The late Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, was a man that loved his people, demonstrated genuine commitment to the progress of society and lived an accomplished life, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Sunday during a condolence visit to the Palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan, where he was received by the palace chiefs and wife of the late monarch, Olori Rashidat Adetunji, among other members of the royal family.
Before he arrived Ibadan yesterday, the VP had been to Ogbomoso where he also visited with the families of the late Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III, and former Oyo State Governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala.
At both Ibadan and Ogbomoso, the Vice President was met on the streets and at all his stops by enthusiastic Nigerians who trooped out to welcome and interact with him, at times with singing and drumming, always with excitement.
The Vice President, who was received on arrival at the Oyo State Government House Arcade, Ibadan, by the State Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, extended the condolences of President Muhammadu Buhari to the late monarch’s family and people of the State.
Describing the late Olubadan as a caring and honest leader, the Vice President, who spoke in Yoruba said “it is very necessary for me to come here because our father who departed was someone who was deeply kind; he loved people and everyone.
“All through his lifetime, when we visited, even when we spoke with him during phone calls, he always showed his love and kept praying for us.”
Testifying to the late paramount ruler’s forthrightness, Prof. Osinbajo said “it was President Buhari who mentioned it first that when we were campaigning, Olubadan was someone who would speak his true mind with you on what he had decided to do, he wasn’t a betrayer, who would tell you one thing and do the other.”
He observed that “there are different types of people; but for Olubadan, he was a straightforward leader.”
Speaking about the late Oba’s virtues and legacy, the VP noted that “all through his lifetime, he fulfilled all his set goals, beginning from when he was a tailor, to starting a record label and the rest of his plans.”
“Even his ambition to become the Olubadan became successful; just as we know that it is God who crowns a king. For anyone to be crowned a king, it is only by God’s will, and we thank God; it aligned with His will for our father to be crowned a king.
“God willed it, and he made him a king. Besides this, our father also left an inheritance for his children, which, in this sense, are not the money, houses and cars, because all these will still perish; but the heritage I’m talking about is the good name and legacy he left behind, which all of us will continue to speak about and stay with.
“We thank God for the good name he left behind as a mark of honour and goodwill for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and all of us will benefit from it,” he added.
He assured the royal family and guests present during the visit that the legacy and efforts of the late monarch for a progressive Nigeria shall be fulfilled.
“I wish to thank you all here gathered, everything our father did for Ibadan, and even, our nation, Nigeria, we know all. And we will continue to speak about them. We can’t tell it all about someone who was that outstanding in his lifetime.
Giving assurance about the future of the country, the VP said “I assure you that our country, Nigeria, will be better than this. It will be a very comfortable place for all of us to live in, and we shall all be alive to eat the good of this land. We shall all see how good it will be, and it is very soon.
“It may look as if there are challenges now, but God will solve them all.”
The Vice President’s visit to Oyo State on Sunday generated enthusiasm and excitement among Nigerians from diverse backgrounds who thronged major streets in Ogbomoso and Ibadan to acknowledge the VP’s presence as his motorcade drove through their neighbourhood. In some instances, the VP’s convoy had to stop as he acknowledged the crowds who had massed on the road.
Right from his arrival at the Ogbomoso Grammar School, where his chopper landed, to the premises of the First Baptist Church, Okelerin, where the funeral service for the late Soun of Ogbomoso was held, the Vice President received a rousing welcome from a mammoth crowd who cheered and danced, with many carrying banners of different shades.
In Ogbomoso, residents trooped out and lined the major roads in the town, displaying placards with various pro-Osinbajo inscriptions. Matters got to a head at the residence of the late former Oyo Governor, Alao-Akala, where crowds of excited residents of the ancient town had gathered ahead of the VP’s arrival with singing and drumming, and the VP acknowledging the cheering.
In the same vein, Vice President Osinbajo on arrival in Ibadan received a rousing reception as his admirers gathered around the Government House Arcade, drumming and dancing to welcoming songs. Just like in Ogbomoso, residents trooped out at points on the road peaking at the entrance of the Olubadan’s palace.
At some points, including at the palace of the Olubadan, the VP had to stop to acknowledge greetings from many excited residents in the city.
In both Ogbomoso and Ibadan the Vice President was accompanied by dignitaries and State Government officials. While the Governor was with the VP in Ogbomoso, his deputy received him in Ibadan. There were also members of the National Assembly, as well as Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye, with the VP.