Okowa, Wike, Sultan, others pay tributes to late Olubadan
Tributes continued to flow, yesterday, as Nigerians mourned the death of Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, who passed on following a brief illness on Sunday, aged 93.
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, described the late nonagenarian as a courageous leader who was committed to the development of his kingdom and beyond.
“The late monarch’s five-year reign recorded remarkable peace and infrastructural development in his domain,” Okowa said, urging the family of the deceased, friends, associates, and people of Ibadan to take solace in the knowledge that he lived an exemplary life deserving of honour and celebration.
His Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, said: “There is no doubt that Olubadan’s wisdom and devotion were an enduring source of strength and comfort for Oyo State Government, Council of Obas and Chiefs.”
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, on his part, said the late Oba Adetunji’s life was well spent in advancing the progress of his people. He described the monarch as an enigma, stressing that the traditional institution in Nigeria will miss his visionary disposition.
The Sultan also prayed for the repose of his soul and the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Similarly, Northern leaders, under the umbrella of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), expressed grief over the death, saying the late ruler brought progress and stability to Ibadan land.
In a statement, ACF National Chairman, Audu Ogbe, said the late Olubadan would be remembered for bringing diverse ethnic groups together and promoting unity.
“We at ACF are sad that Olubadan, Saliu Adetunji, is dead. We consider the late Olubadan a very progressive traditional ruler who brought progress and stability to Ibadan, the headquarters of the defunct Western Region, and a very powerful stool in Yoruba land,” Ogbe said.
He added: “We mourn his departure because Nigeria has a lot to learn from him. If he had lived on, we would have benefitted much more from his wisdom and stability of character.”
On its part, Oyo State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said: “We are particularly and deeply saddened, as the ruling party, over the passage of our father, our very own Baba, who has continued his sojourn into the Great Beyond. Indeed, he was a great man, a peaceful and peace-loving, very passionate, and calm ruler who will forever be remembered for his peaceful reign.
“He was more than a king to us in Oyo State PDP and in Ibadan land because he was a unifying factor, a rallying figure of note whose large heart was highly profound. It is, therefore, safe to assert that Baba came, saw, and conquered it all, leaving a legacy of peace and tranquillity for all of us to protect and sustain as sons and daughters of Ibadan land.”
Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Oyebode Adebowale, said the institution received the sad news with “ shIn a statement by Director of Public Communication, Olatunji Oladejo, he described Oba Adetunji as a pillar of support to the university, who never missed an opportunity to offer wise counsel for the progress of the institution. “Kabiyesi will be surely be missed by all of us,” he added.
Also, Dr. (Mrs.) Florence Ajimobi, wife of the immediate past two-term governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, described the deceased monarch as a highly respected ruler, who was committed to the welfare of Ibadan people and was a strong advocate of the development of Ibadan land and Oyo State.