Ogbomoso monarch begins pilot programme to rehabilitate Area Boys

Ogbomoso monarch begins pilot programme to rehabilitate Area Boys

Jeremiah OYELEKE
A traditional ruler in Ogbomosoland His Royal Highness Oba Reuben Adesina Amao Osunbiyi I, JP fsi dss director rtd, the Alaaje of Aaje Ologo, recently gathered street urchins to initiate a process to rehabilitate them and make them have purpose for living.

The street urchins commonly called “Area Boys” were picked from junctions and brought to his palace at the ancestral home of the Aaje people at Aaje Ologo in Ogbomoso North local government.

The programme featured pep talks to participants and presentation of gifts including cash and aso ebi cloths, bought for the upcoming widowhood festival he normally holds every December under the aegis of Abigail Ebun Asake Widowhood Foundation, which he founded and finances.


Addressing the “thugs” whom he however described as “Glorious men at the Junctions,” the Alaaje averred that calling them thugs should be jettisoned.

He added he was motivated to engage in the initiative as a result of his belief that no one no matter his present condition should be written off disclosing he was once like them having been raised by a widow.

The Alaaje (middle) with some of the participants

“My purpose is because I used to be like you,” he told them. “It is grace I received to be what I am today. I was raised by a widow and that is why I set up a widowhood foundation, and so far, we have cared for about 350 widows and orphans and that is why I have been delivering lectures on insecurity so that widows, orphans and the vulnerable generally can learn how to protect themselves.

“The glorious men at the junction as I will prefer to call you, you can be useful, you can become great. I was inspired by what my father used to tell me before his demise. He used to say, ‘if l am not not around can’t you live all by yourself?’ not knowing he would die young.That motivated me a lot to discover myself after he died and I was able to redirect my life. It geared my spirit to go to school. I struggled with my mother to pursue education.So, I want to charge you to take control of your life and live a purposeful life away from the junction, and push yourselves to pursue glorious goals. Among you are governors.”

A participant receives his cloth

Speaking with ogbomosoinsightonline.com, the royal father noted the society had a role to care for them. “Nobody decides whom will give birth to him, it may be a governor, it may be dregs of the society, so, wherever we found ourselves it is destiny but those who are fortunate should rise to assist the less fortunate, I was once in the club because I lost my parents very early especially my father which threw my mother into hardship and misery,” he added.

This is as he submitted, “We have a focus to reduce the suffering of widows and orphans knowing this will reduce the number of people at the junctions. We brought them here from the junctions to train them, a few of them, to inspire them to find a purpose for their lives, so they can remould themselves. We told them they could become great people too. Whatever we could do we should because whatever possessions we have will be left behind. When we assist people like that they will feel loved and some of them may retrace their steps.I am inspired to help these people so that what I learnt I can instill in them.”

A participant, Babatunde Joshua, who identified himself as the chairman, park manager, Oriire central, commended their benefactor, Alaaje, informing the Oba motivated them a lot with emphasis that they should not lose hope.

“We are impressed by Kabiyesi’s gesture today. He shows he is concerned about youths, he is accommodating unlike many traditional rulers whom you cannot approach. He charged us to be useful to the society and he gave us gifts.”

Continuing, Joshua maintained, “Alaaje is a good monarch, respectful, doesn’t look down on people and is loving and welcomes everyone – youth, children, widows, orphans and the elderly with open arms, he renders assistance to all without discrimination. His annual widowhood festival will soon hold at his compound.

“In the seminar, he also told us never to lose hope or believe we can’t be somebody because of our background, that we should continue to strive to change our situation. He emphasized we can be great people too. We are grateful to His Highness.”

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