Oba Kabiru Shotobi’s Ascension To Ayangbure Throne: A Year After
According to a popular Yoruba proverb, “Oba mewa, igba mewa, enikan k’le lo le aiye gbo” which literary translate to mean that, “no position is permanent” or “no king reigns forever”. These immortal words provides guide to those in authority and every other living soul that still walks the surface of the earth. It also helps men take stock of their actions from time to time to know if they have justified their existence and mandate given to them by the Creator and their people.
After the demise of late Oba Salaudeen Afolabi Oyefusi who reigned for almost 40years great uncertainties beclouded Ikorodu because of the impacting transformation the people of Ikorodu experienced during his reign and many which were still very feasible. The late king elevated the Ayangbure throne by not only making it respectable, honourable and enviable royal stool in the faces of outsiders; he also made it a highly contestable one among the royal families. This accounted for the intense jostling among the royal families and princes following his demise in August, 2014.
Today, the contest is now history (no contempt to those still offended) as the traditional institutions in Ikorodu and the generality of Ikorodu people have proclaimed and crowned a new monarch in person of HRM Oba (Engr.) Kabiru Adewale Shotobi, Adegorushe V as the Ayangbure of Ikorodu. The voice of the people is the voice of God (vox populi, vox dei).
Oba Shotobi’s One Year Scorecard
The emergence of the reigning kabiyesi, though very challenging, is the first major achievement recorded. His emergence, which is ordained, saved Ikorodu the rigor of prolonged Obaship tussle and considerable reduced the level of enmity that would have pervaded the land.
Another major achievement is the reconstruction and modernization of the ancient Oloja (Ayangbure) palace at Awofin in Ajina, Ikorodu. The palace which was constructed over 400 years ago, according to oral sources, was at the verge of collapsing when Oba Shotobi with the determined spirit of members of his coronation planning committee took it upon themselves to rebuild the ancient and historic centre.
It is also to the credit of Oba Shotobi that a foundation of a befitting edifice for the Lasunwon Royal family house was laid after his emergence as the new Ayangbure and the construction for the building is still in progress.
Oba Shotobi within a year of his reign also intervened in many family crises in Ikorodu and also helped in resolving amicably some age-long issues. Among these are chieftaincy matters such as the protracted Balogun of Ikorodu case which this writer had been authoritatively informed to have been settled and necessary documentation sent to the appropriate authorities while the concerned family is awaiting government’s response.
In the same vein, Oba Shotobi reign has also brought understanding and good working relationship among traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division. Unlike before, the Obas in the division have been cooperating and working in harmony. The monarch was also instrumental to the settlement and emergence of other traditional rulers and chiefs in Ikorodu Division.
The successful passage of an important bill sponsored by the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade was not without the input of the new Ayangbure who is also very passionate like Hon. Agunbiade in stamping out the menace of Ajagungbales in Ikorodu. The contributions of Oba Shotobi who personally attended the public hearing on the bill and several private discussions with the sponsor of the bill and others, aided the passage of the bill.
The effort of the kabiyesi who has always hold the position that he has not problem with the Ajagungbales but the families who engage their services and has been addressing those concerned. This move has no doubt been bearing positive result with reduction in the activities of the Ajagungbales in recent times.
Oba Shotobi also few months ago wrote the Inspector-General of Police requesting that all landed matters relating to Ikorodu should be reverted back to him for his adjudication because of their peculiar nature. A very important step which has helped in reducing tension in the land.
The internationalization of Ikorodu traditional and cultural heritages is another landmark achievement of kabiyesi and the effects of this have been reflecting on Ikorodu. Twice in 2016, Oba Shotobi and his entourage comprising of very important personalities and palace chiefs travelled abroad for cultural exchange and promotion. A major benefit of these foreign trips was the visit to the royal father’s godfather, Mr Robert Brown, a black American multi-billionaire, who pledged to sponsor the construction of a modern and state-of-art library to be named, ‘The King’s Library & Youth Development Centre’ in Ikorodu.
Today, as a mark of honour and respect for Oba Shotobi and Ikorodu tradition and culture, the effigy of the Ayangbure of Ikorodu and all his paraphernalia of Obaship have been allocated a special place at the International Civil Rights Centre and Museum in Greensboro, United States of America.
However, efforts to achieve the construction of the library are in top gear as kabiyesi in conjunction with other prominent Ikorodu sons and daughters have already secured the approval of the state government to cite the royal library on the premises of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu. The library’s components would include reading room, e-library, 100 capacity auditorium, cybercafé and a museum.
The monarch has also contributed to the educational development of Ikorodu by securing the donation of 100,000 text books to primary and secondary schools in Ikorodu by Book Smart International.
Oba Shotobi has also successfully secured scholarship for 20 young Ikorodu indigenes through Right Link Travel & Tours Limited, the official agent handling his travelling. The scholarship will provide training in the Aviation Industry including skills in Airline reservation and ticketing, tourism and resort management, hotel management, travel formalities, airport and protocol services.
The proposed extension of the Ayangbure palace is another achievement of a visionary monarch who is able to see into the future. The foundation laying ceremony will be performed on Saturday, August 6, 2016. The monarch did not just conceived the idea but also set the pace in generating funding for the project by opening an account with the sum of N5million with the SKYE Bank PLC in which individuals and groups are expected to pay their monetary donations into.
The reward system introduced by the monarch is another commendable in encouraging and sustaining good and developmental deeds of individuals. Since his enthronement, kabiyesi has honoured many individuals who had in one way or the other contributed to the growth and development of Ikorodu.
As a monarch that believe in the aptness of the saying that there would be no development in an environment where crimes and criminalities prevails, the royal majesty has been working in tandem with the various security outfits both conventional and non-conventional to stamp out cases of Ajagungbales, robbery, kidnapping, ritual killing and cultism which have been disturbing the residents of Ikorodu. In the last one year, cases of Ajaggungbales, kidnapping, ritual related killings especially women and armed robbery have reduced drastically while efforts are in top gear to make Ikorodu a crime-free society.
Equally important to mention is the constitution of the Ikorodu Security Council by HRM Oba Shotobi in July 2016 to among others seek legal, operational and funding framework for a restructured Onyabo group. The body was also commissioned to study the security and safety situation in Ikorodu as well as engaging the police and the military in designing a role for Onyabo and also draft a code of conduct for the group among others.
Within the year under review, the Lagos State Government also approved the recognition and gazette of Eight (8) traditional chiefs and Baales in Ikorodu
Under his reign, Ikorodu has also witnessed more state government’s presence like the extension of BRT lane into Ikorodu township, construction of 12 roads in the six Local Government and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Ikorodu Division, lightening project of the government, improved appointment of Ikorodu sons and daughters into political offices among others.
While the one year scorecard of the monarch is very commendable, it is also important to note that the residents of Ikorodu are disturbed by the resurgence in the cultists’ activities and are desirable of peaceful existence and there is no doubt that the monarch will deploy his influence and power in checkmating these agents of destruction and destabilization.
Another area the residents are also expecting their amiable and distinguished royal father to see to and possibly work with the elected officials and both the local and state government is the sanitation of the environment. There is an absolute need for the expansion and improved service by the LAWMA in the kingdom. The act of dumping refuse in canals especially Itunamaja, Ota-Ona (by Abel Abu house among others, need to be looked into. Likewise, the dumping of refuse opposite the Ikorodu cemetery, Sabo market, Lagos State Information office in Ikorodu at Ojogbe is highly condemnable. Developing Ikorodu without corresponding sanitary improvement will be counter-productive. Another sanitary issue that needs urgent attention are our shorelines at Ipakodo and other parts of the Ikorodu Division which are eyesore and poses serious environmental challenges to the public.
There is also the need for the kabiyesi, traditional institutions and other stakeholders in Ikorodu to consider the possibility of installing Grade B or C Obas in some areas of Ikorodu like Owutu, Odogunyan, Odo-Nla, Ita-Oluwo, Isiu, Agura/Gberigbe etc. If the situation is carefully examined with thorough comparative analysis with other parts of the state we will come to the realization that the advantages are far more than the fear being express in some quarters.
The location of Allison and Laketu markets is another issue that calls for the royal intervention. As a matter of fact, the state government campaign against street trading will yield no result due to the unlawful trading activities in markets which will continue to encourage street trading if not urgently checked. The trading activities along these axes need to be completely evacuated to a more appropriate location if we are to return sanity to the Ikorodu garage axis of the town. Existence of about 7 educational facilities including schools and Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) along Allison Street also makes the cessation of market activities along these two routes something that must be urgently addressed.
Though, one year is too short a time to properly situate Oba Kabiru Shotobi’s achievements but from the available data, the monarch has shown that he is a man of vision and mission considering his laudable and impacting achievements so far. There is no doubt that in the coming years, his reign would set an enviable standard upon which his successors would be measured in future.
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