By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi has described the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana, Odugade I, as a quintessential patriot and nationalist who changed the history of Ibadan with his numerous contributions.
The governor who said this in his funeral oration at the lying-in-state of the late monarch held at the House of Chiefs, Ibadan declared that the late Olubadan served meritoriously, and with dignity in all the positions that he was privileged to attain in his lifetime.
According to the governor, the life of the late Olubadan was that of discipline and commitment, adding that his reign as Olubadan was untainted, noble, eventful and peaceful.
“Kabiyesi wore so many caps to the admiration of all and sundry during his lifetime. He walked through many paths and survived many challenges
over and across time. Kabiyesi was a teacher, a soldier, an administrator, an educationist, a politician and statesman, and indeed, a titled chief who rose to become the King of Ibadanland,’’ he said.
Governor Ajimobi noted that Late Oba Odulana at the end of the Second World War was decorated with the Exemplary Character Award of the Fourth Brigade and that in the Inspectorate Division of the colonial Ministry of Education he led the establishment of several schools and colleges in the old Western Region and the provision of scholarships to indigent and brilliant students throughout the region.
“His contributions to education were many and remarkable. Not only was he reputed to be instrumental to the release of the land on which the University of Ibadan was built, he was directly responsible for the establishment of several secondary schools, including the Local Authority Teacher Training College, Iyana-Ofa, Igbo-Elerin Grammar School and Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan.
“Between 1950 and 1966, Kabiyesi was involved in the politics of nation-building. He won a record five different elections as an independent candidate, clearly on account of his own recognition, popularity and persona merit.’’
The governor pointed out that in the political arena, the Late Oba Odulana was instrumental to the creation of the 14 local governments that now make up the Ibadan-Ibarapa division of Oyo State, saying, ‘it is also on record that he was one of the builders of the unique order in the Ibadan chieftaincy system, thereby contributing to the image of Ibadanland as a republican city-state,’’.
He added that Oba Odulana was a great pathfinder, a shining example of good and great leadership in military service, politics, public service and education, saying, “he has proved to be an influential beacon, a strong lighthouse to his country, his city and his subjects.”
The farewell programme was attended by the children of the late royal father, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr. Michael Adeyemo, members of the Olubadan-in-Council, members of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Ibadan elders, representatives of the political class and prominent indigenes and citizens of Ibadan.
In his welcome address, former Secretary to the State Government and the Chairman of the burial committee, Alhaji Ismael Olalekan Alli lauded the contributions of the late monarch to the development of Oyo State as a whole and Ibadan city in particular.