“Everything in your remarkable life and times; your abiding dedication and love for the people of Ibadan, your breadth of intellect, the openness of mind and largeness of heart has inexorably led to this auspicious day of your crowning as the Olubadan of Ibadan. I am sure this will serve you well on the throne.”
REMARKS DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE CORONATION OF THE OLUBADAN OF IBADAN, OBA DR. SENATOR MOHOOD OLALEKAN ISHOLA BALOGUN ALI-IWO, ALLI OKUNMADE II, IN IBADAN, OYO STATE ON THE 11TH OF MARCH, ON 2022
It is a special honour and privilege for me to witness this epochal and historic occasion, the installation of the Olubadan of Ibadan, the 42nd Olubadan in 202 years since the founding of the throne, His Imperial Majesty, Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Dr. Senator Mohood Olalekan Ishola Balogun Ali-Iwo, Alli Okunmade II.
Your Royal Majesty, Mr. President has asked me to convey his special and respectful felicitations to you, your royal family and the great people of Ibadan on this day of abounding joy and celebration.
Your Excellency Governor Seyi Makinde, I must congratulate you as you also enter the history books being one of the few governors who have had the joyful and historic duty of handing the staff of office to a new Olubadan.
Your Excellencies, honoured guests, we are also today participants in the remarkable history of this land of ancient renown and high achievements. Ibadan is in a real sense, at the heart of the history of the Yoruba people and our nation. This is after all a town unlike none other, founded and shaped by defiant non-conformists, warriors of major Yoruba subgroups from Oyo, Ife, Ijebu, Egba, and it would become the largest indigenous city in Africa and the intellectual hub of the modern Nigerian state.
Given its origins, the destiny of Ibadan as one of the political centres of gravity in our nation was practically written in stars. It was in this city that the call for Nigeria’s independence from British rule first resounded. The people of Ibadan bore witness to the exploits of iconic nationalists and leaders such as Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, our country’s first President and the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was Premier of the Western Region for a time that is widely regarded as the region’s golden age. Ibadan became the hub of politics in the then nascent nation and the capital of the Western Region. It was and is still acknowledged as the political headquarters of the entire South-West Nigeria.
Ibadan was and has always been a city on a hill, a place of refuge and a realm in which individuals could rise by the grace of their talents, on merit and their diligence. It embodies the values of openness, diversity and high achievement. It is therefore not surprising that Ibadan is a city of many firsts.
It is home to the first indigenous TV station in Africa, it is also the home of the Shooting Stars Sports Football Club (3SC) – the first Nigerian club to win an international trophy – the African Winners Cup in 1976.
This is the home of the first university in Nigeria, (the University of Ibadan), and for many years the iconic Cocoa House was the tallest building in Nigeria standing as a towering edifice dominating the city’s skyline – a powerful visual reminder that Ibadan ceaselessly inspires us to strive for greater heights in every endeavour.
Even in the management of its traditional institution, Ibadan is unerringly unique. As we all know whoever would become an Olubadan must climb 23 chieftaincy steps from either of two lines: the Civilian and the Military. But it is its predictability and orderliness that ranks it among the most peaceful and unique ascension protocols anywhere.
It is the custodianship of this illustrious heritage and proud tradition that the Olubadan has been initiated into today. And it is therefore your Royal Majesty, a heavy obligation of history that the privilege of your ascension to the throne of your fathers now places upon your shoulders.
But your shoulders are broad and sturdy as you come into this office better prepared than probably any monarch anywhere, with a PhD, a background in economic and social research, scholar, with an intellectual sympathy for Marxist dialectic, university teacher, former Senator of the Federal Republic, and a champion of indigenous culture and community empowerment.
Everything in your remarkable life and times; your abiding dedication and love for the people of Ibadan, your breadth of intellect, the openness of mind and largeness of heart has inexorably led to this auspicious day of your crowning as the Olubadan of Ibadan. I am sure this will serve you well on the throne.
On behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the government and the people of Nigeria, I congratulate you on your elevation to the throne of the custodian and defender of the ancient cultures and traditions of the people of Ibadan.
Your Imperial Majesty, Olubadan of Ibadan, I pray for you that your reign will be long, sustained with divine health and wisdom, and that this land in your reign will know great peace and prosperity and that the talking drums will always speak of celebration and thanksgiving.
Kabiyesi, e pe fun wa. Ka de pe lori, ki bata pe le se.
God bless you, Sir.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
11th March 2022