Iloko-Ijesa, a rustic town in Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, came alive Saturday, 24 July 2021, as dignitaries in Nigeria and the Diaspora stormed the town to witness the coronation and presentation of staff and instruments of office to Oba Akeem Olusayo Ogungbangbe, Ajagbusi-Ekun VI, the new Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa Kingdom.
It was indeed celebration galore in the town as the entire community elatedly trooped out en mass to celebrate their newly crowned Owaloko of Iloko Ijesa, who on ascension to the throne became the youngest king that has ever ruled the ancient town. The reason for their joy is not far-fetched; they have waited for nine years after the demise of their former monarch who passed on in 2012.
Among the dignitaries that graced the historic and colourful event include the Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Isiaka Oyetola Gboyega; former Governor of Osun State and erstwhile Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande; former Deputy Governor in the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore; Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye; Secretary to the Government of Osun State, Prince Wole Oyebanji; the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr Charles Akinola; Senator Francis Adedigba, and Hon. Babatunde Desmond Ojo representing Oriade State Constituency.
Other notable personalities at the event include Osun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Adeleke Yekini Adeboye; Special Adviser, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Evangelist Rasaki Adeosun, and Chairman, Oriade Local Government, Hon. Obeisun Ezekiel Olubunmi.
The traditional rulers in attendance include the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi; the Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, Oba (Dr.) Adekunle Aromolaran; the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi; members of the Owaloko-in-Council, as well as monarchs from neighbouring communities and towns.
Speaking before presenting the staff of office to the monarch, Governor Oyetola, who arrived at the venue of the event, Osowusi Muslim Commercial High School, Iwaraja Road, Iloko-Ijesa, at exactly 2.10 pm, congratulated Oba Akeem Olusayo Ogungbangbe, and the entire people of Iloko Ijesa on the ascension to the throne of his forefathers.
He said from time immemorial, the Iloko Ijesa people have been known to have records of peace, enterprise, love, honesty and good neighbourliness, He enjoined the monarch to rule his people with love, good leadership and provide a conducive environment for them to continue to display the Omoluabi ethos.
The governor further pointed out that the tremendous cooperation and support his administration has enjoyed from Osun traditional rulers has culminated in the achievements of outstanding peace in the state. He appealed to Oba Ogungbangbe to cooperate with other Obas in Ijeshaland to move the state forward.
Governor Oyetola promised that his administration will not relent in ensuring peace and welfare of the people and provide equitable quality infrastructure for rural development of the people in Ijeshaland including Iloko Ijesa.
The Chairman, Iloko Development Committee, Chief J.A. Osedahunsi, earlier in his welcome address, said the kingmakers made the right choice in the person of Oba Ogungbangbe, as the Owaloko of Iloko, going by his sterling qualities of humility, high intellect, perseverance, openness, love, care and vision for the progress of the town, lamenting that the pains of the set back in development created by the long time vacuum in the royal stool was too difficult to bear, particularly as a community yearning for development with its leader as the symbol of its strength and survival.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, Coronation Planning Committee, Mr Kayode Adedire, appreciated the Osun State governor, sons and daughters of Iloko Ijesa, both at home and in the Diaspora as well as the monarch for the support his committee enjoyed throughout the planning and execution stages of the programmes and activities of the coronation.
Commenting on the justification and selection of Oba Olugbangbe, as the new Owaloko, the family head (Olori Ebi) of Ajagbusi-Ekun Royal Dynasty, Special Apostle (Prince) Olusola Ogungbangbe (JP), said his selection was widely accepted by every member of the royal dynasty and all indigenes of the community because he has always been consistent in helping others, most especially the less privileged in the community, expressing optimism that the town will witness unprecedented peace and accelerated development during the reign of the new monarch just like his predecessors reigned.
Oba Ogungbangbe, in his acceptance speech, appreciated the governor and members of his executive council for approving his appointment. He also appreciated the Chairman and Management Committee of Oriade Local Government, the Iloko Ijesa Traditional Council under the Regency of Obarisa Olusola Ogunsanya, and his team for the transparent process that led to his selection and election as the new Owaloko of Iloko Ijesa, as well as the entire sons and daughters of Iloko Ijesa, family, friends, youths and other well-wishers.
The monarch also used the occasion to pay glowing tributes to his predecessors, late Oba Samuel Oyerinde Olashore (JP), Ajagbusi Ekun (IV), (1952-1989), the first Oba of Iloko Ijesa; and late Oba Oladele Olashore (CON), Ajagbusi Ekun V, (1997-2012), for initiating developmental and transformational policies that have made Iloko Ijesa the destination of choice for various development projects in Osun State.
He then assured that he would ensure that he do everything possible during his reign to bring all Iloko Ijesa people together as one indivisible entity where love, peace, kindness, unity and honest will thrive to sustain the progress and development of the town as demonstrated by his forebears.
Highlights of the ceremony include the beating of Egumo drum; the beating of the gong by Loogan and Lorikan round the town; traditional dance by the Owaloko; cultural displays performed by Iloko Model College, Osowusi Muslim Commercial High School; Araromi-Ekiti Cultural Troupe/Masquerade; Ona Ara Cultural Troupe from Ondo and Iloko Cultural Troupe, respectively.
Oba Ogungbangbe, the 20th Owaloko of Iloko Ijesa, was born on 22 February 1964, to the family of Alhaji Benjamin Oyediji Taiwo Ogungbangbe and Princess Victoria Ogungbangbe
His late father, Alhaji Benjamin Ogungbangbe, who died on May 14, 2002, was the Chief Imam of Iloko Ijesa and the founder of Osowusi Muslim Commercial High School, Iloko Ijesa – the first post-primary educational institution in the town.
And to his late father, Akeem was not just the first son but the closest confidant, ally and friend. This is because Alhaji Benjamin Ogungbangbe adopted an unusual native route to inculcating moral values in his son. They discussed while he listened and the central part of the syllabus was integrity, self-discipline and personal identity.
After his primary and secondary education at L.A. Primary School, and Osowusi Muslim Commercial High School, Iloko Ijesa, respectively, Akeem obtained his A-level Certificate at Oyo State College of Arts & Sciences, Ile-Ife, before studying Linguistics at the prestigious University of Ibadan, graduating with B.A. (Hons.) Linguistics in July 1987. He did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme at the Command Secondary School, Zaria Road, Jos, Plateau State between August 1987 and July 1988.
He began his professional career at Impact Corporate & Product Promotions Limited in 1988 and joined Ogilvy Benson & Mather Nigeria Limited (OBM), Yaba, Lagos, a dominant global advertising agency of that era in April 1990. At OBM, he got exposed to several opportunities and rose from the rank of a Trainee Media Executive to Group Head, Client Services and Media.
He resigned in August 2000 from Ogilvy Benson & Mather Nigeria Limited to explore his entrepreneurial instincts and today he is the Founder and Core Investor in a thriving group of companies in the field of advertising, digital printing, agriculture, hospitality and transportation/logistics. He is a registered member of the Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON), a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing of Nigeria and an Honourary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (NIPPON).
Oba Ogungbangbe is married to Olori Modupeola Kikelomo Ogungbangbe from Obanla Jimoh Joseph Ibironke family of Ita-Offa in Ilesa, Osun State, and the marriage is blessed with four children, two male and two females.
The new monarch has an unquenchable appetite for empowering people economically, hence his creation of platforms to freely employ people through his companies. Like his late father, he is committed to education and so has had and still has many undergraduates enjoying his scholarships.
He is a philanthropist, a social influencer, a community leader and a mobiliser. He directly, in his private capacity and remotely through his companies initiated, financed and executed projects in both public and community institutions such as primary and secondary schools, police stations, road projects, bus shelters, mosques, churches etc.
The philanthropic gestures have attracted widespread recognition from public, private and political circles as he has won several awards and invitations for chieftaincy titles which he turned down in compliance with his late father’s identity syllabus.
Oba Ogungbangbe was selected on Wednesday, 25 August 2015, as the Owaloko of Iloko Ijesa while his appointment and selection were confirmed by the Osun State Executive Council on 19 April 2021, and his traditional rites commenced on May 5, 2021. The new monarch mounted the throne of his forefathers after the completion of the traditional rites on 13 May 2021
Oba Akeem Ogungbangbe’s Appointment is Divine – Prince Olusola Ogungbangbe, Head, Ajagbusi Ekun Family
How do you feel that your kinsman, Oba Akeem Ogungbangbe is mounting the throne of your forefathers as the new Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa?
I feel highly elated and very grateful to God that this is happening in my lifetime. I am very happy and congratulated him for this.
What can you say about the processes that led to his selection and eventual appointment?
All I can say is that he was chosen for us by God. His appointment was ordained by God and I can say that our family and the kingmakers of this community have made the rightful choice in the person of Oba Akeem Olusayo Ogungbangbe. His selection was widely accepted by every member of Ogungbangbe royal dynasty and all indigenes of this community because he has always been consistent in helping others and the less privileged in this community.
What are your expectations for the Iloko Ijesa community during his reign as the Owaloko?
I am optimistic that his reign will usher in progress, unprecedented peace and accelerated development like his predecessors had done while on the throne.
Pomp and ceremony as Iloko-Ijesa gets new Monarch | Pomp and ceremony as Iloko-Ijesa gets new Monarch | Pomp and ceremony as Iloko-Ijesa gets new Monarch | Pomp and ceremony as Iloko-Ijesa gets new Monarch.