Two weeks ago was the installation and presentation of staff of office to Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the 19th Akarigbo, Remoland, in Ogun State. The coronation ceremony was held at the Gateway Int’l Stadium, Sagamu and was attended by traditional rulers, within and outside Ogun State, top government functionaries, eminent Nigerians, captains of industry, community development associations among others. The biggest VVIPs at the event were Vice President, Osinbajo, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun amongst others, Bunmi Mustapha some of the things you don’t know about the throne and the newly installed king.
MEET THE NEW AKARIGBO REMO’S MOTHER CHIEF MRS FOLASHADE AJAYI
Seventy six year old Chief Mrs Folashade Olufumilayo Ajayi is the mother of the newly coronated Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, she is also a princess , her grandfather was a king and her father was the first son of her grandfather. She got married to the king’s father , Pa Ajayi in June 1962 at a registry in Lokoja , they met during her primary school education at the United African Methodist School, Eleja, Sagamu, they were both class mates and lived close to each other which made them leave home and come back together, until she was sick and was not allowed to write her exams. She later went to Queens College in 1956 and left in 1960. She moved to Ibadan afterwards before she met her husband again. She followed him to Lokoja where he was posted to as a surveyor and they got married. Not long after, she had her son , but she waited for eleven years before God blessed her with another child , by that time , Pa Ajayi has become a big time surveyor, although he was not always around due to his job , but he was frequent at home.
According to her, Akarigbo grew up very well , after her working hours she will tell him what to do and he will do it well. He had his common entrance when he was in primary five and gained admission into a secondary school in Lagos, but his dad insisted that he wanted him to attend Remo secondary School and he was transferred from the college in Lagos to RSS which was a boarding school, although he comes home during holidays but he was a well behaved child.
Speaking of his youthful period, Chief Mrs Ajayi said he was obedient and respectful , she has never had any cause to report him to his dad, and no one has ever come home to report him to her that he is fighting or disrespectful, the only time he ever beat him with a ruler was when she was trying to correct him on a yoruba numeric number which was a mix up for him. Although she was happy and it suprised her when the news came that her son was nominated, but she never had any expectation of him being a king, she never expected it because no one came to her to tell her they wanted her son to become the next Akarigbo Remo, she is from a royal family, so she wouldn’t have obliged if she was told , contrary to the rumours that her son was begged before he accepted the position . She said his son came to ask her what she felt about the proposition of him being a king , she was confused at first, but decided to leave everything in God’s hands.
HOW OBA BABATUNDE AJAYI WAS PICKED BY THE ORACLE
According to the Ofin Lisa of Remoland, Chief Abdulrasaq Adeyemi Salami , who is the traditional Prime Minister of Remoland, three people are the rulers of Ofin, The Akarigbo , Lisa , and the Losi. When it was time to choose the new Akarigbo Remo , Ifa Oracle was used, 19 0f them were nominated and the list was given to the Lisa, some of the kingmakers wanted them shortlisted but Lisa disagreed because they dont want to leave any loopholes for litigation. 19 of them were worked on and were interviewed.
After many considerations , just two people were picked and were voted for. Ifa oracle was used in the last day of August , early in the morning around 6am, the kingmakers gathered at Iledi and had the Ifa Priest, Lisa told them Akarigbo is not only from Sagamu so they are going to represent the whole of Remo, so they had Ifa Priest from the three local government, from Sagamu, Ikenne and Remo North. The three of them sat together with the seven kingmakers , they made consultations on the 19 of them and then they kept the results to themselves, so from there they started checking the outcome of their Ifa and even took pictures of the priests so that some people will not say they didnt use Ifa and there was maximum security for the kingmakers, on that day police were stationed to the house of each kingmaker so that they were not attacked.
HIS FATHER LATE CHIEF SOLA AJAYI WAS A GOOD MAN
Many things was said about the new King’s late father, Chief Sola Ajayi who was the Otunba Oloore of Remoland, he was a good person with distinct character. It was the good things the father did in the past that led to the emergence of the new Akarigbo. He never knew his son would become a king , but he was a loving and generous person and all the families from the rulling house agreed that his son should become the next Akarigbo. Oba Ajayi’s late father used his position then to help and provide support for the rulling house and the people of Remoland generally.
The same character of the new king is not different from his father, he is humble, generous and respectful, his father also extended his goodwill to those who didn’t love him then, he didn’t discriminate, he always brought the family together and those are one of the reasons the people supported him when he was asked to contest. It was gathered that you cant go to Ajayi’s house with tears and not return with a smile, he was generous and that was why the whole of Remo accepted his son to become their king.
WHAT OSINBAJO AND AMOSUN SAID AT THE EVENT
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo tasked the new Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, to use his stool, to galvanize his subjects for the development of Remo. The Vice President , who described the installation of Oba Ajayi “as a monumental historical event”, equally, implored the monarch to ensure his reign marks the coming together of Remo sons and daughters, for the progress of the town. Osinbajo said Akarigbo’s throne has long been a representation of enterprise and integrity and urged Oba Ajayi, to combine his discipline as an accomplished accountant and a legal practitioner, to rally the Remo people for unity and progress.
“We are all witnesses to this monumental historical event. The throne of Akarigbo has long been a representation of enterprise and integrity, therefore, the new Akarigbo, must combine his discipline as an accomplished accountant and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, to rally the people of Remo in unity, for the development of the land.
“We are confident that your attributes will benefit Remoland. You also have a task of galvanizing your subjects towards the development of your domain, and ensure your reign marks the coming together of Remo sons and daughters for the purpose of developing Remo”, the Vice President said.
In his speech, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, charged the new monarch to be a champion of peaceful co-existence of the residents of Remoland. He added that as a symbol of the community, Oba Ajayi, should be an important partner in maintaining peace in Remoland.
Amosun, who described obaship process as democracy at work, commended those who vied for the stool of Akarigbo with the monarch, for their show of sportsmanship, urging the people of Remoland to cooperate with the monarch in order to surpass achievements of past Akarigbo.
He, however, implored the new monarch to cooperate and collaborate with security agencies in checking the influx of people with criminal tendencies, from the neighbouring Lagos State.
While charging the monarch to mobilize his subjects to pay their taxes, Amosun assured his administration’s continued infrastructural development of Ogun State.
WHAT KABIYEESI SAID
In his acceptance speech, Oba Ajayi, urged the people to assist the state government to cater for the needs of the growing number of unemployed youths. He also called on other royal fathers in Ogun, to remain a crucial stabilizing factor in all the communities in the state. He said: “But to attain that glorious future, we have to work together as one large family. Government cannot do it alone. We have to supplement the efforts of government. We have to assist government to cater for the needs of our growing number of unemployed youths. We have to carry our women along, those born entrepreneurs who have to juggle the challenge of the domestic front with today’s current realities of dwindling resources. “Together, we must assist government to provide a peaceful environment in our communities so that the return of industries to Remo will continue to grow in leaps and bounds.
“Today, we reach out to all brother royal fathers, particularly those in our great state. We commend them for holding fort and remaining a crucial stabilizing factor in our communities. We have no doubt that, we can charge a new and more enduring course for our people”.
HOW OBA AJAYI WAS BEGGED TO BE KING
Speaking on how Oba Ajayi, the new Akarigbo Remo became a king, the Secretary to the Torungbuwa ruling house, Alhaji Nurudeen Adewale Kazeem Aleshinloye said , the Aafin since last year November had decided to make Prince Babatunde Ajayi the new Akarigbo because of his good character, which he emulated from his father. Some notable Princes of Remo held a meeting then and decided that he would be the next King of Remo. They begged Oba Babatunde Ajayi before he accepted to be king , after the meeting and they concluded to give him the position, they called him to come home and serve his father land. It was not easy but they begged him seriously before he accepted their request. The king himself said when the Secretary to the ruling house called him to tell him they were submitting his name for nominations, he asked him what nade him think he was interested.
He said he was going to think about it, but he kept on ignoring his call. At some point, he blocked the Secretary’s number from calling. Oba Ajayi had always told people close to him that if it were to be a tenured office and another person will take over after 4 years , he would have obliged because he knew he could make a difference in 4 to 8 years. The news kept spreading and around summer and he had to book his ticket to travel abroad in other to run away from the issues. Although he was given an opportunity to reflect on it , he was initially talking to people people about it but at some point he stopped talking about it, he wanted it to ride on his own and he put minimal effort to see how it would play out. His wife was completely against it.,His children were indifferent, due to how he broke the news to them. It took a long time before his wife accepted , because she knows how disciplined her husband is. It was when the former king passed on and the whole issue of succession started that he knew his nexus to the throne.
The Secretary to the ruling house Alao said, before he was nominated, they made series of consultations, the Muslims among them consulted the Alfa likewise the traditionalists and Christians among them , and the outcome of it all is that Babatunde Ajayi is the king that would bring peace and development to Remoland. From the beginning they had 48 people who wished to contest. They were later reduced to 8, then to 6, the 6 people were given an opportunity to partake in the election, The door was opened to everyone because of litigations , but the people’s choice became king, Babatunde Ajayi.