How Idoani used oba’s fifth anniversary to empower widows, the needy

ON Saturday, 12th October, sons and daughters of Idoani from across the world converged on the town to celebrate the fifth coronation ceremony of Alani of Idoani, Oba Olufemi Olutoye. But it was not just a coronation ceremony. It was much of celebration of indigenes of the ancient town, both the haves and the have-nots. The events marking the fifth year on the throne of Oba Olutoye witnessed the empowerment of widows and the poor in the town as well as honouring those who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavour.

Earlier, the Idoani Development Committee, under the chairmanship of the Asiwaju of Idoani, Chief Dele Olapeju, had been inaugurated by His Royal Majesty, Oba Outoye, as part of his agenda for community development.

The committee had considered it fit to institute the Idoani Prestigious Personality Award (IPPA) as an annual award to honour personalities living or dead who have contributed immensely to the progress and development of the town.

According to Balogun of Idoani, Chief Olatunji Oshati, the award is considered as one of the platforms for encouraging patriotic contributions towards the continued development of the town.

“And it is in tandem with the spirit and letters of the Nigerian national anthem, which says that the labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain,” he noted.

Powered through Chief Oshati, also known as Maxima, himself, the town empowered scores of people, comprising the elderly, widows and petty traders with cash incentives raging from N5,000 to N10,000.

Explaining the rationale behind marking the traditional ruler’s fifth coronation anniversary with empowerment of the people, Chief Oshati, who is also the chairman of the Anniversary Publicity Committee, said; “l learned to give, not because l have much, but because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing.

Shell rejected me as fresh graduate, I rejected them years after —Awodeyi

“And I believe that act of giving is one of the legacies left behind by my late father, the Salaja of Idoani, Chief D. K. Oshati. And I hope to keep that alive for his remembrance.”

The cash presentation was done by the first governor of Ogun State, Major General Seidu Balogun (rtd), assisted by High Chief Ajanakude and High Chief Tola Johnson, Asiwaju of Ilogbo-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

In nominating people for the commemorative award, the Idoani Development Committee said it considered the following fields of endeavour and the performance of the awardees in them: Medicine and health services, legal practice, education and development, missionary and evangelism, empowerment, corporate governance, banking and finance, community development and social mobilisation, military and security, as well as peace and reconciliation.

“It is against this background that IDC presented the following people living and dead for the inaugural edition of the award; son of the Alani, Professor (Prince) Oluyinka Olutoye, a globally renowned medical doctor, medical practice; a former Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs in the First Republic, who is also the first balogun of the town, the late Chief Richard Akinyemi Obe, legal practice; prominent businessman and founder of Agbeyewa Memorial College, Lagos, the late Chief R. A. Agbeyewa, entrepreneurship, politics and education; the late Saint Isaac Tenabe, missionary; the late Chief (Mrs) Bisi Ogunleye, women empowerment; Chief D. A. Ojo, corporate governance; the first indigenous Managing Director of First bank, the late Dr. Samuel Asabia, banking and finance; the late Chief T. O. Akinbode, politics and social mobilisation; the late Adene Bello, military; and the late Canon B. O. Olapeju, peace and reconciliation.”

Three illustrious sons of the town were also honoured with traditional chieftaincy titles. A lawyer and legislator with the Victoria Island Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, Mr Akinwumi Bayode, bagged Akogun Alatiba of Idoani; Mr Olusoji Ajayi was named Chief Ohunorun; while Dr Segun Kehinde was named Chief Oshodi of Idoani.

Alongside these were seven other illustrious sons and daughters of the town who were honoured with honourary chieftaincy titles on Saturday, the 12th, after the Alani of Idoani and the council of chiefs had approved their choice.

The celebration, which began on Thursday, 10th October, began with an awareness parade by primary school children in Idoani. The following day, there was the grand finale of a commemorative competition of ere ayo and game of draught, capped with a holy communion service at the Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity, Idoani; and jumat service at 2:00 p.m.

The celebration also featured a carnival organised by the Basurun of Idoani, Chief Gbenga Timothy Idowu, in conjunction with Idoani Youth Forum.

At the conferment of chieftaincy titles, the Alani of Idoani, Oba Olutoye, highlighted the progress recorded in the five years he has reigned over the town, while the Dean of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Venerable Aiyenigbara, prayed for the peace and progress of the town.

Speaking through the Asiwaju of Idoani, Chief Oladele Olapeju, the traditional ruler thanked the indigenes and residents of the town for the support he had been receiving from them since he ascended the throne. He solicited for more cooperation towards unifying all the segments of the society.

“After five years, our gathering here can be described as ‘formal convocation of kabiyesi’ from undergraduate degree in native administration. The next five years, we assume, would be the next phase of postgraduate degree in local administration.

“For the past five years, we have witnessed tremendous progress and development propelled by individual self-will and determination. While government denied us electricity through the BEDC, Kabiyesi and his children donated solar panels to illuminate the dark terraces of Idoani.

“There is relative peace in Idoani, except for the insulting insurgencies of Fulani herdsmen and their kidnapping enterprises which only abated after Irekari obas issued an ultimatum for them to quit our farmlands which were illegally occupied,” said the king.

Just as traditional ruler put it, the people of Idoani will expect the town to have moved further ahead, by the time Oba Olutoye will be marking his 10th anniversary on the throne.

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