By: S.B Ajibade Esq
The date was 4″ day of August, 20101 The whole town worn a mournful look and the inhabitants (human, animate and inanimate objects) can feel the grief in the faces of the people of Osogbo Land and Osun State.
Then came the announcement, Oba Kharashy lyiola Oyewale Matanmi III, the then Ataoja of Osogboland (FCA, OFR, CON), had suddenly joined his ancestors whose peaceful reign on the throne as the Ataoja of Osogbo Land spanned 34 glorious years. On the 12″ day August, 2010, the whole Osogbo and its environs went agog again when the dynamic, astute administrator, teacher of teachers, progressive and ebullient young Prince Jimoh Abidemi Oyetunji Akanbi Olanipekun Larooye the 2″, was appointed and installed the 16h Ataoja of Osogbo Land by the Prince of Peace. His Excellency, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the then Governor of Osun State. The talking drums rolled in unison and the happy celebration took the centre stage and the whole inhabitants of the ancient town were in joyful celebration.
The emergence of HRM Oba Jimoh Abidemi Oyetunji Akanbi Olanipekun, Laroye II, as the 16″ Ataoja of Osogbo Land, marked the beginning of a new era on the throne. Since Oba Olanipekun assumed the throne of his forefathers, Osogbo has continued to witness unprecedented developments and the economic activities of the entire Osun State and South West generally have revolved round the town because of the centrality of the State and its connecting link to all the parts of Nigeria. Osogbo witnessed massive developments during the period of His Excellence Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
As a result of the fact that Oba Olanipekun enjoyed the confidence, trust, popularity, remarkable and unalloyed support of his subjects, he was able to attract laudable and outstanding growth and developments to Osogbo both in human and material resources. In fact, the 8 years of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola witnessed unprecedented development within the 10 years on the throne of Oba Olanipekun. The development is also being witnessed now with the incumbent Governor of Osun State, His Excellence, Alhaji Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola.
Osogbo as the Capital City of Osun State has continued to grow from strength to strength within the last 10 years on the throne of Oba Olanipekun. This has put the City to the enviable status of a metropolis. On the physical developments and in order to have Federal and State Governments presence in Osogbo during the reign of Oba Olanipekun the gigantic Federal Secretariat has been constructed in Osogbo together with the establishment of the Osun State University Teaching Hospital at Asubiaro, Osogbo.
There are expansion and construction of new roads in the major areas of the town. Osogbo can now boast of overhead bridges within the town. There is the establishment of Oranmiyan New Town in Osogbo. Osogbo has equally witnessed the establishment of Ayegbaju Market Ogo- Oluwa, Osogbo. Sasa Market at Oke Baale and Aje International Market Osogbo. There are many Banks, Hotels. Companies. Filing Stations, Gas Stations and other business enterprises springing up on daily basis in Osogbo Some of them are NNPC, ADOLAK, MALLAM TOPE, TOTAL, MOBIL, FORTE OIL ODUWOYE, AENON SUITE, FIVE STAR HOTEL at GRA, GALAXY HOTEL, SUSSY HOTEL, REGINAL SUITE, IDEAL NEST HOTEL, CELEBRITY and HOTEL e.t.c.
On the political scene, Osogbo cannot be jettisoned Nigeria at large in the last 10 years of Oba Olanipekun as Ataoja of Osogbo Land. Both Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa popularly known as Asejere and Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo Oluomo of Osogbo Land emerged the former Chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Osun State and South West former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party. They are both indigenes of Osogbo Mama Chief (Mrs.) Titi-Laoye Tomori was the Deputy Governor of Osun State for 8years under the dynamic leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the Governor of both within the State Osun State it is our pride that during the reign of Oba Olanipekun, our own Honourable Akintunde Muritala Adegboye, an Osogbo Indigene, was the Deputy Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly. Hon. Akintunde is a renown lawyer, journalist, engineer, public analyst and politician of note. Another illustrious son of the doll, Honourable Wasiu Adebayo was the Chairman House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
They contributed meaningfully in the last House of Assembly of Osun State Under the current political dispensation, Honourable Moshood Akande is the Deputy Majority Leader of the Osun State House of Assembly while Honourable Taofeek Badamosi Abolubode is the Chairman, House Committee on Works and Transport. We have Hon. Olalekan Rahman Badmus as the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duty while Hon. Sola Oladipo is the Commissioner Environment and Sanitation, our own Honourable Rasaq Adeosun is the SA on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matter while Hon. Adegboyega is the SA on Youth and Sport.
Taofeek Adelabu During the reign of Oba Olanipekun, Osogbo has produced that young but brilliant, dynamic, cerebral and enterprising legal mind and politician, the Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Osun Central Senatorial District in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly,Senator (Dr.) Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru who has continued to contribute brilliantly and making waves in all spheres of human endeavours both in Nigeria and globally.
It would be recalled that Dr. Basiru was the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duty and later the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Osun State during the Symbol’s regime as the Governor of Osun State. As the Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Basiru has continued to distinguish himself as the Pride of Osogbo. He was the former Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora and NGO Member, Senate Committee on Legal Matter, Member Senate Committee on Air Force Member Senate Committee on Offstream and Downstream Sector, former Secretary, APC Primary Election in Edo State and Former Chairman, APC Primary Election, Imo North Senatorial District. He is presently the image maker of the National Assembly as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs. May Almighty Allah continue to pilot his affairs to continue to be relevant at all times.
As part of the recent developments is the appointment of Dr. Adeniran Tella as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Ekiti State. May Almighty God continue to give him wisdom to perform to the glory of God and the benefit of humanity It is important to mention that the Central Mosque Oja Oba Osogbo was renovated recently during Oba Olanipekun 10 years reign from its embarrassing dilapidated state into a befitting Central Mosque of the State Capital.
As a corollary to this, is the construction of the New Idil Praying Ground located along Ibokun Road, Osogbo to give room for the large population of Osogbo people which the former Eid Praying Ground can no longer accommodate.
It is no longer news that the Osun Osogbo Groove has been listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. Oba Olanipekun with the concerted efforts of well-meaning people combined with his connection has continued to use his influence with the Osogbo Cultural Heritage Council and the Department of Osogbo Affairs in the Palace to attract more popularity and re-discover and promote cultural values, heritage and prestige of Osogbo people. Osun Groove has been promoted to the status of World Tourist Center. It is to the glory of God that during the reign of Oba Olanipekun, the two Local Governments.
Osogbo and Olorunda Local Governments, have moved to 6 administrative headquarters with the establishment of more LCDAS and Area Council. We have in addition Osogbo West LCDA, Osogbo South LCDA Olorunda North LCDA and Olorunda Area Council. This development has continued to bring governance close to the people, Osogbo has witnessed the establishment of Nelson Mandela Freedom Park at Old Garage, Osogbo, and the establishment of Osun Mall at the Old Fakunle Comprehensive High School, Osogbo.
The commissioning of the Permanent site of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at lludun, Osogbo, and the unveiling of Bus-stop at lludun in Memory of the First Baale of ludun Community. Chief Tajudeen Aderemi Adigun. Osogbo has also witnessed the Hosting of Economic Summit and provided homes to Fountain University. Hamzainab College of Education and the Living Spring College of Education, all in Osogbo. Also is the Osogbo City Stadium that has been renovated to give a befitting status as the Capital City Stadium. As a traditional ruler with taste for perfection and aesthetics, Oba Olanipekun has embarked on the constructive renovation of the Palace, reconstructions of all the ancient buildings within the Palace and 4 rooms modern toilets within the palace, renovation of the Palace mosque, re-roofing and re-painting of Osun Temple and Provisions of Storex tank for water reservation for the use of the adherents of Osun at Osun Temple. Baba has tiled, painted and changed the old window of the buildings of the Ataoja Palace Hall to wear modern outlook and constructed 2 bathrooms for the security officers and re-constructed the drummers’ shield Oba Olanipekun has renovated the old Palace by changing the wooden window of the building to aluminum sliding window including painting of the old Palace. The place now hosts the Baba Kekere Quarters. 2 boreholes were recently constructed, one of which was donated by Mr. Mike Omotosho (Omo-To-Suo), The White House has equally been renovated and the Palace Pavilion has been newly constructed by the Chairmen of all the Local governments in Osogbo, Olorunda. Osogbo West LCDA, Osogbo South LCDA, Olorunda North LCDA and Olorunda Area Council.
The above highlighted achievements within the last 10 Years of Oba Olanipekun on the throne of his forefathers are just a simple glimpse of remarkable happenings within this epochal period.
Oba Olanipekun truly possesses a large heart of gold with the love of the people of Osogbo and Osogboland. He is a true Omoluabi to the core imbued with native intelligence to deal with all Issues and matters. He is a trailblazer and a silent achiever of note. He is a teacher of teachers and an administrator whose style of leadership has continued to place him as a role-model worthy of emulation.
All hail the 18th Ataoja of Osogboland, HRM Oba Jimoh Abidemi Oyetunji Akanbi Olanipekun, Larooye the 2″, on the 10″ Anniversary on the throne of his forefathers.
Your reign shall continue to be peaceful and prosperous.