Pa Adeladan: ‘Why next Alaafin must transform Oyo’
Pa Adeladan: ‘Why next Alaafin must transform Oyo’In his interaction with journalists, Pa Prince Samuel Ademola Adeladan, o Ilaka Lawuwo Oyo, who is the Mogaji of Ilaka Lawuwo and the head of Agunloye Ruling House of Oyo, speaks on the Alaafin stool and expectations across the ancient town of Oyo.
There are many narratives flying around on the selection of the next Alaafin of Oyo. Considering your very eminent position in Oyo town, what is the true picture of things?
I belong to the Agunloye royal family and presently, I am the head of the Agunloye royal family. The entire Agunloye family recognised me and ratified my position as Mogaji of the Agunloye family.
I want to quickly go into the history of the family lineage of Ilaka descendants to the late majesty. Oba Lawani Amubieya Agogo-Ija was the son of Alaafin Adelu Agunloye. Agunloye ascended the throne of Alaafin of Oyo after the demise of Alaafin Atiba, and with that, Lawani Amubieya Agogo-Ija became the Aremo Oba.
However, a certain rift/misunderstanding that came up in Oyo made him go and settle at Ibadan. His friend, Aare Latoosa, gave him a parcel of land at Igbo-Agala where he built his palace and the palace was called Oke-Aremo. There, Lawani Amubieya Agogo-Ija also stayed for a while. After the demise of his father, he was recalled to Oyo to ascend the throne and became the Alaafin of Oyo.
He, Agogo-Ija, was referred to as ‘OgbeAremore’badan, O gbe Alaafin bo wale. He ruled for six years. That was 1905 to 1911. Alaafin Lawani Amubieya gave birth to Ladigbolu, Lawuwo, Owoade, Agboin, Tella, and other children.
Coming to Lawuwo, he is the second son to Alaafin Lawani Amubieya Agogo-Ija. He moved from Afin to establish himself and his descendants at Ilaka. When I say Ilaka, we always refer to Ilaka Lawuwo. There are two Ilakas in Oyo. Ilaka Lawuwo is our own; Ilaka Olokuta is also there. All families in Ilaka are the descendants of Lawuwo, the son of Alaafin Lawani Amubieya Agogo-Ija. It is only the descendants of Ilaka that the traditional drummers describe as ‘Omo Lawani Amubieya Agogo-Ija.’ The traditional drummers are historians. They know what is going on. When it gets to that stage, people who don’t know would then understand that the Ilaka descendants are of the Agunloye family. They belong to Amubieya Agogo-Ija.
I want to say now that it is our turn, the Agunloye royal family, to present the next Alaafin of Oyo after the demise of Iku Baba Yeye, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Dr. Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III. Right now, about 50 people have signified their interest to become the next Alaafin of Oyo.
We in Agunloye royal family, always make members ensure peaceful deliberations and come on board as one body, God helping us. We also particularly want the best selected based on sound educational background, knowledge, wisdom understanding, and the capability to develop the entire Yoruba race. The next Alaafin should be able to promote unity and co-existence of the entire state and Nigeria. He should be able as a person to show that he would always ensure the proper development of Oyo town, Oyo State, and the country. He should be a person that would invite investors to establish companies so that our people will have good employment opportunities. He should bring efforts to be a solution to stop a robbery, banditry, and other crimes.
With the kind of submissions you have been getting as the head of the Agunloye royal family, are you positive that you will get the best person as the next Alaafin of Oyo?
That has been my expectation that something that way should be done. That is what I have been explaining to our people. That aspect is very important. Any number could show interest. Inasmuch as we are Agunloye family, they are all qualified. But the main thing is that now at this time of civilisation, he should be a knowledgeable person, with sound education and career. Also, he should be a person who will promote unity among the people. He should be a person that can always listen and go over discussions to come out with the best solutions. He should be a listening person that will be open to working with knowledgeable people. Eligibility depends on how qualified a person should be. As far as you belong to the Agunloye ruling house, that qualifies you as someone to listen to. And if you are interested, you must be learned. You must be a person with high intelligence. You must be a person that can invite investors into the town. You must also be in a position to make it pleasurable for all and sundry to have employment opportunities. If a person is gainfully employed, the idea of robbery, kidnapping, and banditry will not come to his or her mind. I consider all these as solutions to insecurity in the country.
We want a person that will transform this town. Oyo town is backward. For instance, during one of our meetings, one of us said when they see people outside Oyo town and they try to find out where the fellow is from, the moment the person says ‘from Oyo’, they carry him or her with respect, high dignity. Such people would have never been to Oyo town., but all they had heard about Oyo would make them respect people from Oyo. But if they have the opportunity to visit Oyo town, they are usually disappointed. There are no developmental efforts. It is this backwardness that we want to eradicate. The next Alaafin must be able to transform Oyo town properly. The road network is nothing to write home about. Look at the road from Owode, it is a federal road that comes from Elekara here, it goes to Jobele, to Fiditi, to Iroko, to Onidundun, to Akinyele and Ibadan.
What role do you expect the state government to play in the process leading to the eventual emergence of the next Alaafin?
What I expect the government to do is to be sure that the person that will occupy that throne will be a person of knowledge, wisdom and understanding and to help Oyo in whatever the Alaafin is trying to discuss with him, and to try all efforts to make sure those things are carried out.
The throne is one of the most prominent in Yorubaland. Only one person will emerge as the Alaafin. What is your message to those who are not going to be selected?
My message to such people is to be free-minded and to know that there is no one in this community that would oppose a good thing. There is only one seat, but many applicants. The best must be selected: the best that will have the capacity to transform this town, this state, and the Yoruba race for the better. Others who do not make it to the throne should come together as one for the good of this environment. I am appealing to them to cooperate with the selection board.