THE CONCLUDING PART OF THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HRM OBA SEMIUDEEN ORIMADEGUN KASALI, EMUGORIADE I, THE ADEBORUWA OF IGBOGBO- “My Major Focus Is To Work With Stakeholders in The Community In Ensuring Igbogbo Is Properly Developed” says Oba Kasali.
In this interview, THE IMPACT newspaper crew comprising of the Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief, Kunle Adelabu and a trainee reporter, Boluwatife Hassan, had an exclusive engagement with the new Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, HRM Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, towards the end of his stay in Ipebi (place of traditional seclusion). During this interview which was the first press interview he granted after his emergence as an Oba, the new Adeboruwa bore his mind on his upbringing, education, campus engagements, law practice and plans for the development of Igbogbo among other important issues. Excerpts:
THE IMPACT: Kabiyesi, let go back to your childhood years. Were you ever told or was there any prophecy that you would emerge as Oba and were you treated as such?
Oba Kasali: Well, to the best of my knowledge, nobody ever told me anything and I was never informed of any prophecy but what I discovered was that, when this eventually happened (emergence as Adeboruwa), some people came forward to tell me that what somebody said at a point when I was born has come to past now. Though, at a point, I was wondering why I was named my middle name (Orimadegun) but I never asked my parenst. I must also note that, I discovered that right from my secondary school days, I have assumed some positions that I didn’t even contest for and up to this moment, I am yet to grapple with the reality of this Obaship position. I am just trying to, but I believe that there will still be a time I will be able to sit down and break down the puzzle.
THE IMPACT: Sir, when the Obaship process started, you were abroad and showed no interest. What was your first reaction when family members called to ask you to contest?
Oba Kasali: I was shocked when I was approached. I never gave an immediate response because I had to reflect on so many things. I cherish my freedom and belief (Islam) too. I had to be careful not to give immediate response to such proposal and I sought for some days to make consultations to determine the implication on my freedom and faith and thank God, I was able to consult properly and was able to make a sound decision. I see my emergence as a call by the community which is a rare privilege. This and couple with liberal interpretations of relevant verses of the Holy Quran, I just gave my response to the family that I would make myself available and the result is what we have now.
THE IMPACT: How would you describe the family selection and the screening process by the kingmakers?
Oba Kasali: Well, the law provides the procedure that should be followed by family in the selection of candidate for the stool in any community. That law states the condition that such person must comply with. The whole process started with the family screening of the three of us (the shortlisted candidates) after the issuance of the public notice by the government. We were subjected to interviews where questions were asked and we were also asked to present our certificates. In addition, the family also adopted voting system in which the 25 members of the committee were made to vote for candidate of choice and I was privileged to emerged as the most preferred candidate. The Kingmakers’ process was almost the same with that of the family except for the voting adopted by the family. But unlike the family, the Kingmakers further went traditional as stated by law by consulting Ifa Oracle and the product of those processes is who we have on the throne now.
THE IMPACT: (Kabiesi o!!!) Sir, I won`t be doing justice to this interview if I do not ask this. It is natural that in a contest, we will always have people with ill feelings. There is a submission that your emergence was influenced because you are in government and know people in high places. I just want you to react to this and what is your message to individuals that are still probably contesting your emergence?
Oba Kasali: Well, such assertions are inevitable. In situation like this, people will always have different opinions and views, real and unreal, but what I will say to the best of my ability is that we have tried our best and by the grace of God, the outcome of the whole exercise is on the throne now. Be that as it may, I want to appeal to our people that the time of contest is over and that we have enormous work to do together for the progress of our community. This is the time for us to wake up from our slumber and not allow division or factionalisation to further constitute an impediment in the will of progress of the community.
THE IMAPCT: Kabiyesi, can we regard this as your first interview in terms of speaking with journalists?
Oba Kasali: Well, I think it is my first interview since assuming the position of an Oba.
THE IMPACT: Sir, you have been in leadership positions since your secondary school days through University and working with the government. Now, the community has called on you to be in-charge of the overall community. What are your plans to advance Igbogbo economically, socially, culturally and politically?
Oba Kasali: Regarding my first priority, Igbogbo has a peculiar problem and I plan to make consultations with major stakeholders in addressing problems peculiar to Igbogbo. With my experience in government, I know the role the government is expected to play in the development of various communities. In the course of my working in the public and private circles, I have had the opportunities of working with major power-brokers and making good friends which are going to be harnessed in ensuring that we bring development to Igbogbo. With my exposure and the cooperation of the stakeholders in the community, I think we should be able to adequately addressed the issue of security, particularly, the clamouring for the establishment of a divisional police station in Igbogbo, upgrading of health facilities within the community, improving the social facilities in Igbogbo and environs. We are also looking in the direction of youth empowerment and engagement and we are also considering the need to promote agrarian setting of our people vis-à-vis cultivation of crops popular with each community and providing support to the fishing communities. As a matter of fact, our major concern is to ensure that Igbogbo kingdom and his environment is properly developed. We also plan to make tourism development a major focus because of our tourism potentials.
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