Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Sunday in Oyo State, where he attended the thanksgiving service held in honour of the late Oba at the First Baptist Church, Ogbomoso.
The Vice President, who was accompanied by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, also paid a condolence visit to the Soun’s palace to meet members of the family.
Later in the day, the Vice President proceeded to Ibadan where he went straight to the Palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan, the late Oba Saliu Adetunji, who passed away earlier this month.
Speaking at the Thanksgiving Service for the late Soun at the First Baptist Church Ogbomoso, the Vice President, described the late monarch as a detribalized Nigerian whose “success in the North despite his Yoruba origins strengthened his belief in the huge benefits of unity in diversity and he practised his brotherhood of all regardless of race or faith faithfully all his life.
“While he lived in the North, he won the respect of all including the Sardauna of Sokoto who nicknamed him “Ciroma!”
The late Soun of Ogbomoso was 95 and his reign lasted for 48 years, a lifetime the VP observed, was one of significant impact with indelible footprints.
“I know that no matter how long our loved ones live, we all still want them around for longer especially when they have been so consequential and have made such a significant impact in our lives
“Oba Oladunni Oyewumi had an exceptionally long, peaceful, and progressive reign, for which we must just continue to give thanks to God Almighty. Having ascended the throne on the 24th of October, 1973, he has delivered four decades and eight years of exceptional and transformationa
On behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government, the Vice President extended condolences to the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, the late Oba’s family, the entire Royal Family, as well as all the people of Ogbomoso.
The VP disclosed that his first formal interaction with the late monarch was when the latter was Patron of one of the foremost centres for local and international training in law and commerce, the Centre for Law and Business, which was founded by his son, Prince Dapo Oyewunmi.
“I along with Professor Oyelowo Oyewo SAN, current Attorney General of Oyo State were privileged to serve on the board. His stature, wisdom, and maturity were important in laying the solid foundation that the organisation now enjoys both locally and internationally
Prof. Osinbajo further noted that the late Soun was a thoroughbred leader who dedicated himself to the people of Ogbomoso, for both their social and human capital development.
Noting that the late monarch’s reign brought commendable development to Ogbomoso, the VP added he made remarkable contributions to both his domain and Nigeria as a whole.
The VP stated that the late Soun not only stood out from his peers, but only a few in Nigeria were also recipients of two national honours, as he was.
“He made remarkable contributions to Ogbomosho and to Nigeria, for which the Nation honoured him twice, first as Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and then as Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR),” he said.
Eulogising the attributes and values of the late Soun, the Vice President observed that many referred to the late monarch as “man of the masses” because, aside from the development he brought to the town, he gave his people free access to his wealth and wisdom.
Prof. Osinbajo recalled that the late Oba Ajagungbade III was an astute businessman who ventured into different trading activities including Aso-Oke and other merchandise trading.
The VP added that “he later became an agent for big international conglomerates and interacting with many European business concerns, especially during his time in Jos.
“He soon acquired a reputation as an honest trader, and he did so well that the European community soon came to know of his business acumen. Before long, he became “the wealthiest African in Jos.”
Prof. Osinbajo noted that the “progress of his domain meant everything to him. Indeed, he was once reported as saying ‘the progress of Ogbomoso is my motto,” adding that the late Soun was not just renowned for his business acumen, but also for his attitude of contentment and honesty.
“Another lesson we should learn from the life of this great monarch is that hard work and honesty pays. But we must also note that while contented with outcomes, he was never one to sit idly doing nothing. He always made his plans diligently and meticulously. Then with remarkable diligence, he always made all the efforts necessary to see them to fruition,” the VP said.
Prof. Osinbajo concluded that “true to his name, the Ajagungbade III has lived and has conquered for his people. He conquered illiteracy, and underdevelopmen
“He was father to all and he held his place with dignity, neutrality and selfless commitment. While he would be missed, let us all be comforted by the good memories he left for us all.”
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.
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.