HRM Oba Engr. Nurudeen Oluwadare Osoja is not your regular royal father. He is an Oba with Class and Style. He is a practicing engineer and the CEO of Deensattech Engineering Company Ltd.
Let us also quickly tell you that Oba Engr. Oluwadare Osoja is a practicing and certified engineer with COREN. He bagged his HND at Yaba College of Technology with a distinction before proceeding to the Federal University of Technology in Akure where he bagged his PGD and MSc., and also finished as the best student and also with the best research project.
Oba Osoja is fun to be with. He is full of life and smile. He is quite young and has been on the throne of his ancestors for about 14 years. Oba Oluwadare is a king with a heart of gold. Nobody lacks anything in his presence. He often wears a smiling face while he also doubles as a great dancer.
He celebrated his 40th birthday on Saturday, March 6, 2021. Right there at the event, City People’s DAMILARE SALAMI (07033526688) had an exclusive interview with him where he talked about his life, how he became an Oba at a very young age, the many challenges he has faced and how he combines working as an engineer with being a royal father. Below are excerpts from the interview for your reading pleasure, enjoy.
Congratulations sir on your birthday. You look so stunning and smart. Kabiesi how do you feel celebrating your 40th birthday today?
I feel very happy; I’m elated I’m 40. It’s not been very easy but glory be to the almighty God.
As a very young Oba, how has it been combining life, family and throne?
Thank you very much, it’s not been very easy but whatever God says will be will surely be. As a king that ascended the throne at a very young age, I face challenges from the elders in the community and also from my peer group as well. A lot of them find it very difficult to bow to a very young king that ascended the throne at the age of 26. It’s not been very easy but I can cope and manage my profession as a civil engineer with the throne. It is only the Almighty Allah that has made it easy.
As a certified civil engineer and now an Oba, do you still practice?
Yes. I still practice. Before I became a king, I worked at a construction firm in Victoria Island as a site engineer because I read civil engineering and I graduated from Yaba Tech. so, immediately I ascended the throne in 2007, I felt that I was too young to start wearing agbada up and down. Being a king, I found it very easy to register my own company. I registered my company in February 2008, a year after my ascension, since then, we have been doing very well. To me, as an engineer, I find it very easy to go to the site and even supervise some of our building projects for our clients. Majorly, many of our clients are always from abroad. From London, the US, and what have you and they so much believe in us than an average company out there because they believe that a king cannot siphon their money. After all, I have a name to protect. The integrity of my town is my priority to protect as well. There are some projects we have handled that I didn’t even see the clients at all. We just transact via text messages and phone calls and the deal is done. We have handled over 30 million and 50 million projects without any problem and since then we have been practicing and combining the throne with the engineering profession and glory be to God.
Kabiesi, what was growing up like for you?
Hmmm… well, it’s not been easy as well because as a young prince then, I attended a public school. Shasha Primary School and from there, I proceeded to Shasha Community High School after a while, during my SS2, I got a transfer to Saka Tinubu Memorial High School in Agegewhere my secondary school. After that, I wrote a Poly Jamb where I got admission into the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro to study Civil Engineering so after that, I proceeded to Yaba Tech to have my HND. I served and after the youth service, I started working as a site engineer at Bideco Nig Ltd in Victoria Island. So I worked there for a while before I was called upon to mount the throne of my forefathers in 2007. After that, I found the need to go and have my master’s degree then I proceeded to the Federal The University of Technology, Akure after a year on the throne. I graduated in flying colours as well because all my life right from my primary school through my secondary school, I had eight distinctions and one credit. My OND distinction, my HND distinction as well while I was the best graduating student during my master’s degree at FUTA. Afterwards, I started my own business.
A lot of people have been wondering how a young and handsome man like you became a king at a very young age. How did you become the Onikogbo of Ikogbo?
Thank you very much. At the initial stage, I never wanted to accept the throne. Though I knew quite alright that I am from a royal family. In Ikogbo, we have four ruling houses. Immediately after the demise of my predecessor, I knew quite alright that it is the turn of my family, the Osoja ruling house. The priest was conducted and already, they had six to seven candidates contesting for the throne. When the priest arrived, he nullified their candidacy and said that they had not been chosen by the oracle. He later said that there is a young man somewhere in Lagos and that he should be located. They consulted the oracle again and mentioned all the names of the people concerned. When it got to my father’s name, the oracle confirmed that he is the man in question and that his son will be the next king and that his ascension will make the whole community peaceful. Meanwhile before then, when we visited the palace, we were not allowed to tell anybody that we were educated; my dad forbade us. He instructed us that whenever we were asked, we should just tell them that we are into carpentry. So immediately my name was mentioned, the priest confirmed that I was the next king but the chiefs protested with a defence that I was not educated, I was just a school cert holder and a carpenter and that it was impossible to have a king that is not learned. But the priest insisted on what the oracle said. Along the line, they came to Lagos to meet my dad and discuss with him but he refused. They didn’t meet my mum because she had been late since 1998 but they told my dad that I was the next Oba. I declined as well but I informed my girlfriends too. Then I had three girlfriends and two of them left me immediately they heard. It was only the current queen that stood by me. Although she said that I was too young to be a king but she started making consultations on her own where they told her that she was going to be the queen so she should start preparing. I was an Alfa as well, a graduate of Markaz, I prayed and told my alfas to pray for me and they also confirmed that I would be the king. It was after then I accepted the offer but I gave the whole community a condition that they should not expect me to sit down there doing nothing. I told them that I have a business that has to keep running and that I will not reside permanently in the town. I told them that I will be coming on and off to enable me to source funds. I used to tell my people that once a king has a job, no politician or any individual can control him. So, since then, I have been able to practice my profession, I do go to the site sometimes, so no politician can tell me to do this because of what they are going to give me.
Kabiesi I’ll like to ask this personal question. You are a Muslim and your wife is a Christian. How have you been able to manage both religions under the same roof without any crisis?
There’s an adage that says that all religion belongs to the king including the traditional, Muslim and Christian religions. Thank God I am a Muslim from birth, my wife is a Christian. She converted when we got to the throne. She has a Muslim background. If there are three things and you have 2 of 3, I’m sure that the remaining one cannot defeat the two that you already have. So I go to church and mosque and the other one, I send my chiefs to represent me. It is only God that knows the most acceptable religion. There’s no time they will call for my attention in the third religion that I won’t assist or send a representative. I believe I am managing the three well.
Finally sir, what were the biggest challenges you have had as the Onikogbo of Ikogbo and how were you able to surmount them?
Thank you very much for this question. The biggest challenges I have ever had so far are the issues of land grabbers. There are so many land grabbers in my domain. There is this man called Owoeye and there is a boundary community close to my domain which we won a court judgement against at the high court. We also have an appeal court judgement on boundary dispute that we won against them. But at the end of the day, they just came one day with land grabbers, shooting sporadically into the air and disturbing the peace of the community. Since then, we have written a lot of letters to the state government and the commissioner of police here in Ogun State through our lawyer but nothing has been done. So we want the police even the IG and the government to come to our aid while we also want the general public to take note of this and be fully aware as well.
Secondly, we have been facing serious challenges on road networking from Igbesa down to Ikogbo. We thank the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun who has been doing a lot of good jobs. Recently, they are constructing a 4.5km road from Igbesa down to Ejila but we now want a link road to connect Ejila to Ikogbo palace, that’s what we want. We have a market here and some businesses we want to grow. So those are the challenges and what we have been able to do so far. Thank you very much.
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