the global organisation’s intervention in activities towards reducing the effects of climate change, especially with the support for the Great Green Wall programme, which is aimed at arresting desertification across the Sahel as well as the campaign against deforestation in Nigeria.”

Adesina added that the president also expressed commitment to supporting the UN “towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.

 

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