Olubadan dies at 87

  • Saturday, July 07, 2007 - By Sun News Publishing
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The ancient city of Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, was thrown into mournful mood yesterday as the news of the death of its traditional ruler, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Yunusa Oladoja Ogundipe, Arapasowu 1, swept across the city.

Oba Ogundipe, the 39th Olubadan, ascended the throne on 7 May 1999 and died around 9pm of Friday after taking ill for about a month. He was aged 87.

At a brief lying-in-state held at the Mapo Hall, members of Olubadan-in-council, led by High Chief Suleiman Adegboyega Omiyale, the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland and other traditional chiefs of the city paid their last respect to the monarch, whose remains were brought in a metallic chocolate colour casket by the MIC undertakers.

At the lying-in-state were dignitaries of the city like Asiwaju of Ibadanland, Chief Bode Amoo, Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Azeez Arisekola-Alao, former deputy-governor of the state, Alhaji Azeem Gbolarumi, former First Lady of Oyo State, Alhaja Mutiat Ladoja, who is the Otun Iyalode Onibonoje of Ibadanland and renown business man, Alhaji Lateef Oyelade.

Also present were the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Udom Ekpoudom, accompanied by senior officers of the command, Chairmen of Local Government Caretaker Committee in the 11 councils of Ibadan as well as princes and princesses of the city. The Ibadan chiefs took turn to eulogize the departed monarch, who they claimed was known for his principle, thoroughness and apolitical nature.
Reminiscing on the life of the late monarch, High Chief Omiyale said he lived an honest life with remarkable records all through several public offices he held as a young man.

Omiyale recalled that as a former Manager of Cooperative College, a former President of Customary Court Grade B and as a royal father, late Ogundipe left behind remarkable footprints for younger element to emulate.
The Oota of Ibadanland, who was also the former Senior Corporate Affairs Manager of Odua Investment Company Limited, Chief Lekan Alabi, stated that the departed royal father would long be missed for his uncompromised attitude to fairness and equity no matter whose ox is gored.

Speaking on behalf of Ibadan chiefs, Alabi stated: “Those who have the privilege of knowing Kabiesi closely will give it to him that he was ordained for the throne. He was well grounded in native and western cultures. Kabiesi Ogundipe was educated, God-fearing, highly principled and never compromised when it comes to the right of any person. He never fling”.
One of his sons and the late Kabiesi’s Personal Assistant (P.A) for eight years, Prince Jide Ogundipe, stated that his late father would be missed for his good nature, orderliness and unbiased disposition to any issue brought before him for adjudication.

“He had a system of settling disputes among his subjects. He transformed the Olubadan-in-Council to more or less a court session. Whatever case you have, he would ask all parties in the dispute to bring all their evidences and it would be openly discussed. If you are not happy with the judgment of the council, you are free to appeal.

“There was a particular case concerning a Mogaji title and the case had lingered for about 40 years, which his predecessors could not handle. The parties involved had also dragged the matter to the Supreme Court. But he resolved it just asking the parties involved to bring their evidences and with the Supreme Court judgment, Kabiesi did not find it difficult to settle the rift”, Prince Ogundipe stated.
Prince Ogundipe said his father abhorred partisan politics and never staked or his integrity with any government, whether at the state or local level by asking for one favour or another.

In his condolence message at Olubadan palace, Oyo State Governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, who led members of his cabin to the burial service of the late monarch, described Oba Ogundipe as ‘a man of peace, who used his entrusted position to ensure peaceful co-existence and harmonious living among his subjects’.

The governor said that the reign of Oba Ogundipe witnessed, landmark development in Ibadanland and environment due to his (Ogundipe’s) fatherly and qualitative leadership role.
Akala’s former boss, Senator Rasidi Ladoja said Yorubaland and indeed Nigeria had lost another custodian of wisdom and history with the death of Olubadan. In a statement signed by Ladoja’s former Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, the former governor stated that the fatherly role and useful advice of the late monarch would be missed by all and sundry.

Born in 20 October 1920, the late Olubadan attended Abeokuta Grammar School before proceeding to other higher institutions of learning to become an Auditor. A polygamist by marriage, Oba Ogundipe was survived by many children. He was buried in the premises of his Oranyan Palace yesterday, amid celebration.

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