Who are the ancestors of Soun-designate, Crown Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye?
Only very few people had heard the name Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye until year when the contest to fill the vacant stool of Soun of Ogbomosoland started sequel to the passage of the last monarch, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III JP, CON, CFR, on December 12, 2021. Prince Ghandi Olaoye had tucked himself neatly away in Washington DC, the United States of America, where he is holding forte as the pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Jesus House – a non-denominational, multi-racial and multi-cultural international church, with worshippers from over twenty nations. He is also on the board of several business conglomerates and owners of some thriving companies. He had served the Federal Government in different capacities in the past and is a well connected and influential person.
The contest for the throne of Soun threw him inevitably into the limelight, being from the Olaoye Ruling House of the Soun Dynasty of Ogbomoso. According to him, he was not interested in the throne initially but pressure from people goaded him and finally God’s mandate made him throw his hat into the ring for the rigorous process. In the end, after slugging it out with other twenty-four contenders, he was elected by the kingmakers and his name submitted to the Oyo state government for ratification.
Expectedly, opposition rose against his emergence, from among his rivals for the throne, family heads and members, who all vehemently went up against his choice on several grounds. Petitions were written to the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, and in the long run, some dissatisfied persons instituted court cases to challenge his nomination, praying the court to among others cancel the process and order a fresh one.
The governor refused to grant approval citing the court cases and the unabated opposition emphasizing that unless these were resolved amicably and the suit taken out of court he would not assent to the nomination by the kingmakers. This created a conundrum, a stalemate.
Meanwhile, the major suit instituted by Prince Mohammed Kabir Olaoye, one of the contestants, had gotten date for judgment, which is October 3, with people waiting anxiously for the outcome of the court.
But the tune changed Saturday (September 2, 2023), some 31 days to the date of judgment, when the Oyo state government approved Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye as the Soun-designate.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com has gone down memory lane to unearth the ancestors of Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye, so that his would-be subjects would get to know more where he is coming from.
The genealogy of Ghandi
We will look at this from down up i.e. from his father to his last known progenitor.
Prince Oladunni Olaoye
The father of Prince Ghandi Olaoye is Prince Samuel Oladunni Oyatoro Olaoye. Simply Prince Oladunni, he was a man of means who got the chance to work with the British colonialists, who were then in charge of Nigeria. He was in the then Public Works Department (now Ministry of Works), and served in many towns across the Western Region of Nigeria. He rose to the top in the department. He rubbed shoulders with many important personalities in the country several of whom were his friends.
He was rich, of the elite cadre, and a leading member of the most prominent social-cultural organization in Ogbomoso at the time – Ogbomoso Progressives Union (OPU), along with prominent indigenes like Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola (second Premier of Western Nigeria), Chief J.K. Atanda, Professor N.D. Oyerinde, Rev’d Aisa Ige and so on and it’s the organization that transformed into the influential Ogbomoso Parapo.
Prince Oladunni contested the throne in 1940, when it was the turn of the Olaoye family to produce Soun, following the death of Baale Afolabi Oyewumi Ajagungbade II (father of the immediate past Soun). But Prince Oladunni lost the contest to his uncle (s) on the basis of the extant law at the time that “only direct sons of a previous Soun could ascend to the throne.” He’s a direct grandson.
He had many children among whom is Prince Ghandi. Prince Oladunni was a man of great erudition and was well versed in literary arts; he effortlessly flavoured his words with lines from Williams Shakespeare and Oliver Cromwell, as well as with Yoruba proverbs, all which made him a fine orator. Tall, confident and bold, he died in 2004 at the ripe age of 93, having been born on October 9, 1911.
Prince Oladayo Olaoye
Prince Emmanuel Oladayo Olaoye was sired by Oba Olaoye Orumogege, who reigned in the later part of the nineteenth century, till January 1901. Prince Oladayo Olaoye is the father Prince Oladunni, the father of Ghandi. The siblings of Prince Oladayo were Princes Oyekola Olaoye and Oke Olaonipekun Olaoye. Prince Oladayo had early opportunity to live in Lagos and was an associate of the white men also. It was after his sudden death that the white men who were his bosses brought in his son, Prince Oladunni. Prince Oyekola was selected to ascend to the throne in 1940 to succeed Oba Afolabi Oyewumi. Preparations were in top gear for his installation when three or so days to the ceremony he died allegedly of cough. The British rulers perhaps unawares of the subsisting tradition picked Oyekola’s son, Amoo Oyetunde, to mount the throne out of sympathy. Thus, he was installed as the Soun in 1940.
But this did not go down well with a section of the town, who felt that the late Oyekola had siblings, who should have been considered. So, with the help of some elites, the government was petitioned and a legal case instituted, which ended in 1944 in victory at the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, London, United Kingdom. Thus, after four years on the stool, Amao Oyetunde Olaoye was removed as per the court judgment, and Prince Oke Olaonipekun Olaoye, his father’s brother, was enthroned in his place, in April 1944. He reigned till March 29, 1952 when he passed on.
Baale Atanda Olaoye Orumogege
Olaoye Orumogege is the father of Oyekola, Oke Olaonipekun and Oladayo (father of Prince Oladunni). He was in turn sired by Bayewuwon a.k.a. Kelebe n’ija. Olaoye Orumogege succeeded Gbagun Ondugbe Ajagungabade I in 1871 and reigned till 1901. He is the grandfather of Samuel Oladunni and great grandfather of Ghandi. He was a good Oba and a brave warrior. Many wars were fought during his reign with Ogbomoso always recording victory. Olaoye waged internal wars also, against thieves, arsonists and murderers and he was a man who loved to repay good turns done him. Ogbomoso grew further during his time while his reign coincided with the influx of the Oyinbos into Yorubaland.
In fact, he was the monarch who received Governor Carter, while that one was travelling to Ilorin in 1893. His was the beginning of a new dawn, of modernization in the country. What became the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, was founded during his reign in 1898, and he was the monarch that welcomed Dr. George Green, the missionary who founded the Baptist Hospital that became the Bowen University Teaching Hospital.
Baale Jayeola Arolofin Bayewuwon
Bayewuwon Kelebe n’ija, as his name connotes, was a redoubtable warrior like his ancestors – kelebe n’ija (agile in battle). He was the third son of Kumoye to rise to the throne of Soun. War was rampant during his reign but he was equal to the task. It is on record that the Fulani Ilorin launched attacks against Ogbomoso 17 times during his reign and 17 times they repelled the attackers! He drew many warriors to the town to make it formidable like his two predecessors, Toyeje and Oluwusi did; for this time coincided with the time the Fulani had taken over the Ilorin rulership and were desirous of overrunning the whole of Yorubaland. But through sagacity, tolerance, strategy, patience and bravery of the leaders of Ogbomoso during this perilous time they were able to fend off the imperialists.
Bayewuwon is the father of Laoye that begat Prince Oladayo, who gave birth to the father of Prince Ghandi. Wars such as the Osogbo war that put paid to the preposterous ambition of the Ilorin to subjugate the whole of Yorubaland was fought during his reign, which was a war Ogbomoso, expended much resources, both men and materials, on. Had Bayewuwon and his war council been novice the war would have taken Ogbomoso; it was indeed a devious strategy to conquer the town. Ilorin had attacked Osogbo hoping to lure Ogbomoso warriors to the defence of Osogbo, which was then under Ogbomoso.
Should Ogbomoso rush to the defence of the beleaguered town with all its warriors, Ilorin would have struck the undefended town. But Ogbomoso knew the tactic well and so Bayewuwon only sent a detachment to relieve Osogbo, and so, requested aid from Ibadan, which was further in the hinterland. In fact, the first two battalions deployed by Ibadan too could not force the Ilorin army into retreat, and so, all the brave generals of Ibadan army like Balogun Oderinlo (Commander-in-Chief of the Ibadan army) had to storm Osogbo to take the battlefield against the blazing invaders. It was an important victory against the imperialistic ambition of the Fulani.
The Asofeyeje war was also fought during the reign of Bayewuwon, in which the Ilorin army and a detachment of Ibadan army besieged and blockaded Ogbomoso. It took Baale Bayewuwon and the Ogbomoso war council extra efforts to devise a stratagem to smash the suffocating blockade. In fact, the war was so named Asofeyeje war because Ogbomoso people were holed up within the defence wall, cordoned, and so, unable to go to their farms thus most trees fruited and were not plucked making them to be feasted on freely by birds hence Aso-fun-eye-je (fruited for birds to feast on)! But after a war council meeting the war generals made a swift, surprise attack on the enemy routing them in the process.
Areago Ori Oro, Abese Obiri Yeku and Kuola led a division through the Apake front; Ogunrunmbi and Bammeke struck via Adunin route; the Baale, Kelebe, and Lalude fell upon the invaders along the Popo path; while Oluya Agbandugu and Lagbedu launched an onslaught through the Paku trail. Their movements were synchronized and furtive, making them catch the enemies unawares; the Ogbomoso warriors fiercely and furiously fell upon them at the different fronts causing great panic in the camp of the enemy. The Ilorins fled in rowdy and precipitate manner, with many of them being slaughtered along the way. It was vintage Bayewuwon Kelebe n’ija. He died in 1901.
Baale Lasemi Kumoyede
Kumoye is another great monarch of Ogbomoso; he is the direct progenitor of the recognized five ruling houses of Ogbomoso today. Kumoye’s father is Jogioro, a great warrior. Kumoye took the throne in place of his elder brother, Oluopo, who according to Iwe Itan Ogbomoso by Prof N.D. Oyerinde, nonchalantly declined the stool and asked his younger brother, Kumoyede to take the throne. Kumoye fathered five sons who all ruled in succession. They’re Toyeje Akanni Alebiosu, Aremu Oluwusi, Bayewuwon Kelebe, Idowu Bolanta and Odunaro Apaebu. These five children were however of different mothers. Ologolo and Olukan took the throne in succession after him before his sons starting with Toyeje, Are Ona Kakanfo, ascended the throne. He is the father of Bayewuwon who begat Olaoye Orumogege that sired Oladayo, who fathered Oladunni, father of Ghandi.
Part of the cognomen of Souns of Ogbomoso today is “Omo Jogioro” (Son of Jogioro). Jogioro, a son of Soun Ogunlola, a prominent founder of the town; he grew famous, strong and brave. He is the father of Kumoye. His achievements conferred lots of respectability, prestige and honour on the Soun throne and by extension on Ogbomoso. He fought many wars and his contemporaries were Langbin, said to be a former Kakanfo, and Kakanfo Oyaibi, who killed the notorious Basorun Gaa. Jogioro is the fifth Baale of Ogbomoso. Thus, Jogioro is the grandfather of Ogbomoso ruling houses. He reigned in the middle to the latter part of the 18th century.
Soun Ogunlola is the founder of the Soun dynasty and great progenitor of Ghandi. Soun Ogundiran Ogunlola was one of the first known settlers in the area that became Ogbomoso. The story of Ogunlola is a popular one and so no need retelling it here.
Gborungunle is the father of Ogunlola. He is of Ibariba descent, who was said to be a commander in the army of Olugbon. He was a hunter as well and was a strong medicine man. But he didn’t attain fame as his son, Ogunlola. Unfortunately, he was the last known ancestor of Ghandi and of course of the Soun dynasty. The Baribas’ native country is in today’s northeast Benin Republic and west-central Nigeria. They founded the Borgu kingdom. About 30% of the Bariba people are found in Nigeria today in western Kwara and western Niger state while the larger 70% are domiciled in Benin, where they constitute 9.2% of Benin Republic’s population, and fourth largest ethnic group, with their capital city being Nikki. Their total population in Nigeria and Benin is about 1million. Ogunlola is said to have arrived in the area now known as Oja’gbo in what became Ogbomoso in about 1650, on hunting expedition. He permanently settled there to begin a new Yorubanized history.
A recap shows that Gborungunle begat Ogunola. Ogunlola begat Jogioro. Jogioro begat Kumoye. Kumoye begat Bayewuwon. Bayewuwon begat Olaoye. Olaoye begat Oladayo. Oladayo begat Oladunni. Oladunni begat Afolabi Ghandi.
One way family tree of Ghandi
Gborungunle – Ogunlola – Jogioro – Kumoye – Bayewuwon – Olaoye – Oladayo – Oladunni – Afolabi Ghandi