Life and times of the late Soun of Ogbomoso

Here’s the profile of Alaiyeluwa, Oba (Dr.) Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III CON, CFR, the Soun of Ogbomosoland that passed away today.

Born on May 27, 1926 to the Gbagun ruling house of Royal family of Soun of Ogbomosoland.

His great grandfather, grandfather and father, Oba Oluwusi Aremu (5th Soun of Ogbomosoland, reigned from 1826 to1840), Oba Gbagungboye Ajagungbade 1 (10th Soun of Ogbomosoland, reigned from 1869 to 1871) and Oba Afolabi Oyewumi Ajagungbade 11(15th Soun of ogbomosoland, reigned from 1916 to 1940) respectively were monarchs of the ancient city of Ogbomoso.

Oba Oyewumi had his elementary school at St. Patrick Catholic School, Oke-Padre, Ibadan and Ogbomoso People’s Institute, Aku, Ogbomoso.

At an early age, after acquiring elementary and basic education, ventured into weaving business, trading in the popular Yoruba attire known as aso-ofi, in Ilesha, in present day, Osun state. From the lucrative business of weaving, Oba Oyewumi raised a capital of £4.10s and returned to Ogbomoso.

He proceeded to Jos in 1944, Plateau State to live with relatives of his mother. On arrival in Jos, Oba Oyewumi enrolled for evening educational coaching to improve his education. Oba Oyewumi continued his his trading in local wares as he extended his ventures to Lagos to buy variegated merchandise for sale. His business trips to Lagos exposed him to the expatriate commercial firms and from which he developed the resolve and confidence to turn his attention to those of them in Jos. With his zeal to excel in business, he obtained a major dealership from the French company, Compagnie Franchise de I’ Antique Occidentale (CFAO) in 1954. The opportunity gave him the capacity to expand his businesses to include importation of beer and goods from Europe. He embarked on business trips to London, Ireland, and Germany to improve his exclusive becks and Heineken beer from these countries.

Trading under the business name of Prince stores, Oba Oyewumi made a fortune from merchandise and consolidated his investments by establishing,   J.O Oyewumi and Co. Ltd in 1967, with vast interests in real estate, hospitality and merchandise. The popular Hotel Terminus brand with branches in Jos, Ogbomoso and Osogbo is a household name. Royal Crown Hotels is also a part of the business empire. 

Oba Oyewumi ascended the throne of his forefathers in 1973 after he was nominated by the Gbagun ruling house to Oyo State government . Upon his coronation, with the support of sons and daughters of Ogbomosoland, built a modern palace befitting the status of a first-class monarch. At that time, it was one of the best palaces in Nigeria.

The contributions of Oba Oyewumi to his domain, Oyo state and Nigeria in general are countless including creation of additional four local government areas from Ogbomoso local government (Ogbomosoland has 5 LGAs now: Ogbomoso North, Ogbomoso South, Orire, Surulere and Ogo-Oluwa),establishment of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology,  Ogbomoso, Federal Polytechnic, Ayede, Ogbomoso, establishment of Federal Government College, Ogbomoso, establishment of NTA station in Ogbomoso,  citing of banks, primary and secondary schools, police stations and industries, technical college etc. Oba Oyewumi’s reign has brought robust development to Ogbomoso and environs, which is obvious with the fast growing population and commercial activities in the ancient town of Ogbomoso.

In 1995, Oba Oyewumi served as Chairman of Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs for a term of two years.

A recipient of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON)  and Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFR) is also also Pioneer and Current Chancellor of Plateau State University (PLASU), Bokkos, Plateau State.

Oba Oyewumi has served in various national capacities including member of Leaders of Thoughts and Traditional Rulers, member of Federal government Hajj delegation, National Council of Traditional Rulers.

He was the 20th and longest reigning Soun of Ogbomosoland in the history of Ogbomoso until his demise.

Survived by wives, children,  grand- children,  great grand- children, Oba Oyewumi was a statesman, genuine leader and outstanding monarch, with passion for growth and development of Ogbomoso, Oyo State and Nigeria in general.

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