The ancient town of Ororuwo has never experienced the human traffic it experienced during the coronation and presentation of staff of office to the Olororuwo, Oba QamarudeenAdeyanju on January 25, 2018. The new traditional ruler in this interview with TUNDE BUSARI talked about his coronation ceremony, feelings as a new king among other issues.
I am a believer in God who admonishes us not to be in haste in doing things because all things belong to Him. It is on that note I want to answer your question. There was nothing except that the coronation and giving of staff officers were held at the most appropriate time. The guests who came to witness it would say better on their impression on that day.
Can we then say you recorded a large turnout as a result of long planning?
Everything we do starts from the planning stage and this is not an exception. I want to thank the committee that organized the occasion. It was an unusual event in the history of this town. The elderly ones who have been around for a long time in the town said they had never seen the size of the crowd that came to witness my coronation. Also, I never saw a gathering where traditional rulers were sharing seats because of their turnout. I want to thank all traditional rulers who came to honour me on that day. They were wonderful; they showed understanding by sharing seats at the front row. It was a rare sight to behold on that day. One of the traditional rulers was playing the role of the user to others as they arrived at the venue.
Aside from the turnout, what do you observe as the remarkable thing that happened on that day?
I like this question. I like it because it tallies with what is on my mind. Three things happened that day. One, the day fell on the day Osun State Government declared a public holiday. Second, no accident was recorded and the third, a hunter came to the palace and narrated how he saw some animals dancing in the forest near the venue. He said his attempt to kill one of them failed.
What does the last highlight indicate?
In the spiritual realm, it means a lot. It shows that some unseen forces were watching the event. I was sure that my forefathers were around that day. Yoruba culture and tradition is very rich. It encompasses some things that cannot be explained but which are real in the true sense of the word.
When were you called to go and receive the staff of office, what went through your mind?
If I must say the truth, the exact things which were running through my mind at that point cannot be totally explained. It was a different mood for me. I was overwhelmed with joy but as tradition requires, I must be in control.
Were you apprehensive or excited?
Why should I have been apprehensive on the day I was the cynosure of all eyes? I was normal but a bit emotional with the crowd I saw. When I rose from my seat in the company with my Olori, I took some steps forward and paused at a point. I should not tell you everything but I must say that it was a special moment for me. It was a moment I had waited for. And I am happy it has come and gone. What remains now are coronation anniversaries.
Your feelings still appear as if you have not really come to terms with the reality of your ascension to the throne?
It is not so. Since November 2016, I should and I have fully adapted to my new status. I have attended gatherings of traditional rulers within and outside the state. I was at the historic installation of the Aare Ona Kakanfo in Oyo. But something about the palace is that I was the last person to have been picked. But the way of God is not the way of man. He had long completed the work even before I was born. That was what made it easy for me to be selected. It shares similarity with the Biblical story of Prophet Samuel and appointment of the ruler of Jesse’s family. Many of his children were qualified to rule but the least one among them who had gone out for shepherd duties, called David, was divinely selected and anointed as king. In the same vein, I was the least among the seventeen contestants to the throne. But God anointed me in accordance to His will. And His will was unanimously accepted by the largest number of Ororuwo community. This is what brought about the name Ilufemiloye I.
What do you think is the area of strength of your town?
Ororuwo is a land of hope, a serene environment and a place of peace-loving and law-abiding people. On a lighter note, we are the most peaceful in the entire Boripe Local Government in Osun State. This was possible by the efforts of my fathers who had occupied the throne before me. Bab Alawode (1891-1906), Baba Sangoyoyin (1906-1926),, Oba Noah AkanbiAdedoja (1027-1971), Oba LawalAdekeye (1974-1978), Oba Jacob AdewumiAdejumo (1982-1994) and my immediate predecessor, Oba AfolayanAbioye (1995-2015). The enviable legacies they left will forever remain sustained and well preserved.
You mentioned that seventeen of you vied for the throne. What is your relationship with others now?
In fact, what is most important in this matter is that we all understand the need to develop the town. Contest for the throne was long over. What is left is our collective efforts to move forward from where my immediate predecessor stopped. And I am happy to say that we are working assiduously towards that direction. There is no looking back on our resolve and our determination to make Ororuwo a better place.
What has your experience been with your traditional chiefs?
With no exaggeration, I can say that I am blessed with trustworthy chiefs including honorary chiefs. They are supportive and always ready to put me through when necessary. I cannot thank them enough for standing by me day and night. My Olori too has been a strong pillar before and after I was selected. She is a woman God chose for me as my better-half. My father-in-law is more than ordinary. He stands like my biological father. To God is the glory that the coronation and presentation of certificate started well and ended on the same beautiful note. Despite the fact that we experienced hot weather in the previous days to the coronation, God changed the weather on that day. It was sunny but the heat was mild. That was why people outside the tent on the field were not uncomfortable. Everybody was enjoying the proceeding until we rounded it off.
How would you describe your relationship with your neighbouring communities?
What else should I say as regards that? They were all present at the event and played the role of hosts to other traditional rulers who came from other places.