Traditionally, wishing a king to join his ancestors
so as to give an hier apparent the opportunity is a taboo and an aberration in Yorubaland. In fact, in Ibadan where successive plan to Olubadan stool is not controversial, tradition says any potential occupier of the exalted seat that wishes the passage of the sitting Oba will never live to wear the crown.
However, it’s a natural law that a disappointment to one might be a blessing to others . Therefore, the two sides to a coin set in on Sunday, the 2nd of January, 2022 when the news of the passage of His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje -Ogungunniso 1 rented the air. There was mourning at Popoyemoja, the palace of Oba Adetunji while Aliwo, where the new Olubadan Designate, Oba Mohood Olalekan Balogun hails from was in ecstasy.
It was a light dancing at the beginning and within a jiffy, Aliwo sons and daughters were trooping in to share in the praise singing that the hope of the crown coming back to the family 70 years after the reign of the first Olubadan from the lineage, Oba Memudu Aliwo 1 seems alive.
Olubadan Traditional drummers and singers have also shifted base and moved to Aliwo in line with the customs where they now give royal welcome to guests.
As if it was pre-planned whereas it was a mere coincidence, Aliwo has been wearing a new look since last year starting from the reconstruction and remodeling of Aliwo Central Mosque as well as the ongoing renovation of Aliwo Palace which were all facilitated by the Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Dr Kola Balogun, the son of the soil and a younger brother to Olubadan- Designate.
Similarly, the residence of Oba Lekan Balogun at Alarere along New-Ife Road is now getting a facelift as well as other facilities so as to meet the royal standard.
The place has also been a mecca of sort since, hosting different categories of people in the society. There is no iota of doubt that this will be the first time that Alarere Community will experience the volume of people that troop to the area on a daily basis to extend congratulatory messages to the Olubadan Designate. In a symbiotic relationship, the development has also boosted the economy of the community.
Truly, it’s a party-like in the recent time at the residence of the Olubadan-in-waiting as the atmosphere is always convivial. Family members, relatives, friends and neigbours have opportunities to eat and drink while even some less privileged ones who have turned the place to their abode are not left out.
Those that have paid homage to the Olubadan Designate apart from the Olubadan in Council and Baales who are from outside Oyo State are Senator Ganiyu Solomon from Lagos State, Senator Andy Uba from Anambra and former Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Lalong from Plateau State, Prince Lisa Patako from Ondo State and Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Mrs Folasade Tinubu-Ojo.
Others are Minister of Youths and Sports, Hon. Sunday Dare, Former Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, Chief Olasunkanmi Tegbe and Hon. Leke Apapa.
Artisan groups and non-Yoruba speaking Associations including head of Hausa Community in Oyo State, Alhaji Ali Zungeru and Igbo leaders in the State were also part of the homage as a way of appreciating peace and progress in Ibadan, the largest city in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Management and staff of neighbouring Alarere Community Secondary School, Alarere Community Primary School and from St. John Anglican School, Atenda, opposite Aliwo were not left out of the train as they used the opportunity to move closer to royalty.
No doubt, prayer is essential during a period like this as Alfas, pastors among the guests as well as Prelate of the Methodist Church and CAN executives created time to pray for the Olubadan Designate while a mosque within the compound of the house is also another prayer ground.
Back to Aliwo, there have been meetings upon meetings by the Aliwo sons and daughters including those in the diaspora communicating through different social media platforms. Various committees and sub-committees have been formed all in preparations for a befitting and first class coronation of the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland.
Ankara fabrics( Aso-ebi) have been selected while bails of the clothes are being displayed for sales at the entrance of Alliwo.
Obviously, if horse-race contests are conducted in the stomach of sons and daughters of Aliwo, it will be a hitch-free exercise while their prayer point is to give Olubadan Designate long life and sound health in the throne of his forefathers!
Ridwan Fasasi is Manager News with Radio Nigeria, Ibadan National Station.