•Details Of Late Olu of AYEPE-OLODE’s 90th Birthday Interview With City People
The people of Olode (Awolowo Town) in Ife South LGA, in Osun State were in a festive mood last July when the late Oba, Olajide Omisore turned 90 last July 2021.
The Omisore-Anibijuwon family was happy about the good news. And the people of the historic community were also happy. There was a thanksgiving celebration and reception on Wednesday 7th of July, 2021 at Olode and Ile-Ife, and families, friends and relations turned up for the event
City People Magazine Team of reporters led by the Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE visited Oba David Olajide Omisore at his palace at Garage Olode, Awolowo Town, near Ile-Ife, in Osun State about the same period to celebrate with him and tap from his pool of wisdom
We met a happy Kabiyeesi who is hale and hearty and in high spirit at 90. Kabiyeesi was very strong and his power of recall was superb. He walked without a walking stick and all his chiefs who we met at the palace commended Kabiyeesi for the pace and order that has prevailed in his domain since he ascended the throne.
On the day we visited the palace, we met Alhaji Rabiu Musa Sarki Hausawa, Garage Olode, Awolowo Town, Ife South LCDA. We also met Chief Peter Omoyeni, Olukotun Ti Ilu Olode, Hon. Chief Mrs. Olusola Afolabi, Otun Iyalode Ilu Olode, Chief Akibu Olugbadebo, Sobaloju Ti Ilu Olode, Dr. Chief Adediran Aramide, Olori Odo of Olode (Youth Leader). They all praised Oba Omisore for his style of leadership.
For over 1 hour, Kabiyeesi spoke to City People team which included SUNDAY ADIGUN and Sanni ABDULRASHEED about his life at 90. Below are excerpts.
How do you feel Kabiyesi, celebrating your 90th birthday?
I feel so happy, that I am alive to celebrate my 90th birthday. Also, all my children are alive. I also thank God for being my guardian, my caretaker throughout the journey of my life. I thank God for him. mercy I receive all the time. As for the birthday I am about to celebrate, the day is going to be one of my happiest days on earth. And I know that I will still celebrate more years on earth.
For how long have you been on this throne as the king?
I became King, Olu of Awolowo town in Ile-Ife on the 9th of September, 2009. And ever since, there has been no cause for alarm. Myself and my people understand ourselves and everything is going on smoothly. This town is called Ayepe Olode. There is no native of any town in Osun State that is not here.
And I make sure that I have representative from each town as my Chief.
The very title they are known for in their town, like Ikirun, where Eesa is their big title I made sure I gave it to Ikirun indigene who is living with us here. Also in Iragbiji, their big title is Olukotun, I also have it here etc I thank God that they are all united, and they understand each other.
Everything is going on smoothly without fight or any misunderstanding. And we all make sure that we keep all the rules and regulations of the ciommunity.
What is your relationship with other kings?
We have a very cordial relationship. We started our meeting in Ayepe, Olode here, and we are doing it always, with love and we understand ourselves. Later on, we stopped but we are starting afresh again. We pray for long life and mutual understanding to start afresh again.
Tell us about this town, Ayepe-Olode and how it was founded?
This town was formerly called Garage Olode. My father, Chief Lowa Ajani Anibijuwon Omisore was the one that founded this town. He discovered this town when they were paving way from Ile-Ife, Osun State to Ondo State, in 1923.
Whenever the construction company they give the job to want to start work, they always consult the king and ask for someone who can lead them. They will need somebody to direct them so as not to pass their boundary.
The Ooni of that time appointed my father, who was one of his Chiefs then, to lead them and show them boundaries. It was when they were doing the road that Chief Lowa, my father discovered this town. It was a Virgin Land, then he had it in mind to do something with it. In 1925, after the job was done, then he presented it to the then Ooni Ologbenla, and he whole heartedly gave my father the land to compensate him for a job well done.
Where we are started from Aye river in the North to Ahon river in the South. Ahon river is the boundary. My father moved here as the first person in this town, and started plantation with his children, and his children started multiplying, building houses and became well established in Olode here.
After that, he also gave his in-laws, Ooni Sijuwade Aderemi and Co land, so, till date Omisores are the authentic owner of Garage Olode. He gave all these people land because they were is in-laws, even before he ascended the throne. I am talking of 1927.
Adesoji Aderemi ascended the throne to become Ooni of Ife in 1930. It was the land my father gave him he changed to Aye Oba town when he ascended the throne. It was because they married our daughter that was why he gave them the land. I thank God that of all his children, I am the last born, and I am the one on the throne till date.
How did you become the king in 2009?
It’s only God that makes one to be king. Whatever has been written has been written. I thank God it was late Ooni of Ife, Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade that came to Olode with my crown, not that he asked me to come to Ife, he brought it himself to Olode Awolowo town here.
Also, Gov. Oyinlola, the then Governor Osun State was the one that gave me the staff of authority. He also brought it to Olode. I thank God for everything He has done for me. I was the Baale, then from Baale to Sooko, then from Sooko to the throne as the king till date.
What are your achievements recorded so far, since you became the king?
There has been a lot of development and progress. Before our Local Government, Ife South head office was in Ifetedo. But now we have our own Local Government, Ife South West Local Government. We got that during my reign.
There have been lots of achievement in my time. We also have our own Police Headquarter here now. Those two achievements to me are very significant and important. Before, we had just 4-5 Policemen in the whole of Olode but now we have a headquarter here with DPO.
There is peace in the land. We have close to 40 Policemen now, and everything is going on smoothly. All the Armed Robbers that were disturbing us are no longer here because many of them have been arrested.
Let’s talk about your life Kabiyesi, how did your journey in life start, before you became the king?
When I left Oduduwa College, I went to Lagos in 1958. I worked at Marina Post Host, as my first work. One of my brothers, Adebayo Omisore was the head of Nigeria Railway around 1958, through him I joined Railway Corporation. Railway Corporation now transferred me to Enugu.
I spent a year and 3 months in Enugu before I was transferred back to Lagos. Later, I met Tejumade Alakija who was the Permanent Secretary of Bola Ige then, he assisted me to secure another job with Western Region Credit Corporation in Ibadan because he wanted me nearby.
The gratuity I got there was what I used to set up Farmers Association. We called it Agbegoke Farmer Associate. I made all the farmers gain their freedom as regards there proceeds. I liaised with many Commissioners from their communities to assist them and deliver them from oppressions. We also got lisence for many farmers and this gave us many opportunities as farmers were able to gain more. And they still love me till now.
Which day is your happiest day on earth?
The day I ascended the throne was my happiest day.
What about the day you are sad?
I have never had a sad moment in my life. Probably becasue I am contented and the grace I receive from God. I have never had any sad moment. I have never lost any of my children, and none of my children, 21 of them has ever given me any issue. They all gave me rest of mind.
What are you doing to restore the PHCN light back to the town?
The light we were using before was tapped. It was powered from Ondo State not Osun State. Oke Igbo is the boundary of Osun and Ondo State. People of Ifetedo tapped the light from Oke Igbo, one part of Ondo State. So, we also tapped light from Ifetedo, and we were doing well with them. We didn’t owe them, they also have office here, but all of a sudden their bosses said they don’t know how we got the light in Ife South, they said the tapping was illegal, meanwhile you have an office here and you did not challenge your staff members that are here.
They always collect money from us and they are giving us receipt. They insisted and disconnected the light. They said the electric power supply from Benin is meant for just 4 states and Osun State is not included. They are now laying claim on Ife-South to pay 60m as ransom. We begged them, we took the matter to the state house, yet they didn’t agree.
They later begged them to give us discount. They said we should do it 60-40. How do we even get the 60% of the money? So that is the genesis of the whole thing and we have been on it since 12 years now.
Kabiyesi, tell us about one of your children, Senator Iyiola Omisore?
Senator Iyiola Omisore, I thank God for his life. He is a bright light for me and a greater glory. He’s the eldest of all my children, and he has been coordinating them well. He is doing not only for this family but everybody. And God has been using that to bless him more. May God continue to be with him. Every step he is taking is from God. God sent him. They said he was the one who killed Bola Ige, and everybody knows he wasn’t the one. All the 6 South West states were against him. But God exonerated him and gave him victory through his kindness.
Since then, he has always been up there and he will never fall. As he is taking care of the family, he is taking care of the outsider. Once again, I thank God for my life. I thank God for Iyiola’s life, he is taking good care of me and gives me rest of mind.