•The Gbegande Of OSOSA, Oba ADEYOYE ALATISHE
I am going to be 10 years on the throne as the Gbegande of Ososa this month, August 2020. And so it gives me pleasure to put on record some of the events that have passed in the last few years.
You will recall the enthusiasm that surrounded the pre coronation ceremony and thereafter that culminated in the grand reception of Gbegande in Lagos by Ososa United Society.
The special visitations particularly to the homes of now Late elders like Papa 90, Pa Olujagun; Ososa house in Ogabi Street, Abule-Ijesha, Yaba and the grand reception at Pa & Mrs G.F. Okusanya’s house in company of Quarter Chiefs and other notable sons and daughters will remain evergreen in our memories. Our revered Patron, Pa Chief (Surv) G.F. Okusanya made so much efforts in making me feel comfortable with phone calls, prayers, gifts, and personal visits from time to time accompanied with history telling and advises most of which remain, indelible in my mind.
Pa Okusanya, however in 2018 misunderstood our intentions in one of the many pamphlets that I produced to encourage the formation of Ososa Descendants UK and Ireland in the year 2012. It was an incident that hurt our relationship. Papa has since forgiven me, because he sends his usual 4 cartons of Milo sachets for Christmas of the same 2018.
Let me quickly acknowledge the roles of my two pillars of support, Chief Ayo Ogunde the Baba Oba and Chief Mrs. Pelade, the Yeye – Oba of Ososa. I will forever be grateful to both of them for the moral and financial support they always give me till tomorrow.
My late mother, Alhaja Chief Amoke Alatishe, did not mince words when she handed me over to both of them. The Olori Omoba, Otunba S.A Onajinrin, a man of integrity a no nonsense Leader, words cannot describe my feelings towards this “Opomulero” of a man. Our dear pioneer Rector, Otunba DR. Tayo Ogunbadejo is a man after my heart. Despite the fact that he is more than qualified to be King, He has on two previous occasions declined the offer and therefore made it easy for the present Gbegande to ascend the Throne Twice we hav had reasons to disagree on serious issues and twice, he has demonstrate his magnanimity. His annual Christmas gifts notwithstanding, he personally gave a large donation towards the construction of this present Palace. His Words of wisdom at all times are enough for one to take to the banks.
Ayo Onasanya, the Sobaloju of Ososa, an accomplished technocrat, a foremost Son of Ososa, the Asiwaju of Ososa Christians and his arniabla wife, the Yeye Sobaloju of Ososa. Here is a man who could have stayed comfortably in Lagos but chose to come back home after retirement, to come and invest here and take active part in the development of our town. Whenever I am on holiday in UK, his house becomes my restaurant and the wife, Yeye, my chef and the beautiful children my hosts. A kind hearted senior citizen who relishes tradition and culture and a wonderful mentor to Gbegande and the youths.
If and whenever you are looking for a silent operator, look no further than the man called BAGO- Oloruntele Ajayi Omo Ososa- that’s the way he likes to be called. A great but very quiet philanthropist; single handedly built a minor surgical theater in our health centre on our request (see attached a recent Certificate of Excellence as our Ososa Health Centre becomes the Best Performing Health Centre in Ogun State). The Ajayi family at large will tell stories of his assistance to all and sundry. His left hand does not know what the right does when it comes to giving.
Chief Gbenga Shabi, aka Ajangboju, is also among the handful of patiots that have been silently performing. He is Chairman of so many committees in the town, for example:-health committee, water-board. EducatIon, Task force-, Chairman Ososa Market Board etc, He-single handedly built a concrete water sanction at Ososa Health Centre in February 2019. Retired Army Officer Prince Johnson Odumuwagun is also an excellent achiever, a leader among men who has recently attained the seat that rightfully belong to him.
The youth leader, Akeweje Leke Aranju, an epitome of hard work and loyalty. Leke works at Thai farm and I learnt he is also a big-time farmer.
One of the very first young people that committed so much fund into the development of the erstwhile defunct Oja-Oba Ososa. Talkh about the Oja- Oba market, it was the group of the market women and men under the leadership of Yeye Oba that took two years to convince me to take a look at the issue. I remember vividly that it was at an annual New Year prayer that Yeye Oba Pelade hosted, that the Iman of Esiwu Ijoku Mosque, Alhaji Baoku, raised the issue of the market again, in the presence of all elders of Ijoku quarter with the former Oloritun Adesomiji Adebowale sitting down, and that I finally caved in to their request. A few days after, we went to the overgrown site and requested that the bush be burnt. While the exercise was going on, we discovered old market stalls part of which roof has even been burnt. I was then told that it was the old market allocated by the local government as far back as 1976. I took it upon myself to go to the Local Government and seek for approval, which was promptly given. The enthusiasm that followed from indigenes and non indigenes was so infectious and the result of that is what we have there today which cannot be found in any other town in Ijebu land except maybe Ijebu-Ode.
Individuals too numerous to mention here took part in the repair of old stalls, construction of facilities like toilet, borehole, drainage and clearing of roads. Thereafter, sons and daughters began to show interest in putting up
their own structures and a certain amount of fee were paid by some to assist in the construction and provisions of some of the above mentioned facilities. The pressure on me to allocate portions was so much that not everyone could be satisfied but we thank God that our notable sons and daughters like Yeye Oba Pelade, Otunba Adenopo Fiwagboye, Oluwo Ososa, Titilayo Akibu (Efele) aka Olu-Omo of Ososa, Sobaloju Onasanya and even our Olori Omoba, Otunba Onajinrin, were some of the beneficiaries to whom portions were allocated. Others are Otun Balogun Isoro, High Chief Ajibola Bakare, the Lakoye of Osalakoye, Chief Gbenga Shabi, Otunba Leke Aranju the Akeweeje of Ososa, Seun Oluwole, Nice Mummy, Mrs Odejayi, MR. Rufai Taiwo, Fuad Oduwole, Mr. Ogunkoya Muyideen, Ajiroba Jamiu Ogunbadejo. A special traditional “Ile Aje” was built to specifications, all libations and rites were performed by the locals paid for by Gbegande at a cost of over N100,000= An official office for Market Board was built. Market women and men and customers were mixing up every day but more particularly every 5-5 days. There was a functional abattoir and live cows were being slaughtered regularly. As a matter of fact, the local government rate collectors moved in but we pleaded that they should still give our traders some more rate free days and they agreed. Forms collected by intending traders far outnumbered the number of shops available such that potential traders put padlocks on their allotted shops. But then, the recession came, and like play like play it came over the market business, Market men and other traders struggled to keep heads above water but later we were all overwhelmed. Though some folks believed that it was the work of disgruntled elements in our society, who were not happy about the tremendous progress achieved within such a time. Only God knows. For me and others, it is just a matter of time. Suffice to just say here that some of the quarters Chiefs were daily sojourners at the markets at the height of construction and even one of them started the construction of Yeye Oba’s complex after a deposit of N25 ,000 was given to him to start off.
NOW THE PALACE
From the day of coronation, it was my dream to facilitate the building of a befitting palace most especially that it was, predicted long ago that when the time comes a Gbegande will bring back the lost glory of Ososa crown.
All attempts made by me to get the former palace building committee back on the job were rebuffed by the then Chairman, Otunba Oshinoiki who politely declined, citing medical advice. All that purported collected donation of N17 Million was nowhere to be found till date. I remember this was also a sore thumb debate at one OUS meeting, which I was invited to.
Anyway, we forged ahead by asking the elderly people of Ososa, most especially from Ijoku where was the original site of Gbegande Palace. The present site of the New Aafin was pointed to us. The place was filled with rubbish & wastes. More than 30 tipper loads of rubbish were carted away. We measured and about 31/2 plots of space was left from what used-to-be the palace ground Fresh drawings were ordered as the former ones were not handed over despite our requests from the Architect. The long and short of the story was that donations and material contributions started rolling in with Pa (Surv) G.F. Okunsanya in the front with a donation of 500pcs of 9″blocks, followed by a host of others (see attachment list of donors and contributors). I vividly remember the foundation laying ceremony’ when Pa (Surv) G.F. Okusanya asked the Ijoku people if they are satisfied and we all chorused ‘’YES’’, and he thereafter performed the foundation laying ceremony. OUS Under his leadership made numerous donations up to the tune of NI Million (One Million Naira) while even member of OUS like DR. Tayo Ogunbadejo, Yeye Oba Pelade, Chief MRS Majok Okusanya and others made private personal-donations that came very handly in the execution of the project.
Ijoku quarters sent in their donation of N100,000 through the former Oloritun Adesomiji with whom we started the excavation after pegging and with whom we practically completed the Palace. Even while I was abroad on holidays; work was going on under his supervision particularly when the B/Q was being decked. If and whenever I take a look at the list of contributors to the building of the Palace, there is one particular donation of one Madam Alice Abosede Oshinubi who gave N5000 naira as I st deposit and when at one occasion, she came around and gave another N5000 and I thought it was a gift to me, she quickly said, “NO”, that it was for the Palace building. It touched me more than anyone else’s donation as I later found out that she sells water besides the Palace compound. We completed the Palace in 2015 and I made a point that a separate tank of water be dedicated’ to the front of her house from the Palace compound.
While we were digging the foundation of the main building we discovered all kinds of ancient traditional artifacts of the last inhabitant (Gbegande) on that ground. These and other things were to later convince me that I have arrived at my natural habitat and I started sleeping in the Palace even before the completion as I felt so much at home. It was my driver, Alaran, I remember, at one stage that painted my private room as I could no longer allow anyone to enter the room. Finally, as I said above we moved in with special prayers by Ijoku Community led by former Oloritun Adebowale and Late Baba Oloyemeta (of blessed memory).
Throughout all the period of building, moving in and thereafter, a period of over four years with many Celebrations, anniversaries, there were definitely some of our people who never stepped into the grounds of the Palace. There were those that invariably retraced their steps and had come to pay homage to the crown. Within the Palace structure is a special hall solely reserved for meeti ng with Quarter Chiefs and these meetings are held from time to time; the last one being in January – February 2019 when the main item on the agenda was security and Owa of Odo-Owa was saddled with the responsibility of meeting with various security organizations in the town and to report back to the house.
The present impasse, I believe, started when the rumour of an impending demolition of the Palace and the modern Oja-Oba became rife and the good people of Ososa inundated me with their worries. Prior to taking the steps of informing the State Governor, I had consulted with some elders in the town however, as some said, every attempt at mediation to resolve misunderstandings is appreciated. Rather than give us credit for the few things that Almighty God has used us to achieve, Yoruba-says “Yinni Yinni, tori ko ba Ie se emii si ni” we get
myriads of assaults like we had from one big shot and his cohorts many of who would rather not come out to display their grouse.
List Of Some Of The Past Pro Ects Executed By Me
•Building Of A Befitting Palace For The Town
(1) Building of a Dr’s quarter & maintenance on a regular basis.
(2) Building of a two bedroom nurses quarter also at the health centre.
(3) Working with ChiefTele Ajayi to construct a minor theater in 2018.
(4) Encouragement of the Ogundes to do a living history museum in memory of Late Pa Ogunde.
(5) Formation of Ososa Water Board after the reactivation of the water system.
(6) Formation of Education Task Force.
(7) Renovation and Sinking of borehole at the Corpers’ Lodge.
(8) Annual rent of NBO,OOO paid forthe Corpers’ Lodge.
(9) Formation of Good Student Club & payment of monthly Teachers stipen.
(10) Encouragement ofYeye Oba to build Yeye Oba Hall in Ososa.
(11) Organisation of members ofVSO led by Chief Gambose.
(12) Construction of Obaluaye Shrine.
(13) Block work retention to prevent erosion at entrance of Odo-Owa Street.
(14) Gate House and wall fence of Ososa Comprehensive High School by Ososa Descendants UK & Otunba Oworu.
(15) Concrete Construction for the entrance of Health Centre
(16) Monthly Stipend of N20,000 to the Youth Corp Doctor at the Health Centre by Gbegande.
(17) 5-5days stipend to the Otunba Obinrins which amounts to N24,000 per month and an annual bulk sum to do private businesses of their choices.
(18) Regular logistics for traditional rites-I bo-Osi, Odela etc.
(19) Scholarship Awards to indigents students both at secondary school level and tertiary institutions.
(20) Facilitation of transfer of good teachers and principals to Compro.
(21) Buying and replacement of Electric Poles for quarters like Oke-Ala & Osa-Lakoye.
(22) Facilitation of free medical expeditions of various types-eye tests, prostate screenings, eye surgeries (Removal of Cataract), laboratory tests, free USS scanning and free consultations.
(23) Donation of cash, new generator and personal borehole to some of our leader.
(24) Facilitation & encouraging others to build up the Government approved Oja-Oba.
(25) Recent introduction of Thai Farm products to the new Governor, Prince DapoAbiodun.
(26) Letter of reminder to the donor of ICT centre for Compro.
(27) Encouragement of LOGIK transport to acquire land and build a trailer park in Ososa.
(28) Building of a modern toilet @ St. John’s Primary School. Gbegande Local point of History is Antiquilty and not superiority in age or intelligence. “Oba la nje, a o je ojo ori”.
Where was the original Palace? What kinds of documents were handed over to the present Gbegande? Above all, who has the administrative authority over traditional issues in Ososa? “The further a society drifts from the truth; the more it will hate those that speak it”. – George Orwell.
(29) Lately the construction of customary court of Ososa
I thank you for your patience.
ALAIYELUWA OBA DR, TOYE ALATITSHE, MD, FAGR
ILUFEMILOYE I, OGUNROYEGA VI
THE GBEGANDE OF OSOSA. TO BE CONTINUED.