Erelu Mojisola Omisore has just been appointed a regent to serve as the Oisa of Amulodu quarters in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State. In this interview with IMOLEAYO OYEDEYI, the British-trained lawyer, civil servant and successful wife expresses her feelings and how she plans to combine her official responsibilities with the herculean tasks of managing the affairs of her community. Excerpt:
HOW do you feel when you were told that you have been appointed the Regent to serve as the Oisa of Amulodu town in Ado Ekiti?
Seriously, I wasn’t expecting it because I didn’t really understand it. Though I knew my father was a high Chief and very important in the town in Ado Ekiti, I didn’t really know the traditional attachment of the title that he held. So, when they mooted the idea of me being a regent, I just thought it was an ordinary title in Ado Ekiti, but I was told that the traditional title of my late father is very consequential and that upon his demise, I have to be a regent. But the truth is I didn’t expect or want it because I have a big sister ahead of me. But she didn’t like to participate in things like that. She declined maybe because of her religious belief. So the thing fell on me and I accepted in a bid to defend the honour of my parents, my father and mother having been assured that it is a peaceful thing and there will be no problem. I was in England when they broke the news to me. The people had to first phone my husband because they knew that I would turn it down. My husband then called me and told me, but I said I wasn’t going to do anything. Thereafter, my brothers called me and assured me that being a regent is not going to cause any problem and that it is something good and my birthright as well as an honour for my parents. They said I should take the title since it is not as if I am fighting, begging or contesting for it. So with lots of push here and there, I finally accepted it.
As a regent, can you please educate us more on the importance of the Oisa title?
Simply, a regent is a title that is held by the female child of a High Chief upon his demise. She holds forth the title pending the installation or election of a new Oisa. In her capacity as the regent, the holder does everything regarding administrative functions and performs all other roles her father used to perform when he was alive. Though she’s called a regent, she is like a king. For that period, she dresses like her father and performs all the duties like a man. And all through the period till the election times, she acts the same. I know the Oisa stool is going to be contested like that of the king. It is a serious one. But somebody has to hold forth and that is what the regent does. And when the regent has been installed, then, the people will start to consult and shop for a new Oisa. How long the regent will last is dependent on the people. A regent might be installed today and the people decide the following day to start welcoming contestants for the new Oisa title. And in another way, a Regent may hold the stool for a very long period of time. It all depends on the people.
Meanwhile, being a wife, lawyer and civil servant, how do you plan to combine the herculean tasks of managing a community with your official duty?
That is a very good one because, as you know, I am a woman. And we, women are very strong as we know how to multi-task. In fact, multi-tasking is a quality inmate in every woman and we do better than men in that area. Being a wife, I am still the same person. I am a lawyer by profession, but I am not practising because I am a civil servant. I work in a ministry as a Director. The people in my place know before that I work and that I will not be able to stay in Ado Ekiti like that, because I have an office. But I will have to be shuttling between my office and Ado Ekiti a lot now. My job is my job, so I have to go to the office. But I will always come back to engage and consult my people, just like what we are doing right now, having an interview without having to see face to face. So in the same way, I will always communicate with my people. The internet has made it possible to do anything anywhere through electronic means and still deliver good results. With the various electronic platforms, I believe administering the affairs of my people won’t be a problem.
Being their new regent, what should the people be expecting from you?
That again is a God factor. It is the Lord who installs and empowers. So, to me, getting there is by God. But I just love to empower my people. And I hope God helps me to have people that will support me to assist my community to better their lots. Though I cannot promise anything for now, I know God will make everything easy and impactful. Besides, my people are a very happy set of people. It usually brings so much joy and fun to be with them. I just advise them not to see their regent like someone who never had a home because my father trained us properly and on the aspect of culture, I speak my dialect very well. I could remember in those days when we were kids, my father used to take us round the community to show us our traditional home where we mingle with people and show love. So, I advise them to continue the same culture of love and let’s embrace one another. And I want them to stay healthy and safe in this critical period. I will sensitise them a lot about COVID-19 and how they can keep themselves free from the pandemic. Generally, I want them to live better and good.
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