Since it was founded in 1980, it has become a tradition for Omo Ajorosun Club of Ibadan to hold “Omo Ajorosun Day”, (like its founders’ day), on the last Saturday of every June, except if it falls on Ramadan or lent or public holiday. This year won’t be an exception, as preparations are already in top gear for the 2019 edition.
The only difference is that, this year’s edition is going to be unique in planning, execution and programming. According to the Chairman of the Planning Committee of 2019 Omo Ajorosun Day, Oloye Lekan Alabi, this year’s edition promises to be more glamorous and colourful than the past celebrations. So many new innovations will be brought in this time around. There is going to be Yoruba indigenous fashion parade, talents exhibition and many more. All these were revealed by Oloye Lekan Alabi to City People, as he took us through his committee’s plans and strategies towards having a smooth, colourful and memorable celebration come June 28, 2019.
For those who may not know, Omo Ajorosun Club of Ibadan is the first indigenous social club in Ibadan. Of course, Oloye Lekan Alabi will be working with formidable members of the planning committee and they include Mr. G.O.D Olojede (Vice Chairman), Barr. Running Thomas, The Rev’d Canon Dr. E.O Babatunde, Mogaji Ismail Bioku, Mr. Lawrence Akinlade, Asiwaju Olasunkade M. Azeez, Alhaji Abiola Alli, Engr. Kindle Badmus, Chief Moto J. Akinloye, Mogaji Samson Ogunsesan, Alhaji Mutiu Adewale Ogunmola, Hon. Abiola S. Alli, Hon. Taofik Sina Alabi, Alhaji Adebayo Taofik Aderogba, Prof. Segun Adekunle, Mr. Babs Akinremi, Alhaji Ramoni Abiola Raaji, Oloye Taofeek Femi Ogunsola (Treasurer), Alhaji Olaboye J. Gbadamosi (Fin. Sec), Akogun Adekunle A. Bogunbe (Social. Sec), Dr. Ibrahim Lawal (Assistant Soc. Sec), Alhaji M.O Olaniyan (Security Sec), Otunba Saheed Makinde (PRO), Engr. Kayode Adebiyi (PMS), Mr. Gbenga Odejobi (AGS) and Barr. ‘Laolu Adebiyi-Abegunde (G.S). Below are excerpts of the interview Oloye Lekan Alabi had with City People Correspondent, DARE ADENIRAN.
As Chairman of the Planning Committee of 2019 Omo Ajorosun Day, tell us about the event. What should we expect on that day?
Since the founding of this club in 1980, 39 years ago, there is a tradition of celebrating Omo Ajorosun Day, on the last Saturday of every June, except if that Saturday falls on Ramadan or Lent or public holiday. So, thank God, the 2019 Omo Ajorosun Day falls on Saturday, June 28, 2019, God willing. And with all modesty when the President and the Executive of this club nominated me as the chairman planning committee, I first of all, declined on the basis that I have done it twice. Other people should be given a chance. But the President, Chief/Sir S.O Babalola, said, “the reason is that we want to make it a unique celebration this year,” and when I looked at the proposal, I accepted with humility.
So, you can now see that the vision is to make 2019 Omo Ajorosun Day “unique”, different positively from the past celebrations because we believe that, creativity should come to play in human endeavours. They should not be repeating the same act or programmes , otherwise it becomes hackneyed or monotonous or mechanical. So, God willing, the celebration this year is what you can tag “Omo Ajorosun Day with a difference”, in planning, excecution and programming.
Meanwhile, apart from the innovations we are bringing into this year’s edition of Omo Ajorosun Day, there will be fashion parade of indigenous Ibadan, Oyo, Yoruba fashion/dresses. No slim fit, no bikini. Also, we are going to discover new talents, who must be below the age of 18. Boys and girls, and they must be talented in indigenous music; Dundun and Sekere, Sakara, Apala, Fuji etc.
What has been the significance of Omo Ajorosun Day celebration to members of the club and Ibadanland?
As I said, the founding fathers of the club, two of whom are still alive, the other ones were Alhaji Akinloye and his friend, Alhaji Akinloye also, they are in heaven with God, may their souls continue to rest in peace. They started it all. They made the last Saturday of every June the celebration of the founding of the club (Omo Ajorosun Day). Whereby, we assess our activities in the outgoing year, plan for the future, even though we are going to mark it with a unique style this year, the core essence of Omo Ajorosun Day will not be left out, and that is recognising and giving awards to people in the society, who have contributed to the social-economic growth of Ibadan-land defunct Western Nigeria, Nigeria and the world.
Two, giving help to the needy, awarding scholarships to very brilliant but indigent students and visiting motherless babies homes, visiting handicaped peoples home and enjoin social with our families, friends, well wishers. And as it is in the constitution and custom of the club, every incumbent governor is the grand patron of our club. Every incumbent Kabiyesi Olubadan of Ibadanland is the royal father of the club, every incumbent Iyaloja of Ibadanland is the royal matron of the club. And as we are conducting this interview today, it is fewer than seventeen days to the swearing in of the Governor-elect of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, who will take over the mantle of government of Oyo State come Wednesday, May 29, this year. So, by June 28, it would have been almost one month that the new governor would have taken mattle of leadership.
So, you can see the uniqueness from that angle. By the grace of God Almighty, the Iyalode-elect of Ibadan land, it is our prayer that before June 28 she would have been formally installed. So you can see the two new important members of the public; the governor of the state, the Iyalode of Ibadanland with our incumbent royal father, Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji Aje Ogungunniso 1, as the royal host. And the kind acceptance of Ooni and Arole Oduduwa, HIM Oba Babatunde Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja 11, whom we visited at the palace in Ile-Ife, to invite as our royal guest and he has accepted to be. So, you can see the combination, and the committee is working very hard on getting a notable frontliner Nigerian to be our Guest Speaker. That is also part of the uniqueness and God willing, we are going to have a big innovative celebration come Saturday June 28, 2019.
Apart from awarding worthy celebrities who you have mentioned sir, tell us other things Omo Ajorosun Club has been involved in, in these past years?
In Yorubaland, there is a saying that, “the wise one doesn’t confer tittles on himself or herself”. It would be immodest for us to say Omo Ajorosun Club is the leading social club in Ibadan, no, that will be very, very immodest. It is modesty that gives us the recognition ‘primus inter pares’, that Omo Ajorosun Club is a leader among equals in Ibadanland. Then the name of our club connotes the totality of Ibadan since its founding by Lagelu, ‘Ibadan omo Ajorosun, omo afikaraun fori mu’. By our name or tittle, you can rank us at par with other prime clubs of other towns and states, that also take the tittle of either their progenitors e.g Lisabi Club of Abeokuta; Oroki Social Club of Osogbo, Osun State; Ekinmogun Club of Ondo, Ondo State. You can see that those names are synonymous with the founders or progenitors, so also is our title.
That is part of our unique nature, Omo Ajorosun Club in Ibadanland, first among equals.
Tell us more about your role as Chairman?
Again, let me use the Latin word, ‘primus inter pares, first among equals. All the members of the committee are all professionals in their various endeavours. So, heading a team of action people has made the work easy. As you said, without being immodest, God has placed us to head many Committees and we have always exceeded the expectations of the people who elected us. We pray that we continue to be getting vision, actions and success. And what is success? Success is effort plus luck, and that effort means good planning, early planning, which is part of the obligation City People is granting me now, letting the public to know our proposed plan and action early enough, for those who would want to give us corporate support, in any form; financial and otherwise to come forward. So, I am working with a team of achievers.