To mark the one-year anniversary of the conferment of the traditional title of Atóbaáse of Yorubaland on HM Dr. Babajide Agunbiade, FNSE, by the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba (Dr) Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III, Iku Baba Yeye, J.P, CFR, L.L. D on August 28th, 2021, the OniFiditi-in-council led by the OniFiditi of Fiditi has congratulated the renowned Atobaase on the occasion of the one year anniversary and has conferred on him the title of Asiwaju of Fiditi land.
The conferment of the Asiwaju title was conveyed in a letter that reads in part, “appointment as Asiwaju of Fiditiland by the OniFiditi-in- Council. The OniFiditi-in-council has resolved to name and appoint you as the ASIWAJU of Fiditiland.”
“The council decided to honour you with this chieftaincy title based on your selfless service to the town and people of Fiditi. You have been GODSEND to our town and bestowing you with this honor at this time demonstrates what you stand for in our community, in Oyo state, in Yoruba land, in Nigeria, and even globally
“As we look forward to your acceptance of this well-deserved honour, we pray that Almighty God, in his Infinite mercies, will grant you success in discharging your duties as a leading son of our town. We pray that Almighty God continues to uphold you and your family”.
The letter, which was signed by His Royal Majesty, Alayeluwa, Oba Sakiru Oyewole Akanni Adekola Oyelere, Ajani -Eedu II, Agbadewolu I, OniFiditi Of Fiditi, was received with great appreciation by the Atobaase who in his acceptance speech said: “ Your Royal Majesty, I refer to your offer of appointment letter (and our subsequent discussions) which was written following your meeting with the OniFiditi-in-council, where it was resolved that I be appointed the ASIWAJU OF FIDITILAND.”
“ After extensive and careful deliberations, I accept this title with humility, gratitude to God almighty, and out of love and respect for your Royal Highness, the OniFiditi-in-council, and all well-meaning people of Fiditi who have deemed me fit for this exhausted position.”
The Atóbaáse further said in the acceptance letter, “ Owing to our Yoruba culture, and as discussed and agreed, my title as the Atóbaáse of Yorubaland, conferred on me by none other than the irreplaceable late Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr) Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III, Iku Baba Yeye, J.P, CFR, L.L. D Which covers all Yorubaland, will continue to take supremacy over this title. This is also in line with my discussion with the late Alaafin as a condition for accepting this title.”
Based on known facts and evidence, the Asiwaju title is the ultimate honorary traditional title a deserving son can be conferred in a native Yoruba town. The title carries ancient evidence of far-sightedness and positive contributions to the progress of any traditional Yoruba town. It is the rare preserve of those deemed worthy of being so recognized for their achievements and contributions to the development of their people.
Dr. Babajide Agunbiade, the Atobaase of Yoruba land, is one of the world’s leading offshore production experts; he is an investor, businessman, and CEO of Alpha Energy Resources, as well as being Executive director of Houston-based National Oilwell Varco, the largest oilfield equipment manufacturing company in the world. He is a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers as well as being a fellow of the Society of Underwater Technologies.
He was conferred with the high-ranking title of Atobaase of Yoruba land by the revered, Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, Iku Baba Yeye, and Alaafin of Oyo at the palace of the Royal Father in Oyo town on the 28th day of August 2021. The title of Atóbaáse of Yorubaland, which will continue to take precedence, is a Semi-traditional tile. The Atobaase was one of the traditional titles that Alaafin Eguguojo instituted and used to rule the Oyo Empire (now comprising most of Yorubaland) in the 14th century when he moved Oyo to present-day Igboho.
In Yorubaland history, the title of Atóbaáse has been awarded four times in the past, and Atóbaáse Babajide Agunbiade is the first Atobaase of Yorubaland since 1630 AD.
In a related development, the wife of the Atóbaáse of Yorubaland and newly installed Asiwaju Of Fiditi, Her Majesty, Yeye Olufunke Agunbiade, was also conferred with the title of Yèyé Asiwaju Of Fiditiland by OniFiditi-in-council led by His Royal Majesty, Alayeluwa, Oba Sakiru Oyewole Akanni Oyelere, Ajani -Eedu II, Agbadewolu I, OniFiditi Of Fiditi.
We wish the ASIWAJU of Fiditi, HM, Dr. Babajide Agunbiade, The Atóbaáse of Yorubaland, and Yeye Asiwaju of Fiditi, HM Yeye Olufunke Agunbiade all the best as they juggle their two critical roles.