Alaafin charges Nigerian youths on nation building
By Ojo Peter, Ibadan
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III has called on Nigerian youths to channel their talents, energy and vigour to the development and growth of the country.
Oba Adeyemi made the call shortly after the official installation of Hon. Shina Peller and his wife, Ayobola as the Ayedero and Yeye Ayedero of Yorubaland respectively, a few days ago at his palace.
Also honoured are Dr. Jide Agunbiade, an Engineer and his wife as Atobaase and Yeye Atobaase of Yorubaland chieftaincy title.
The Alaafin recalled the exploits of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Chief Samuel Akintola who while in their 40s, not only changed the society for the better but at the same time laid a good foundation and built better Nigeria during their reigns.
Speaking further, he said, “From time immemorial is the king and head of Yoruba Nation. He is the only King in Yorubaland who can confer chieftaincy title to a worthy man or woman to cover the whole of Yorubaland.
“Any person that could be conferred with a title that covers the whole of Yorubaland must be of impeccable character.
“Against the backdrop of the principle enunciated above, the Oyomesi, the traditional cabinet of the Alaafin, who are the kingmakers rigorously ascertained the character, business acumen, Philanthropy, and public dispositions of both Hon. Shina Abiola Peller as Ayedero and Dr. Jide Agunbiade as Atobaase Yorubaland, and found them worthy as thoroughbred Yoruba men who are culturally inclined and traditionally oriented personalities that can wear the toga of Yoruba royalty and to be a promoter of the institution of Chieftaincy.”
Speaking after the installation, Hon. Shina Peller representing Iseyin /Itesiwaju/Iwajowa/Kajola Federal Constituency expressed gratitude to the monarch for the honour and promised to live up to expectations.
According to him, “It was His Imperial Majesty, Iku Baba Yeye, the Alaafin of Oyo who was the first person that from his vast wealth of wisdom advised me to join politics and contest for election in service of our people. As my father, I had to heed to his wise counsel, and today, despite the fact that politics is challenging, I have never regretted the fact that I heeded my father’s advice.
“I am therefore honoured and humbled by His Imperial Majesty’s kind gesture in conferring me with this title of the Ayedero of Yorubaland. Even though it is not in my personal culture to celebrate awards and honours as I always consider them as the challenge of responsibility, this time, it is different as my inspiring father, His Imperial Majesty has given me a wider platform and a greater challenge to continue to promote the peace and prosperity of the Yorubaland.
“In carrying the responsibilities that come with this honour, I am mindful of those cherished lessons and values I have learnt from His Imperial Majesty, who taught me that nothing in life is constant; that we must remember that time is life and things change every here and there; that we must spend everything about us in service of our people; and that there are times some things in the world will be incomprehensible to all.
“Just as His Majesty believes in me to bring succour through peace and prosperity to our land and make things easy for all, starting from the Yorubaland where he reigns, I will continue to worship God through my father by rising up to the expectations of my new role as the Ayedero of Yorubaland.
“In service to our people, I remain mindful of the historical legacies of the Oyo Empire, which has existed since 1300 C.E as one of the prosperous empires in Africa, and as a major source of the Yoruba ancestral heritage. This means we must continue to work in protecting and promoting the interest of the entire Yoruba race which constitutes more than 35 million people and with 15.5% of the Nigerian population.
“It is on this note that I strongly reaffirm my total commitment in service to Yorubaland through this honour as the Ayedero of Yorubaland. I equally congratulate my beloved brother and good friend, Engr. Dr. Babajide Ademola Agunbiade as His Imperial Majesty conferred you as the Atobaase of Yorubaland. I admire the grace of our friendship and I am confident that we will continue to work together as brothers in service to the Yoruba race and Nigeria in general.
“I want to also congratulate my wife, Chief Mrs. Ayobola Abiola Peller, who by virtue of my Chieftaincy title becomes the Yeye Ayedero of Yorubaland. Throughout the years we have been together, you have brought abundant joy and happiness to my life and our family. And most recently you have extended this to other parts of the country through your leadership of the Lead Generation Initiative (an organization committed to raising and empowering a new generation of leaders in every sphere of Nigeria)”.
Among the dignitaries who attended the event were the former Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, former Oyo state Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Alake, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan represented by Oba Adekunle Adebowale.
Others are Ekiti state former Deputy Governor, Kolapo Eleka, a PDP Chieftain, Engr Femi Babalola, former Commissioner of Police in Oyo, Alhaji Bashiru Azeez, Sen Gbenga Babalola, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, Hon Saidu Musa Abdulahi representing Niger Gov, House of Reps members, Hon. Akeem Adeyemi, and Sen. Gen. Brimo Yusuf.
ArchBishop Ladigbolu in his remarks congratulated the new title holders describing them as the golden jubilee of Yoruba land.
Describing their conferment of the traditional title as very unique, Ladigbolu said the occasion came the same year that the Alaafin marked its 50th coronation anniversary.