Oyo State Govt, Nigerians celebrate memory of An Unforgetable: Oba Adesoji Aderemi, 1889-1980 - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Friday, 3 July 2020

Oyo State Govt, Nigerians celebrate memory of An Unforgetable: Oba Adesoji Aderemi, 1889-1980

... A celebration of a well-spent life and lifestyle:

By Paul Ukpabio

What his son Prince Adegboyega Aderemi say of the late royal:

Unforgettable: Oba Adesoji Aderemi. 1889-1980; A Nationalist, Monarch and Statesman 

Oba Adesoji Aderemi, Ooni of Ife, 1930-1980, was a man of many parts. As a frontline nationalist, he played a great role in Nigeria's march towards independence. With the collapse of imperialism in the years after World War II, when men of statute were needed to spearhead nationalist activities in Nigeria, Oba Aderemi was in the vanguard of the Titans of that epoch.

He was an important member of all the conferences which ushered in both the MacPherson Constitution in 1952 and the Independence Constitution in 1960. He was also a member of the House of Representatives as well as a Central minister in Nigeria's first cabinet between 1952 and 1953. When the Western House of Chiefs was established in1954, he became its first President and remained so until he was appointed the Governor of Western Nigeria in July 1960; the first in the British Empire and the Commonwealth.

It is instructive to note that throughout these periods of diverse national duties, Sir Aderemi still performed his traditional duties with great aplomb. In recognition of the pivotal role he played in the affairs of his people, he was awarded honors CMG, KBE, KCMG by the British Monarchy.

Between the early and mid-1920s, Prince Adesoji Aderemi had already carved a niche for himself as an astute business tycoon with multiple successes as a produce merchant, farmer and transporter.

It was therefore not a surprise he was installed as the Ooni of Ife when the throne became vacant in 1930. A wealthy, successful and educated Oba had ascended the revered throne of Ile-Ife bringing with him a modernizing mind-set and introducing a raft of revolutionary ideas all in an effort to transform an ancient community.
When he decided to establish Oduduwa College in 1931, the Resident of Oyo Province, Captain W.A Ross advised him against it, suggesting that education would empower his subjects to rebel against him at some point in the future. Oba Aderemi disagreed. To him education will always be the key to the emancipation of his people from the tyranny of poverty; unlocking new vistas in prosperity. 

Not only did he establish the college,he also founded two feeder primary schools - Ife Central and Origbo Central to ensure a steady flow of students to the college. When the siting of the Region's university became politicised, with some members suggesting that Ife had already produced the governor, he offered to resign as governor so that the University could be located in Ife.
He made 13,000 hectares of land available as a demonstration of his resolve. The events of the Constitutional crisis of Western Nigeria in 1962, saw the Ooni retiring to his throne to devote the rest of his life to the progress of his people of Ile-Ife and the Yoruba nation at large. He remained a pillar of strength and a repository of wisdom and knowledge - a bridge between the ancient and modern worlds.

By the time he joined his ancestors in July 1980 after 50 glorious years on the throne, he had left a great legacy that will endure for many generations.

And here’s what the Late legal luminary, Queens Counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Kayode Rotimi Williams, said of him...
Your late earthly Father our highly Revered Kabiyesi Oba Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi of highly Blessed and highly Cherished Memory was the Greatest Yoruba Emperor of of our time. He had the Conquistadorial greatness of Alexandra, the Wisdom of Solomon. He was more knowledgeable than Plato Aristotle and Apollonius of Perga. He had the Personality Carriage and Poise of his great forebear the Legendary Oduduwa.

The intimidating Respectability of the mighty Oranmiyan. He was the Royal Embodiment of Emporial Dignity. No Obas like him again, what we have now are Charlatans puppets on strings and Stomach infrastructure people. May the Good Lord Continue to Shower the Star Studded Family and descendants he left behind with his Choicest Blessings in Jesus Mighty Name.         

Warm Regards.

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