It’s liberation for us – New Baale
Sets establishment of secondary school as first priority
Femi OGUNLANA & Enoch OYEDIBU
The first ever Alaaje of Aaje, High Chief Reuben Adesina Amao, has been installed. He is a retired director of State Security Services (SSS), who served as director in many states of the federation including Kogi, Borno, Katsina and Lagos and led the team that provided security during the state visit of the former president of United States of America to Nigeria, Mr. Bill Clinton in 2001.
He was installed during a colourful ceremony which came up yesterday, Thursday, August 15 at Aaje a.k.a. Ologo in Ogbomoso North local government.
The installation was a culmination of years of struggle to have the Alaaje chiefdom created.
The installation was sequel to the approval granted by the Engineer Seyi Makinde-led government last week in a letter signed by Mr. Opatunmbi ’Femi Lawrence, director, chieftaincy maters on behalf of the Oyo state commissioner for the ministry of local government and chieftaincy matters, and made available to The Insight .
The ceremony was performed by the chiefs and elders of the community.
After the installation ceremony at Aaje Ologo, off Ikoyi road, the new high chief led his people to Aaje Ile Nla in Aaje area in Ogbomoso metropolis where some other rites were performed.
The entourage returned to Aaje village to the waiting hands of some traditional rulers and dignitaries who swelled their ranks as they danced hilariously to the new Baale’s residence, which was swarming with people.
The royal fathers on ground included Onisapa of Isapa Oba Buraimoh Amodu Akinsowon II; Alarolu of Arolu, Oba Zaccheus Olabayo Adedeji; Oladanbon of Odanbon, Oba Adepoju Gbadebo; Oba Olugusi and Olutafon of Tafon, Oba Busayo Ogunsola.
Some other dignitaries are Alhaji Sheu Babalola, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police; Mr. Dickson Atiba, a former Administrative Secretary, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; Mr. Gbemisoye Oyewale, liaison officer, Ogbomoso Sons and Daughters in North America, OSDNA; Alhaji Solademi Ganiyu, a retired Chief Superintendent of Custom; Chief Gbadebo Oyelade, a former chairman, Oyo State Post Primary School Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM; Chief Lola Ladepo, a retired principal and Jagun Onisalalu; and Chief Timothy Beyioku a retired principal and politician.
There was much merriment with Asiwaju Ojo Oluwatanna adding pep to the celebration with his stirring Ewi rendition. The whole of Aaje was agog over the installation of the pioneer Baale of the community, who rode in an open roof vehicle, a Honda Accord (Evil Spirit/Anaconda), acknowledging cheers by waving a horse tail. The heaven also opened its bowel that morning after cessation of rain for weeks to pour down water, a good omen for the reign of the new traditional ruler.
In a chat with The Insight, High Chief Reuben Adesina Amao expressed thanks to God, to Engr Seyi Makinde, the Oyo state governor and to Soun of Ogbomosoland Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, asserting that Oba Oyewumi played a great role in his installation as the traditional head of Aaje a.k.a. Ologo.
He said, “I feel good, I feel happy that God made it possible for us to be liberated and made us winners, victors and made us feel humans. I also thank Oyo state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde for granting approval to us.
“I want to thank the Soun of Ogbomoso for deeming it fit to choose me as the head of this place. Sincerely speaking I can’t forget him. He has been so good to me, we approached him and he anointed me as the head of this place. I also thank our ancestors for making me the first Alaaje of Aaje.
“Baba Soun sent a team to Aaje to verify our claim of distinctiveness between Aaje and Ikose and the chiefs he sent found out that Aaje is different from Ikose.”
Baale Adesina reached the position of state director of the State Security Service (SSS) before retiring; this is an enviable accomplishment, what is he now looking for getting himself installed as a traditional ruler, he was asked.
His response, “Sincerely speaking, I was propelled by our ancestors, they made me seek the position, left for me I wasn’t interested, I should have been staying in Lagos, Abuja or Port Harcourt enjoying my retirement. I have received several offers on security matters that would have occupied me and which would have been yielding me cool money but I found myself stuck here.
“So, it is our ancestors that planted me here, they put me here to be our Joshua, our Moses, to liberate this community from oppression, harassment and intimidation.”
He affirmed however that his elevation is a challenge, that he was bound to do well; maintain peace and initiate development, noting, “If I worked successfully in Sokoto, Bornu and Lagos states Aaje is a smaller sphere and I must succeed. There must be development, we will turn this place into rural London.”
Meanwhile, his first goal for Aaje is facilitating the establishment of a public secondary school, expressing disgust that children of the community trek long distances everyday to attend schools at Ogbomoso and Ikoyi.
“I have never been happy seeing our children trekking from here to Anglican Grammar School, to Ori-Oke Community Grammar School, to Ogbomoso Girls’ High School, it is painful. And when they come back they give them garri and kulikuli. So, I am never happy about this, even myself that I believe I suffered it was not to this extent. I will use my connection and meet people to get this done by God’s grace.”
High Chief Amao remarked that Aaje and Ikose remain brothers but urged that each should mind its domain.
He went ahead to charge his subjects to change their orientation, positing, “If I a son of a widow could make it, there is no one that cannot make it.”
On his NGO – Abigail Ebun Asakun Amao Widowhood Foundation – he assured that it would run on a higher pedestal.
He also promised that with his ascension to the stool of Aaje, land grabbers who were said to have been having a field day over lands in Aaje would be checkmated stating that this persisted because of lack of leadership previously in Aaje. He insisted this would stop.
Also speaking with The Insight, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogbomoso North local government, Hon George Ogunlade, who disclosed his maternal grandmother, Aina Apinke, was the chief priestess of Oosa Olufon worshiped in Aaje family, expressed joy over the installation of the first Alaaje.
According to him, his grandmother worked tirelessly to have a Baale installed over Aaje before she passed on in 2018.
Ogunlade remarked, “I am very, very happy because my maternal grandmother, Momo Aina Apinke was the chief priestess (Iya Oosa) of the family and she made great efforts to see to the installation of Alaaje in her lifetime.
The former Leader, Ogbomoso North local government legislative arm backed the creation of Alaaje stool saying Aaje is a big community occupying a large chunk of land within Ogbomoso metropolis while describing the new Alaaje as a generous and accommodating person.
“High Chief Adesina is an omoluabi, generous, accommodating, humble and he has helped a lot of people.”
Ogunlade expressed his congratulation and wished him a successful reign.
In a similar vein, Mr. Kayode Salako, a bosom friend of Baale Adesina Amao from childhood, and who attended the same schools in Ogbomoso and Jos with the Baale, spoke glowingly of the celebrant.
He noted, “He is fit to occupy the seat. He fought relentlessly for it and thankfully he won. It was never a mistake for installing him as Alaaje of Aaje. I know him very well. He is my friend. He is neither lousy nor proud; he is humility, integrity and sagacity personified.”