Birthday Tribute to Oba Adebayo Adewole

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HRM Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole, JP, OFR Arojojoye II, The Ajero of Ijero Kingdom

HRM Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole, JP, OFR
Arojojoye II, The Ajero of Ijero Kingdom

HRM Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole, Arojojoye II, The Owa Ajero of the Ijero Kingdom who started his reigns in December 1991 has achieved a lot of great success on the throne of his progenitors. His series of achievements has become the first in the history of the Ijero Kingdom; He was the first educated Ajero in history since Princess Helena Fatoregun Doherty (nee Agbeleja) his paternal grandfather’s auntie introduced Christianity and western education to the Ijero Kingdom in 1895, the first Ajero to become the Chairman of old Ondo State Council of Obas (now Ondo and Ekiti States) in 1995 and the first Chairman of the newly created Ekiti State Council of Obas in 1996.

During the last thirty years reigns of HRM Oba Adebayo Adewole, a lot of developmental accomplishments have been achieved in the Ijero metropolis and the Ijero Kingdom in particular. Shortly on his ascension to the throne of Ajero, precious solid minerals were discovered in large quantities in Ijero soil such as; tourmaline, topaz, aquamarine, etc and thousands of miners flooded the Ijero mining fields and invariably boosted the economic activities of the ancient kingdom. The Ijero Community Bank started in 1994 as a sister bank to the defunct National Bank of Nigeria in Ijero in 1994. Oba Adebayo Adewole becomes the first Ajero in modern history to build a chapel in the palace in 1994. His progenitor, Ajero Atakumosa (reigned 1396-1409) built the first religious shrine at Ijero palace known as Esu Atakumosa on ascension to the throne in 1396 A.D.

The Ijero Day Celebration was first instituted in 1996 as well as the creation of Ekiti State of which Owa Ajero was one of the paramount rulers of Ekiti that led other Ekiti traditional monarchs to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. the Federal Capital during the struggle for the creation of Ekiti State.

In 1996, the channelization of Iregun, Ogburuu, and Egbeye rivers and drainage scheme took place. The three rivers passed through the main town and it had caused a sort of great havoc and sorrow to the environment through flooding during the rainy seasons and affected lives and properties but through the Federal Government and World Bank Intervention program with the Ajero’s influence, the effective drainage has become a source of joy to the town dwellers.

HRM Oba Adebayo Adewole, The Ajero of the Ijero Kingdom with HRM the Oni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and their wives

It will also be interesting to note that the mustard seed of Christianity planted by Mummy Helena Doherty in Ijero soil in 1896 yielded bounteous fruits in less than a century; Archbishop Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye, an indigene of Odoowa in the Ijero Kingdom who received his primary education at Christ’s Church School in Ijero-Ekiti in 1944 became the Anglican Bishop of Ekiti Diocese in 1970 and the second indigenous Primate of Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria succeeding Archbishop T.O. Olufosoye and in 1999, Ekiti West Diocese of Anglican Communion was created with the headquarters in Ijero-Ekiti town with the Lord Bishop D.O.Oke as the pioneer Bishop of the Diocese.

Also in 1999, the irrepressible Federation of Ijero Students Union (FISU)was repackaged and launched, Ijero Students Union was founded by Messrs. Afolabi Ododoru and R.F. Omotade (later Obanla of Ijero-Ekiti) in the late 1920s. It was in 1999 that grassroots journalism begins to flourish in Ijero soil, IJERORIA community newspaper was first published by Ijero News House and it became a precursor to EKITI SUMMIT Newspaper published by Femi Alufa since 2009. The reigns of Ajero Adebayo Adewole also brought development to the health sector in the community as the Ijero General Hospital was commissioned in 1970 by General Robert Adeyinka Adebayo(the military Governor of the defunct Western State of Nigeria)was upgraded to a Specialist Hospital in 2000.

HRM Owa Ajero chooses his official wife on the throne (Abokoaye) in 2001 in the personality of Eyelori Toyese Adewole to promote the cultural heritage of the kingdom. In 2003, Hon. Yemi Arokodare an indigene of Ijero-Ekiti was elected into the Federal House of Representatives and became the Chairman of the House Committee on Communication and he facilitated the opening of the Global Mobile Communication Base in Ijero soil; MTN Station was opened in 2004, Econet (later Celtel and Zain )now Airtel was added in 2006 and Globalcom Station was opened in 2008. This makes telephone mobile communication possible in Ijero soil beyond the analogue era of Rediffusion in the early 1960s.

During the emergency rule in Ekiti State in October 2006 to April 2007 headed by General Adetunji Idowu Olurin (Retired),an illustrious indigene of Ijero-Ekiti, Major General Simeon Kayode Oni(Rtd) was appointed the Chairman of the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB),who facilitated the approval and establishment of SUBEB Model Nursery and Primary School at GRA, Ijero –Ekiti. St. Gabriel’s Secondary School was also established by the Catholic Church community in Ijero-Ekiti. About six secondary schools were added to the existing premier schools and Ekiti State Cooperative College was established in Ijero-Ekiti as a Diploma Awarding Institution for civil servants in Ekiti State.

HRM Oba Adebayo Adewole, The Ajero of Ijero Kingdom

HRM Oba Adebayo Adewole, The Ajero of Ijero Kingdom

Of importance, Ijero metropolis and indeed the Ijero Kingdom can boast of developmental projects both in human and infrastructural resources during the last 30 years reign of HRM Oba Arojojoye II. Late Mr Deji Omotade became the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of FCT, Abuja and later the Federal Ministry of Industry; he used his influence to secure jobs for a number of Ijero young graduates. Justice Silas Bamidele Oyewole became the Chief Judge of Ekiti State, another illustrious son of Ijero Kingdom from Ipoti-Ekiti, Navy Captain Caleb Omoniyi Olubolade (Retired) became the Federal Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria three consecutive times under the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015.

Presently in 2021, The Chief of Staff to Ekiti State Governor, Hon. Biodun Omoleye is an illustrious son of Ijero Kingdom from Ijurin-Ekiti and the Chief Photographer to President Muhammadu Buhari since 2015 in the personality of Mr Bayo Omoboriowo hails from Ijero-Ekiti. Hon. Olubunmi Omowunmi Ogunlola (nee Obasa) was elected into the Federal House of Representatives in 2019 representing Ekiti Central Federal Constituency II(Ijero, Ekiti West, and Efon), She was an amazing Amazon and Jewel of the Ijero Kingdom and a special gift to Ekiti State.

On the whole, the thirty years reign of HRM Oba Adebayo Adewole, Arojojoye II, The Owa Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, and the Paramount ruler of Ijero Kingdom has turned out to be a glorious era of Ijero Kingdom with phenomenal progress and development in all sectors. Wonderful things are happening here as we are looking to the future with greater hope and confidence for more superlative achievements.

I love the British National Anthem; the hymn encapsulates intense patriotism and dignity for the Queen of England. We can take the first stanza and adapt it as a toast for our beloved King, His Royal Majesty Owa Ajero on his birthday: Long live our gracious Ajero; Long live our noble Ajero; God save the King! Send him victorious; Happy and glorious; Long to reign over us; God save the King.

Owa Ajero ki mosa, Omo Osu Keregbe legbe Orun, Oba Adebayo Adewole,Arojojoye II, Igba Odun,Odun Kan ni o,Irukere a di Okinni ,Eshin Oba a je Oko pe o. Happy Birthday, Kabiyesi!




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