Home Opinion ALAAFIN: Ajibade Adeladan: A Surgeon For The Throne | Gbenga Adeola

ALAAFIN: Ajibade Adeladan: A Surgeon For The Throne | Gbenga Adeola


One of the most critical moments in human history has been the process and eventual outcomes of leadership selection. This reality has been a contributory factor to the rise and fall of various civilisations in human developmental history. Like all spheres of human interactions, leadership has been very critical to human advancement. In Africa, as well as other continents, traditional institutions have been pivotal to the advancement of all human civilisations. This is given credence both by remote and recent histories. The Yoruba people of Nigeria’s Southwest are not left out of this reality. 
Since the death of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the race to the throne has thrown up various shenanigans: some disturbing, others absolutely distasteful. This is understandably so, considering the place of pride that the stool of the Yoruba monarchy of the Alaafin of Oyo occupies. Yet, there is a silver lining in the horizon. The people of Oyo and the larger Yoruba ethnic group are quite fortunate that in the array of interested candidates, one stands out. He is Prince Dr Ajibade Adedayo Aremu Adeladan: an Oyo blue blood, an accomplished surgeon, a technocrat, and a leader par excellence. 
As an Oyo-born royalty, a brief outlay of this internationally reputed surgeon’s sojourn would here suffice.  Born to the family of Prince Samuel and Mrs Rachel Adelada in Oyo town on January 4, 1961, Prince Dr Ajibade Adedayo Aremu Adeladan spent his growing-up years in Lagos where his parents resided at the time.
His father, who worked as the national manager of Pfizer at some point, travelled a lot. During one of his trips, he came across an elementary school in Ibonwon, Epe, where Prince Adeladan and his siblings were later enrolled. After graduation from the elementary school, the Prince then started secondary education at the Olivet Baptist High School in Oyo town in 1973, and was there till 1977. Afterwards, he proceeded to the Federal Government College in Ijanikin area of Lagos State, where he was from 1977 to 1999, and got his Higher School Certificate (Advanced Level).
Upon getting his Higher School Certificate, he got admission into the University of Ibadan in 1979, and was there till 1984 when he graduated as a medical doctor. He had his housemanship (internship) training at Adeoyo Hospital in Ibadan between 1984 and 1985, after which he went to Borno State for his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. For the NYSC programme, he served at the Kukawa Community Hospital located in Kukawa LGA and was the only doctor in the Local Government Area at some point during the service year.
As a doctor, the Prince worked across hospitals in Lagos, including the Ajayi Memorial Hospital and Alalade Memorial Hospital. He afterwards went for training as a specialist in General Surgery at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). In 1995, he became a Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons.
Between 1995 and 2003, he worked in several countries, including Jamaica, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands, after which he moved to the United States and got a specialist training in Psychiatry ay Columbia University, Manhattan, New York. He was later named a Chief Resident at this medical institution.
Prince Adeladan got his board certification in Psychiatry and Neurology in April 2009, while the certification for Addiction Medicine was in 2012. Among states in the US where he has worked include New York, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, and California.
As the race to the selection of the next Alaafin gets to its final stages, the choice of Prince Dr. Adeladan as the next Oyo traditional ruler should meet no resistance if progress, excellence, and advancement are the chief expectations of the people of Oyo. Pressingly and in its pursuit of growth and development, Oyo needs an Alaafin that combines all the attributes of a surgeon if it desires to be taken to its pride of place in modern realities. 
As a surgeon, Prince Dr. Adeladan possesses high intellectual potential, good communication skills, courage and honesty. These are of paramount importance that every traditional ruler must possess if his domain is to make monumental progress. By nature and training, Prince Dr. Adeladan parades these qualities. As a good and successful surgeon that Prince Dr. Adeladan is, he has proven repeatedly in his leadership capacities as one who is able to accurately assess strengths (and weaknesses) of other members of a team ultimately to the benefit of patient care. Today, the declining clan of competent leaders is a disturbing bend in Africa’s modern realities, with the Yoruba people not been an exception. When made the Alaafin of Oyo, Prince Dr. Adeladan’s antecedent clearly shows one who has come prepared to serve the interests of his people, to push and realise their latent but greater potential and to help secure a future that is socioeconomically viable considering the place of the Alaafin stool in the monarchy of the Yoruba people.  
In his treatise on traditional institutions, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) stated that “traditional rulers cater for the economic, social and political aspirations of their people, and today they have become part of individual cultural heritage. They occupy communal political leadership positions sanctified by cultural, moral and values and enjoying the legitimacy of particular community to direct their affairs. Traditional institutions constitute a body of polity and administration that are respected by the people of such community through their respect for culture heritage and the historical antecedent of the land.” 
If there was a period in Oyo’s modern history when an Alaafin is needed to fulfil all the expectations outlined by Chief Babalola, it is now. If there was anyone with the requisite qualities to meet these expectations of the Oyo people’s search for the next Alaafin, then it is Prince Dr. Ajibade Adedayo Aremu Adeladan.     
Dr. Adeola is a linguist, cultural enthusiast and an Oyo-born

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