Thursday, February 11, 2016 5:27 pm
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State today extolled the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana, Odugade I, describing him as a quintessential patriot and nationalist who changed the history of the ancient city through his numerous contributions.
In his funeral oration delivered at the lying-in-state of the foremost monarch at the House of Chiefs, secretariat, Ibadan, Ajimobi said the late Olubadan served meritoriously, and with dignity in all the positions that he was privileged to attain in his lifetime.
The lying-in-state was part of the week-long activities organized by the state government in conjunction with the family and other stakeholders to celebrate the life and times of Oba Odulana, the 40th Olubadan of Ibadanland who joined his ancestors on January 19, 2016 at the age of 101.
Aside the children of the late royal father, also on hand to bid Oba Odulana farewell were the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Michael Adeyemo and other lawmakers from the state House of Assembly.
Also in attendance were members of the Olubadan-in-Council, members of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Ibadan elders, representatives of the political class and prominent indigenes and citizens of Ibadan.
The governor described the life of the revered monarch as that of discipline and commitment, while he described his reign as Olubadan as untainted, noble, eventful and peaceful adding, “Kabiyesi wore so many caps to the admiration of all and sundry during his lifetime. He walked through many paths and survived many challenges. Over and across time, Kabiyesi was a teacher, a soldier, an administrator, an educationist, a politician and statesman, and indeed, a titled chief who rose to become the king of Ibadanland”.
Ajimobi recalled Oba Odulana’s sojourn in the military during the Second World War at the end of which, he said, he was decorated with the Exemplary Character Award of the Fourth Brigade.
He also noted how the late royal father’s service in the Inspectorate Division of the colonial Ministry of Education had led to the establishment of several schools and colleges in the old Western Region and the provision of scholarships to indigent and brilliant students throughout the region.
Ajimobi said, “His contributions to education were many and remarkable. Not only was he reputed to be instrumental to the release of the land on which the University of Ibadan was built, he was directly responsible for the establishment of several secondary schools, including the Local Authority Teacher Training College, Iyana-Ofa, Igbo-Elerin Grammar School and Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan. Between 1950 and 1966, Kabiyesi was involved in the politics of nation-building. He won a record five different elections as an independent candidate, clearly on account of his own recognition, popularity and persona merit”.
Ajimobi added that Oba Odulana’s active participation in the politics of that time and his undying love for Ibadan was instrumental to the creation of the 14 local governments that now make up the Ibadan-Ibarapa division of the state stressing, “It is also on record that he was one of the builders of the unique order in the Ibadan chieftaincy system, thereby contributing to the image of Ibadanland as a republican city-state”.
The governor also recalled how Kabiyesi supported his administration’s urban renewal programme as well as its efforts at improving on the beautification of Ibadan in particular and Oyo State in general.
“By conferring on me and my wife the titles of Aare Atunluse and Yeye Atunluse of Ibadanland respectively in 2013, Kabiyesi was practically challenging the government to do more and better. Such was the spirit of this great monarch who supported our agenda of repositioning, restoration and transformation of Oyo State”, he said.
Ajimobi described Oba Odulana as a great pathfinder, a shining example of good and great leadership in military service, politics, public service and education, adding, “He has proved to be an influential beacon, a strong lighthouse to his country, his city and his subjects”.
Earlier in his welcome address, former Secretary to the State Government, who also served as the Chairman of the burial committee, Alhaji Ismael Olalekan Alli lauded the contributions of the late monarch to the development of Oyo State as a whole and Ibadan city in particular.