SOURCE: Olowa's Palace
All the glory and honour to Almighty God today and forever, who in his infinite mercy and power has given us the grace to witness this great event of my first year coronation anniversary and thanksgiving ceremony.
I welcome you all heartedly to this occasion, and in particular welcome you to Igbara-Oke. I want to welcome specially and appreciate our guests seated here today. I want to thank you all for honouring my invitations, and for taking out time to celebrate with me and the entire good people of Igbara-Oke kingdom. I want to thank our Special Guest of Honour, our amiable Governor, His Excellency, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, also, his amiable Deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun for their esteemed presence. I appreciate our Royal Father of the Day, Arole Oduduwa, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife for his presence and his array of entourage. Also, the Chairman of today’s occasion, Emir of Lafia, His Highness, Dr. Isa Mustapha Agwai and other Emirs on his entourage all the way from the northern part of our country, I appreciate you. To all our royal fathers present here today, I want to say a big thank you. To our friends and associates, I appreciate you all.
Most importantly, my good people of Igbara-Oke kingdom both at home and abroad, I welcome and thank you all for your supports and being there always. Igbara-Oke O! I thank you, because there is no me without you.
I must confess, I am highly impressed with the joyous crowd that turned out to rejoice with me and appreciate the grace of God upon me on this my first year coronation anniversary. Words alone cannot express how grateful I am. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our sight. I am not surprise with these wonderful faces here today, because I know we are all celebrating the faithfulness of God that has heralded Dawn of a New Era in our town. I thank you for honouring me. The Lord will honour you.
I want to also express my gratitude to Igbara-Oke Council of Chiefs for standing by me at all times. They have been supportive in the process of directing the affairs of our town. To all the Baales in our 13 satellite towns too, I say thank you. To our youths, who we all believe are the leaders of tomorrow and the inheritors of today’s institutions, I acknowledge them. Youths are the leaders of tomorrow, and I believe our youths in this town will not disappoint us in any area. I commend them for their peaceful conducts and for being a good ambassador of our town in every facet of their lives.
I cannot but thank also, the pillar behind all the developmental projects you and I are seeing today in Igbara-Oke, the Igbara-Oke Development Council, IDC, the apex body of all clubs and associations of Igbara-Oke descendants both at home and abroad, for their show of love at all times and for championing infrastructural development of our land. I use them as a point of contact to all clubs, societies and associations of Igbara-Oke descendants. You and I have seen their hands in the constructions of our proposed higher institute of learning, the on-going Road Rescue Project among other works being carried out by them.
To our sons and daughters in Diasporas, words alone cannot express how grateful I am for being a worthy ambassador of our town, Igbara-Oke, in every part of the world that you presently reside and settled. The good Lord will continue to prosper your ways, (Amen). I will not also forget to mention the Omowas and the Oloris from the three Ruling Houses, Aruogbon, Oberubese, and Ogidi in Igbara-Oke, I salute them, thank you all.
To all the non-indigene residents, I greet you. We never see or treat you as a stranger in our land, we see you as one of us, our brothers, sisters, in-laws and friends, and I commend you for the good conducts you have been exhibiting, and your industrial prowess. I will always remain grateful to you for all the supports you have given me thus far, since I ascended the throne of my forefathers.
I will not forget my two Oloris, Eyeluwa Adejoke and Eyesorun Yetunde, who have been my pillar of supports in divers areas at all times and even in the other room.
Let me begin by paying tribute to all our founding fathers, those that migrated from Ile-Ife to this present day Igbara-Oke, from the days of Oba Adeyiba the first Olowa of Igbara-Oke to that of my predecessor, Oba John Adepoju. However, the reign of all these Obas as the custodian of culture and tradition, have been highly significant and they played prominent role in rural development, social and economic integration,
Diving into history, Olowa Arajaka, the father of Alarelu and Adeyiba was known as OLOWA AJAKA, the son of Obanifon, the sixth Ooni of Ife, who was the first Oba to use beaded Crown. When Olowa Arajaka left with his two sons, they left with a crown given to them by Obanifon, as well as the sword of Alayere, Igba-Ifa, guns and some farm implements.
And for the record, the Olowa of Igbara-Oke was listed among the 54 recognised kings in Yoruba land that wears beaded crown, as prescribed by the Ooni of Ife in which was documented in the 1902 Federal Republic of Nigeria Gazette.
Igbara-Oke O! “Omo Eleye ise Weye Weye.” We are always on top, as our town is strategically located on the upland, I salute you once again on this memorable occasion, and I am proud to have you around me.
It will not speak well for the uniqueness of this first year anniversary celebration of my ascension to the throne of my forefathers not to have one or two things to say to the good people of Igbara-Oke kingdom. I thank God for this privilege and for your adherence.
In the last one year, we have been able to reposition Igbara-Oke, back to its original position, as a pacesetter. We have rebuilt our socio-cultural image and our infrastructures have taken a new shape.
With the help of Almighty God, I have been able to unite the Council of Chiefs. This is a great achievement because without a united Council of Chiefs, we cannot achieve any meaningful development in the town. Before my ascension, there had been issues of court cases among the chiefs on supremacy, among other issues associated to chieftaincy matters. At my ascension to the throne, I called on the affected and concerned Chiefs for dialogue, and at the end, they all reconciled and the matter was resolved and they all embraced one another.
I later charged them after the matter has been resolved to withdraw their court cases, which they did, and we now live as one happy and united family that desire positive change and progress for our land. Now, there is love more than ever before among the Council of Chiefs, and this has ushered into our community good tidings.
Another success recorded was the satisfactory reports from the three committees I constituted saddled with the administrative responsibility, peace and conflict resolutions and other matters. These committees are headed by High Chief J.O Olofin, Sapetu of Igbara-Oke kingdom, Late High Chief Mudashiru Atere, Ejemu of Igbara-Oke and the Iwarefas. This has brought peace and tranquility back to Igbara-Oke. Also, I have reinstated the Chieftaincy title of Asamo back into the Iwarefa family.
Without gainsaying, Igbara-Oke had for long been in topmost position, not only in Ifedore Local Government Area, but in the entire Yoruba kingdom, and this position has to be sustained. In maintaining this status quo, it requires the contributions of all and sundry. This, I cannot do alone, because, one thing I know is that, nothing can thrive in the absence of love. Where there is no love, there can never be any iota of development. Our fathers would say “Agbajowo la fi n soya, ajoji owo ko gberu dori.” Your maximum support with me will no doubt propel me to forge ahead in the realization of our dream for a united and progressive Igbara-Oke.
I have said this before, and I will say it again, let us be our brothers’ keeper. I beseech us to relate as brothers. We don’t need to take each other to court before we can settle an issue, because, our elders say “A kii ti ile ejo bo ka di ore.” In the interest of peace, let us embrace dialogue. Let us bring every matter before the elders of the town to help resolve them, rather than creating enemy between ourselves. We need bridges, not fences.
I want to enjoin the Chiefs to continue to put in their best in the service of our land, the Baales in their respective satellite towns to continue to help build on the existing peaceful communities, coupled with the Oloriomo’s efforts in sustaining unity and progress in their individual quarters; the good people of the town to engage in productive enterprise; the youths pursuing their academic vigorously and daily activities and not criminally minded, all the aforementioned are indeed good road maps to success and progress of our beloved Igbara-Oke.
With peace, love and harmony, we will be able to rise to the task of taking our country home to an enviable height, and we will be able to leverage on this status at attracting potential investors.
I would want parents to work towards giving their children quality Education for this will helps in no small measure in building a virile community that can compete favourably with other neighbouring communities. They should instill good morals into their children for them to detest hooliganism, and other social vices in all its entirety.
In doing all these, let us not forget to seek God’s face, because with God, all things are possible. I therefore enjoin both Christians and Muslims to continue to intercede for our land in prayers, and the entire traditionalist to continue to work for the progress of our land. This may sound somehow to some people, but I will say it again and again. Igbara-Oke has always been a partner in progress in supporting good governance, and administrations that value humanity. It is to this, that I would want to encourage our people to participate in politics. They should engage in the business of politics, not that of bitterness or character assassination, but of developmental and progressive ideology. This will in no small measure help us in diverse areas, both in human and infrastructural development.
We need good roads, modern schools and market, government institutions, employment for our teaming youths, loans for our farmers, artisans and traders, and so on. We cannot have all these done, if we have no representative at the helms of affairs in government. There is no place like home, and they say “charity begins at home.” There is no point sojourning in a strange land without planning a place of rest at the time of our individual retirement. I want to also enjoin every son and daughters in the diasporas to remember their source and replicate the kind of mansions built in foreign lands here in our town, as Igbara-Oke is on the verge of becoming a city in no distant future. Believe it or not I have seen it coming.
In the recent times, I have had the opportunity to host potential investors, and have received proposal from business men and women who have shown interest to invest in our town. I know this is the beginning of good things to come.
At this point, I want to use this medium to appeal to our chiefs and all land owners in the town to help us reason together in order to know how we can attract and accommodate these business ideas brought by these investors, and offer them a viable locations for their business enterprise. There is need for us to make sacrifice, and it will gladdens our heart to see our town industrialized, and our youths to be gainfully employed.
The good news is, in a few days time, there will be a flag-off of a Rice Mill factory, here in our domain. Where an average of 39,000 metric tons will be produced annually, and this will create employment opportunity for our teaming youths, and with possible migration of people from another state into our domain.
Many have seen the economic viability of Igbara-Oke, and this is attributed to her uniqueness in Southwestern Nigeria, as she borders two states, Ekiti and Osun, an entry point into Ondo State from Ekiti or Osun State.
Also, to as many that have bought landed properties and are yet to develop it in the town, I implore you to do something good on the land on time.
I want to also, encourage the youths to take advantage of these progressive opportunity and other various empowerment programmes of government at helping reduce the rate of unemployment in our community.
In conclusion, I want to thank everyone that has made this day to be glorious. The entire member of the First Year Coronation Anniversary Committee, under the Chairmanship of High Chief Sunday Babatunde Aiyegbo, Onigemo of Igbara-Oke kingdom, for their dedication and creative work in making this anniversary a success, and everyone that has contributed their time and finance, all of your effort counts and I appreciate your sacrifices, participations and contributions. It is only God that can reward you. Thank you.
Once again, today, I thank you all for being part of this celebration. I wish you journey mercy back to your various destinations.
Thank you and God Bless
His Royal Majesty,
Oba (Dr.) Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede FCIM, MBCIM
Ilufemiloye, Ogidi III
Paramount Ruler and Prescribed Authority,
Olowa of Igbara-Oke kingdom
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