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15 years on, peace, development define Oba Adenugba’s reign in Ago-Iwoye

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In the last 15 years of his reign as the Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, His Royal Highness, Oba (Alhaji) Abdul-Razaq Adesina Adegbenga Adenugba’s approach to royal stewardship is defined by his strong belief that it is only under a peaceful atmosphere that development, in all ramifications, can thrive. No wonder, in 2017, the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) bestowed on the monarch the award of “Ambassador of Peace” in appreciation of maintaining peace and order in the entire city of Ago-Iwoye with emphasis on the Olabisi Onabanjo University community.

This is in reference to 2005 crisis when students of the University marched on the Ebumawe palace and burnt it. The crisis happened one year after the coronation of the monarch as he mounted the throne on May 8, 2004.

But the genesis of the 2005 arson was later discovered to be allegations contained in petitions written against the palace. Some of the claims included the establishment of a kangaroo court by the palace; establishment of a cell with the palace where students were held captive; and killing of Olabisi Onabanjo University students.

The Ebumawe would later debunk the allegations, saying “When people are not ready to imbibe the path of truth and legitimacy, they resort to name calling, giving the dog a bad name in order to hang it. To hold firmly to the path of truth is not only golden be Godly. The above allegations were the handiwork and figments of imagination of a group of people within the town designed to infuriate and instigate the students against the palace. The 2005 upheaval should not be regarded as ‘students’ crisis’. Hired hoodlums were used to camouflage as students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University. It was tagged ‘students’ crisis’ by the behind-the-scene actors to cover up their mischievous activities. Were the students set out to ‘free’ their alleged colleagues held captive by the Palace, they should have retreated when no student was found held hostage and should not have destroyed the Palace. But there was more to it than meet the eye.”

Certainly, the monarch has put the sad episode, 14 years ago, behind as his reign thereafter, has continued to witness positive developments. And to ensure enduring harmony especially between the town and gown, the security and protection of lives and properties in Ago-Iwoye is of top priority.

As a result, the security architecture of the town became enhanced through the introduction of the vigilante groups, which, on daily basis, assist the police and the security operatives in the maintenance of law and order. The cordial relationship between the palace and the Ogun State government facilitated, in 2013, the provision of the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) “to monitor and curtail the nefarious activities of the hoodlums who used to terrorise the university community.”

This development fostered peaceful and enabling environment which ultimately boosted economy of the people and banking operations. Oba Adenugba’s footprints in the last 15 years of his reign include the establishment of the Nigerian Prisons Services Farms at Awori Ago-lwoye and Nigerian Federal Road Safety Corps Divisional office in Ago-lwoye. Also, he saw to the up-grade of Ago-lwoye Five-day Market to daily in addition to establishing Rotary Club in Ago-lwoye with a view to boost social activities in the town.

As a foremost traditional ruler, Oba Adenugba deploys his experience as an educationist and socialist to promote the yearly Oruken, Agemo, Egungun, Ogun and hunting festivals in Ago-Iwoye, thereby, raising the profile of the town as a cosmopolitan city where the interests (cultural and religious) of diverse categories of residents are catered for.

To Oba Adenugba, being a staunch Muslim who is versed in the knowledge of the Qur’an shouldn’t be a barrier. “I must make myself available as the Kabiyesi of the town; I shouldn’t discriminate. When Oloro people want to celebrate, they will come to the palace and others do that too. My own religion is for me, so I shouldn’t condemn what others are doing. Besides, it is part of our tradition and the Oba is the custodian of culture and tradition.”

For modest accomplishments so far, the Ebumawe is grateful to God for His mercies and guidance in the past 15 years. “I’m most grateful to my God and I adore Him. All praise belongs to Him. He made me the Ebumawe.” He also appreciates the support he has received from a lot of people within and outside Ago-Iwoye. “There are so many people who have made their contributions and supported me to remain on the throne. I hold them in high esteem. I give glory to God. I thank the people of Ago Iwoye – those who have contributed and those who have not. I appreciate them for allowing me to be their traditional ruler for 15 years. I appreciate the old and the young, females, males, market women, hunters, traders; all of them. I appreciate my family so much for standing by me.”

In what appears like a reminiscence of the ugly past and projection into the future, the Ebumawe said, “Those who have been helping to build this institution, they should continue to do so and those who have not been doing that, they should also come and make contributions. We should build this institution together. It’s not only meant for me; it is for Ago Iwoye. People should shun hatred and envy. Whatever the Almighty God has done is final. They should shun envy and distractions. It is time to sit down and reposition Ago Iwoye. The town is blessed with wonderful people.”

Oba Abdul-Razaq Adenugba began his terrestrial journey on February 3, 1956. He was born by Madam Sabitiyu Adeola Adenugba and Prince Idris Adeyemi Adenugba, the first son of HRH Oba Akadi Alonge Adenugba who happened to be the first beaded and crowned Ebumawe of Ago-lwoye. He ruled as Okokodana-Meji I from 1932-1944.

His educational adventure started in 1962 from the famous lmososi Wesley Primary School, Ago-lwoye through Methodist Comprehensive High School between 1971 and 1975 to the Government Teachers’ College, Ikorodu between 1977 and 1980 where he graduated as a professional teacher.

The lust for further educational development later took him to the Yaba College of Technology and later to the University of Lagos where he obtained, respectively, an OND in Business Administration and B.Sc. Degree in Accounting between 1986 and 1995. Oba Adenugba is a Certified Business Administrator having attended the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) where he obtained Masters in Business Administration in 2003. He is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Public Diplomacy and Management (CIPDM) and presently pursuing his Masters Degree in Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution at the National Open University (NOUN).

Not knowing that one day the royal lot would fall on him to ascend the throne of his forefathers as the Ebumawe of Ago-lwoye, the monarch had to join the next level of life of struggle for survival after the acquisition of a chain of academic and professional trainings.

As an Accountant, the royal father picked a job with the United Bank for Africa Plc where he worked for 14 years between 1982 and 1996 in various positions as an Assistant Manager, Full Branch Banking Operation Manager, Treasury/Bullion Officer and also as Cash Authorization Officer among other responsibilities.

Beyond this, Oba Adenugba as a Business Administrator is the Chief Executive Officer of BOMAD Nigeria Limited, a company currently operating in Trading, Marketing, Building and Contractor. A subsidiary of the company is Bomad Communications, a partner and dealer of Multichoice Nigeria.

Based on his competencies, exposure and educational acquisition, he was called to ascend the throne of his forefather as the 5th Ebumawe (Ekun Erigba, Okokodanameji ll) of Ago-Iwoye, coronated and presented with the Staff of Office by the then Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel with the consent of the Paramount Ruler and President of Ijebu Traditional Council, HRM (Dr.) Oba Sikiru Adetona on May 8, 2004. Shortly after he ascended the throne, he was elevated to a first class Oba by the Ogun State Government.

Oba Adenugba’s stewardship in the past 15 years has also earned him some recognition and honour including the ICON of Excellence Meritorious Award by Lagos State University; Award of Excellence by Olabisi Onabanjo University; Amirul Hajj of Ogun State Pilgrims; Member of Ogun State Council of Obas; Patron of Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Ago-Iwoye Branch; Grand Patron of Nigeria Association of Social Workers; Award of Excellence by ljebu Professional Excellence Foundation (IPEF); National Outstanding Leadership Award by NANS; Award of Excellence by Students’ Union Government, Olabisi Onabanjo University; and Member of the Ogun State Muslim Council among others.


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