Agbede community mourns Momodu II
OBA Momoh Sani Momodu II, one of the long-serving traditional rulers in Estako and Edo State, who was the Paramount Ruler of Agbede Community of Aviele Clan for 59 years, joined his ancestors in his country home. The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philips Shabu, who was on an official visit to the Ewu Monastery, took time off to pay condolence visit to the Oba’s palace and was received on behalf of the family by Honourable Abdullateef Momodu. Palace Watch spoke with Momodu on the life and time of his late father.
What will your father be remembered for?
A Lot of things. First, he will be greatly missed and remembered for his peaceful disposition. He was a very peaceful man, who never discriminated against any person on the basis of tribe, religion or gender. It was, therefore, no surprise that throughout his reign, Agbede town never had an issue(s) with any of our neighbouring towns and villages. My late father was a complete man of peace. He will be remembered for all the good things anybody can possibly think of.
He was a good and kind father to his children and almost all the people that encountered him. He took very good care of his children alongside his subjects. He was always there for everybody. He was always putting pressure on government to come and help develop Agbede. He wanted everything good and made all possible efforts to ensure Agbede was developed to the stage it is now. He succeeded to a reasonable extent because all the modern amenities in Agbede, today, were attracted by him. All these things he did with relish, until he became sick and could no longer do some of the things he was known for.
What was his relationship with other traditional rulers in Etsako land and Edo State like?
He had a very cordial relationship with all traditional rulers in Etsako and Edo State. No friction whatsoever. He was very friendly with all of them, especially the Onojies of Ewato, Ekpoma, Igueben and Ewu. They were all his personal friends. Back home in Etsako land, he had a very smooth relationship with all the traditional rulers. The relationship was such that the traditional rulers accord us his children great respect on that account.
His relationship with the traditional ruler of Ewu town and Ewu people is worth mentioning. He saw Ewu people not just as neighbours, but also as his personal relations because our grandmother is from the Ewu royal family.
What is the method of ascension to the throne in Agbede?
There is no complication whatsoever in the ascension method to Agbede throne. It is from father to the eldest surviving son. There can’t be any issue(s) about this since we all know who the eldest son is. He is Lawal and we are awaiting his arrival. He lives in the United States.
What if Lawal says he is not interested in the throne?
That will not be an issue. If he ever says he is not interested in the throne, which I doubt very much, then the next son in age to him will take over the throne. The throne will never be left vacant.
What are the possible challenges any person ascending the throne is likely to face?
I personally don’t think there will be any problems for the person who is going to be turbaned as the next Oba of Agbede town. All the person needs do after ascending the throne is to intensify and ensure that more development come to Agbede. We need all the development in the world here in Agbede. It is going to be for the good and well-being of our people. Moreover, because of the good relationship we have with all our neighbouring communities, I am very sure whenever we call on any of them, they will oblige us.
What is your advice to Agbede people since you are holding forte for your elder brother?
I plead very strongly that they all remain peaceful, especially now that we are mourning. We should collectively do things that will help move Agbede forward. We, therefore, need to encourage one another and collectively do all we can to make government come and invest here. Since we are blessed with abundant land, we should do all we can to get private investors to come and invest here.
As we speak, the Edo State government is doing all it can to come and establish what they call “Industrial Trailer Park” in Agbede. When that is established, it will help in the area of employment of our youths.
Brief history of the late king
The late Alhaji Momoh Sani Momodu II was born in 1938 and was turbaned the Oba of Agbede Community of Aviele Clan on February 27, 1959 at the young age of 21. He reigned for 59 years and some months. He was married to three wives, the last of whom is an Igbo woman, Alhaja Sherifat, who was converted to Islam. She had three children for the king. She was with the late king until his passage.
Agbede is the administrative headquarters of Aviele Clan in Estako West Local Government Area of Edo State. The town is located along the Benin-Auchi-Abuja road. The town is bounded on the south by Ewu, on the North by Egono, on the East by Anwain Clan, and on the West by Owan Local Government Council Area.
The people of Agbede are predominantly Muslims. The people are mainly farmers due largely to the fertile land.Initially, Agbede town operated the Head Chief system, but eventually changed to Obaship system. Omoaka was the first known Head Chief of Agbede in the early century. After him came the Emokpire, who was the second person to be Head Chief in Agbede town. The end of Emokpire’s reign marked the end of Head Chief system in the town and the beginning of use of the title “Oba” in Agbede town.
Six Obas have reigned in Agbede town since 1880 to date. First is Oba Momodu I from 1880 to 1910. Then Oba Amedu from 1910 to 1917, followed by Oba Yesufu 1918 to 1929. Oba Abdulai reigned from 1930 to 1937, Oba Momodu II ruled from 1938 to 1959 before M. S. Momodu II.