Traditional rulers, politicians, others light up Iwo
The dance skill displayed by the Governor of Osun State, OgbeniAregbesola at the 50th birthday ceremony of the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi did not only infect the Oluwo, it also electrified the well-decorated hall that hosted the occasion.
The King’s Riverside Holiday Resort, conspicuously located on Kilometre 2 on Iwo-Ibadan highway, was a place to be as evident in the volume of both vehicular and human traffic that converged on the axis last Saturday.
The Alhaji Debo Badru-led Planning Committee demonstrated high sense of organization by providing alternative venue at the opposite of the King’s Riverside Holiday Resort where tents were erected with a live band entertaining the people.
While the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu could not make it to Iwo, both were ably represented by their associates. Daughter of Tinubu, who is the current Iyaloja of Lagos, Chief Mrs Folashade Tinubu, was in attendance as the mother of the day.
Senator Ita Giwa and Hajia Abah Folawiyo, Iyaloja of Osun State, Chief Mrs Awawu Oyebamiji and other women of substance also witnessed the occasion.
Some items on the programme suffered because of the large turn out and challenge posed by arranging the programme as contained in the all-glossy brochure. Nevertheless, the ceremony was adjudged as successful by the Oluwo himself.
“I cannot believe the large crowd that thronged the hall despite that we printed few invites. I cannot thank God enough for this yet another assurance that he will not forsake me. I should not just mention name so that I won’t offend anyone. From Ogbeni Aregbesola to Etsu of Nupe to the planning committee led by Prince Debo Badru and my fellow traditional rulers and other personalities, I thank you all,” he said.
It was like the VIPs were taking turn to arrive the venue for orderliness. Just as the Etsu Nupe, the Iyaloja of Lagos, Ita-Giwa and Folawiyo left the venue, another set of dignitaries including the delegation of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji entered the hall and took their seat on the high table. Not long afterwards, the elder brothers of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi, led by Mr Tunji Ogunwusi also arrived the venue.
When the compere of the event, Alhaji Oyesiku Adelu called on Ogbeni Aregbesola to deliver his speech, the governor was raised from his seat by thunderous drumming laced by the governor’s favourite songs.
However, Aregbesola rounded off his speech with a Yoruba song of admonition, telling the Oluwo to thread softly.
Dr Oluremi Atanda, the proprietor of Ibadan-based Atanda Continuing Education Centre, who is also the Eketa of Iwo, in his welcome address, expressed his appreciation to the guests and recalled his time together with Senator Ita Giwa as delegates at the 1995 Constitutional Conference in Abuja.
Also excited at the success of the ceremony was Alhaji Badru who expressed gratitude to his team that put the programme together, reminding them of the need to always rally round Oba Akanbi in his mission to further raise the standard of Iwo.