I acknowledge the dominion of the Almighty God over all things, as I pay homage to the Rebuilding Governor of Ogun State, His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; the Honourable Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Local Government and other government functionaries amidst us; His Royal Majesty, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remiland; the Chief Royal Host of the Day, the Alaye Ode of Ode Remo, His Royal Highness, Oba (Surveyor), Adetunji Osho, FNIS and all the traditional rulers and fathers here present; media personnel, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, all protocols duly observed.
I know not where to start. I am speechless, overwhelmed and excited by the priceless recognition and honour that my two-in-one presence, here today, with my soul-mate represents. When I gladly accepted to serve as the Chairman of the annual Lafose celebration packaged to promote the socio-economic development of Ode Remo, I never had the slightest premonition of being conferred with a chieftaincy title.
However, all that our joint voice could say in response is a capital YES to the offer of the esteemed titles of Bobajiro and Yeye Bobajiro of Ode Remo. We want to specially appreciate the Alaye of Ode and the members of the Council of Chiefs of Ode Remo as well as the entire sons, daughters and residents of the town for this great honour, while assuring that we shall tirelessly, by the grace of the Almighty, do all we can to contribute to the socio-economic progress of Ode Remo. It is the beginning of a new era of development, by His infinite grace.
The title of this speech, in spite of the short notice that marked its composition, was never difficult in coming.
The divine inspiration to talk about the uniqueness and significance of the Ode Remo Town as a world of a people with borderless love was surely made possible by the unique history of the people whose affection for the rest of humanity is never discriminatory, but ever accommodating.
The first indicator of this borderless love is the compound word, Ode-Remo that plainly expresses their undying love for their dual root in Ilode and Remo in Ile-Ife, having found their ways through their progenitors who migrated through thick forest, rivers and streams before being finally led by the oracles to the present land of glory called Ode Remo.
What actually left me with no choice, but to honour the privilege extended to me by His Royal Highness, the Alaye Ode, the Chiefs and good people of this land of love was the natural blood of siblings and rich joint history which have always tied the hearts and body of the Ode Remo and Makun Kings and peoples as brother descendants of the great Obaruwa-Muda, Ekewa-Olu of Ijebu-Ode.
If anything is worthy of emulation by groups, villages, towns and nations of the humankind, it is the sincere love of humanity that has since ensured a hitch-free relationship between successive generations of the indigenes and residents of Ode Remo, on one hand, and those of the Makun Kingdom, on the other.
The voice of God is, indeed, the voice of Man. The communal peace, which the success of the Ode and Makun forefathers and their descendants in shunning communal conflicts over lands, during and after their joint migration is remarkable as a moral lesson for the rest of mankind. It is noteworthy that although these two sets of people initially settled in a single location at the Ijebu Waterside, now popularly called Ode Omi, yet they simply existed together in one love, before divine guidance separated them physically, but never spiritually. It is against this background that I see myself, not as an invited dignitary, on this August occasion, but as a homeboy, coming home to celebrate with my Royal Father and traditional chiefs as well as my brothers and sisters. It is, indeed, true that “Ijo Ti A Da Ode L’ada Makun”.
At this point, I feel highly elated to remind the world that my root in Ode Remo the Ajayi Family of Ajina Quarters, Ode Remo through my enterprising grandmother, Madam Dorcas Olabosipo, of blessed memory, remains intact and unchangeable. Grandma, popularly called Iya Ogere, had a father who according to history, was a great warrior of Ode Remo, who had countless heroic exploits to his credit.
Really, it is only an ignorant or insincere person who would think that the historical affinity and love between the Ode and Makun people is only owing to their shared ancestry. No, this is not true.
The Ode people love and cherish other people, irrespective of their races, colours and languages. This is just why I have chosen to describe my people, in this speech, as a people whose love for mankind and peace is not determined by natural or artificial factors.
The smooth relationship of mutual love, cordiality, sacrifice and accommodation that has, for long, existed between Ode and Isara, in spite of some momentary brotherly disagreements, is my point of reference in this regard. The manner in which these two closely situated towns, with distinct borders, under divergent traditional authorities, overcame their differences to freely share their natural resources, particularly land, is, indeed, a loud statement that instructs the whole world about the peaceful disposition of the Ode people and their zero-border love.
It is also on records that the selfless consent of the Alaye-Ode and Ewusi of Makun towards the creation of the then Ijebu Remo Native Administration in 1939, till date, remains a watershed factor of lasting royal and communal peace in the entire Remoland, Ogun State and Nigeria in general.
It is, thus, sensible to urge the entire world of mankind represented by this distinguished gathering drawn across Nigeria and the world as well as my global media audience to imitate the historical behaviour of the Ode Kingdom as a people who shun artificial and selfish interests to love their neighbours as much as they love themselves.
With unblemished love, I, therefore, wish His Royal Highness, the Alaye Ode of Ode Remo, traditional fathers and chiefs and the entire people of Ode Remo who love without discrimination, happy celebration of the 2018 Lafose Festival. Thanks and God bless.
Being a speech delivered by Dr Obayomi Adetola Sosanya Emmanuel King, the Asiwaju and Akile of Makun Kingdom, on the occasion of the Grand Finale of 33rd Ode Remo Lafose Day Celebration on Saturday, 4th August 2017 at the Alaye Ode of Ode Remo Palace, Ode Remo, Ogun State.