Excitement as Oba Ghandi Olaoye visits Olu of Warri
Soun of Ogbomosoland, His Imperial Majesty Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye has visited the Olu of Warri, His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III, CFR.
The Soun was accompanied on the visit by Mr. Tunji Olaniyi, Professor Adeshola Adepoju (immediate past Director General of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, FRIN, Ibadan), Air Vice Marshal Bolaji Adigun (rtd) who is Akogun of Ogbomosoland, Pastor Agu Irukwu, Rear Admiral Jacob Ajani (rtd).
The visit was a highly successful one as both traditional rulers forged a working relationship meant to benefit the two kingdoms.
In his welcome address, the Warri monarch declared that traditional institutions and Christendom are not necessarily antithetical.
Ogiame also debunked the assumption that tradition is synonymous with superstition and the worship of creations made by human hands and reasoning.
It was the first formal outing of the Soun whose subjects have been bestowing him with immense love and support since his installation about three weeks ago, the significance of which was not lost on Ogiame Atuwatse Ill who enthused, “for this, we feel highly honoured; your choice of Warri Kingdom as your first port of call was also divinely directed and your choice as Soun was divinely ordained.”
With both monarchs being practicing Christians, Ogiame Atuwatse III remarked that “what Almighty God has called us to is a challenge for us to lead with courage as we work together to leverage our cultures of progressive thinking to motivate our people and bring them prosperity in today’s fast-changing, technology-driven world.”
Earlier in his address, Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye, who was a senior pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) before his call to the throne of his ancestors, noted that as Christian monarchs, “Almighty God has called both of us to lead our people as a light to the world.”
Quoting the Holy Bible in Matthew 5:15, the Soun said their emergence in their respective kingdoms is akin to divine light shining on their people. In effect, “We have a divine obligation to lead in righteousness, justice, and fairness. Equity justice, and fairness are not empty abstractions but compelling ideals.
“Only when driven by a singular commitment to these ideals can we lead our people into visible, functional development – materially, mentally and spiritually.”
The Oba of Ogbomoso advocated for the adoption of “Cultural Diplomacy for Development in order to transform our traditional institutions into impactful partners in the quest for accelerated growth and development for our people.”
Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye offered to grant scholarship to 10 children (six girls and four boys from Warri Kingdom in Ogbomoso through Junior and Senior Secondary Schools beginning next academic session.
Expressing hope the Ogiamé Atuwatse III will reciprocate the gesture, he stated the educational exchange “will seal this relationship between us- as a first step.” Ogiamé Atuwatse III accepted the offer and promised to reciprocate.
Just like his royal guest whose ascension to the Ogbomoso throne had initially raised eye brows in some quarters given his status in RCCG as a Senior Pastor the Warri monarch also came with a high Christian pedigree of the Pentecostal mould to the palace in apparent reference to this, the Soun stated: “It is no coincidence that our emergence on the respective thrones of our ancestors has happened in the same decade that is seeing game-changing developments for people and cultures worldwide.
“This means we are bound to have shared experiences as peculiar to the times as we are in. We are convinced that Almighty God has called both of us to lead our people as a light to the world.”
ogbomosoinsightonline.com recalls Oba Olaoye was installed on September 8, 2023, succeeding Oba Oyewumi who transited to the great beyond on December 12, 2021.
With his formal coronation ceremonies scheduled to hold later in the year he invited his host, Ogiame, Atuwatse III, to be his Special Guest in Ogbomoso when the ceremonies come up.
His choice of Warri monarch as the first to visit is historic and is seen as largely inspired by their shared evangelical Christian background. Both hold on to the belief and do not see their royal status and custodians of their people’s tradition as being in conflict.
A release by the Palace of Warri notes, “Both Warri and Ogbomoso have rich histories that date back centuries. Warri Kingdom, also called Iwere Nation, was established in 1480. It was part of the Nigerian traditional states with its ancestral capital based in Ode-Itsekri, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.”
It also states, “Founded in the mid-17th century, Ogbomoso was a minor outpost of the then Yoruba Oyo empire until the beginning of the Muslim Fulani conquests of Oyo in the early 19th century. However, Ogbomoso survived the Fulani onslaught. Afterwards, he walled town attracted many Oyo refugees and became one of the largest Yoruba settlements.