Oba Olajide Olayode II: Remembering a brave monarch
Today, 1st July, 2023 marks exactly 54 years that a royal bird flew at dawn; that angst nakedly descended from heaven to the lovers and relatives of the courageous monarch, Oba Emmanuel Olajide Olayode ll.
On that a fateful day, the charming, young, friendly, brave, lettered, prudent, social, pragmatic, cultured, beautiful and people-centered monarch, Oba Emmanuel Olajide Olayode II, the Soun of Ogbomosoland, was callously hacked down ostensibly by some irate peasants who forgot or dared the potency of posterity and chose to unleash an ominous act without even looking back at the repercussions.
Albeit, this writer had not been kindled then but the books of history read and the lucid narration of the doleful scene divulged by some greybeards and other people who witnessed the dastardly happening illustrates man’s cruelty and myopicism.
“How on earth could such occur?” was the question that speedily marched straight into my brain. It is an unsavoury incident, so to say, but viewed other way, it is a crystal emblem and demonstration of the unquestionability of God’s will.
The popular apothegm -“Courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it” – credited to Nelson Mandela, that fearless freedom fighter, incarcerated for twenty seven years but who became first President of a free South Africa and authored “Long walk to freedom,” aptly encapsulates the action of the assassinated monarch.
On the 1st July, 1969 that Oba Emmanuel Olajide Olayode was assassinated by the unlettered farmers over the increment of tax by the Western region government under the hegemony of Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo; he had the chance of escape but he chose to stay in the palace. He faced death bravely.
The palace was beleaguered, he must have been thrown into dilemma, should I stay and be killed like a hero or flee and have time to take proper care of my children but epitheted as a lily-livered Soun? He chose to stay and was assassinated as a hero. As a hero, I reiterate.
Oba Olayode II stood acrobatically on the rostrum of courage, he gustily demonstrated like Julius Caesar that he was more terrible than fear. His gruesome murder though devastating and an eternal source of despair to his proud lineage, that singular act of his to die like a true hero cemented his legendary status and splattered his descendants with the badge of accolades.
Though he reigned for a short time (1966 to 1969) his can never be consigned into the canal of oblivion. He meticulously utilized his literacy to engender development in his domain, some of his achievements as the Soun of Ogbomosoland are contained in an article l wrote, published in The Insight Newspaper of Saturday, 18th August, 2022, page 6, with the headline — ‘Oba Olajide Olayode ll: Remembering a misunderstood martyr.’
Oba Emmanuel Olajide Olayode II needs no genealogical introduction but for the sake of the young ones and others who might be curious of knowing it, I will do justice to it though briefly. He was born to the regal family of Oba Adegoke Atanda Olayode I and Olori Oderonke Apinke Olayode in 1921 of Odunaro Ruling House. The Odunaro royal family is of Soun Dynasty, and is one of the ruling houses in Ogbomoso.
After his ascension to the exalted throne, his eldest son, “Aremo or Daodu”, Prince Stephen Ilufoye Layode, was chosen and installed as the Babakekere of Soun Olajide Olayode II but fortuitously the former Aremo is now the Mogaji of Odunaro Ruling House. Babakerere is a position recognized by the government with financial entitlement attached to it.
We will be remembered everlastingly, not on account of the length of time spent on earth but by the incredible and indelible impacts we made. Heaven will continue to blaze forth the death of this great, fearless king.
Continue to rest in Elysium.
Ajagbe Okin omo Olayode
Baba Ajala gun akaba, o bo si saore Soun
Oko Asinyanbi gun ori Ile o wa le te n te n bi omo tuntun
Ajagbe okin, o ni yi ni Soun
Oyinbo ko de Ile yi ko dobale fun Soun ri
Oyinbo agba sani Pari ni Ile yi
Ni iwaju Oba Olajide ni Baba Olomi ti n wo tuuru
Se Lajide wa ju baba Olomi loni?
Ta n lepe ki oloju funfun ko teriba fun Mode
Ase we wuwa agbalagba baba Oyerinola
Baba Oyeronke ni ojo to su dede ni Oke Ora
E ma jeki o ro
Bi a ba beyin bi e ko ba gbo
Ti a be yin ti e ko b agba
Moranroola ni bee ba pa oun iyonu fun gbogbo asebi
Olayode writes from Oja-Ajagun area, Ogbomoso, Oyo state via email@example.com