Gaming magnate, Sir Adebutu Keshington, has hinted that he may not accept any traditional title after his coronation as the Odole Oodua by the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
Adebutu said this on Thursday in company of Chairman of the planning committee, Aare Kola Oyefeso a member of the committee who is also the Ooni’s cultural ambassador, Ms Morounrati Asabi while addressing journalists at a media interactive session facilitated by Comrade Moses Olafare, the Ooni’s Director of Media and Public Affairs.
According to the businesses mogul, the importance of the exalted Odole Oodua title is beyond taking another chieftaincy title in order of things in Yoruba land.
A statement by the House of Oduduwa under the leadership of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi, earlier announced that the prestigious chieftaincy title of Odole Oodua will be conferred on Adebutu a.k.a. Dodondawa or Baba Ijebu on October 19 at the Ile-Oodua, the Ooni’s palace, Ile-Ife.
This will be the first of such conferments by Oba Ogunwusi since his ascension of the throne as the 51st Ooni in the third dynasty of Ife about four years ago.
The Odole is a special office which works closely with the Ooni in rallying the descendants of Oduduwa wherever they are in the world for unity, peace and progress of the race. The Odole Oodua, a position once occupied by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and subsequently by Chief G.O.K Ajayi is a highly revered chieftaincy in Yorubaland pioneered by the great Oranmiyan while he was still a prince of Ife.
Adebutu said he was prepared for his new traditional title, saying the importance of it transcends other chieftaincy tittles.
On how prepared he is for the new challenge, Adebutu said: “Without mincing words, I know the importance of the new title. And for your information, many kings know I won’t take any other chieftaincy title after my coronation as Odole Oodua. They also know the importance of it.”
The business mogul, who will clock 84 on October 24, said the revered title would strengthen his crusade for a united Yoruba race.
He added that he has a cordial relationship with Yoruba monarchs, saying performing in his new role will be a walk in the park.
“Without sounding arrogant, I humble to say that a lot of the Kabiyesis are my friends. If you notice any of my occasions, all the Kabiyesis are always present. And before I was announced as the recipient of this sacred position which had only been occupied by Oranmiyan, Awolowo and GOK Ajayi, I have been taking steps to ensure there is unity among the Yoruba monarchs not even knowing I was being wayched.
“For Instance, when the issue of our son happened, our son the (Vice President Yemi Osibanjo), I have to call the Ooni of Ife, Alake, Akarigbo among others and they all swung to actions in their different capacities.
“If you notice, in Lagos, I am the Asoju Oba and mind you, I am not a Lagosian. So, that is to explain to you that if there is no good rapport between me and the Oba of Lagos, I can’t be conferred the title of Asoju Oba in Lagos. So, all these are signs that I have good rapport with the Yoruba monarchs.” Adebutu said.
On the panacea for Nigeria’s development, he recommended that politics should be made a part-time business.
He said, “Until politics is made part-time business, I don’t see how we can have peace in Nigeria. When I say part time business, I mean a situation where politicians will only be paid on sitting basis in form of sitting allowance.
“When politicians earn just their sitting allowance there will be no presence of do-or-die politics in Nigeria. Presently, politics in Nigeria is too expensive.
“I’m speaking from experience and what I can see. The best thing for Nigeria is to adopt part-time politicians who are paid an allowance for sitting. With the present system, the drain from our purse is too much.
“I just read in the newspaper that a Governor sacked 250 advisers. If a governor have that much, how many advisers do we have for the whole country. How can a governor have 250 advisers? So, you can see the present system is too expensive.”
BACKGROUND OF THE TITLE
The Odole is a special office which works closely with the Ooni in rallying the descendants of Oduduwa wherever they are in the world for unity, peace and progress of the race. The Odole Oodua, a position once occupied by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and subsequently by Chief G.O.K Ajayi is a highly revered chieftaincy in Yorubaland pioneered by the great Oranmiyan while he was still a Prince of Ife. Oranmiyan served as a rallying point and stabilizing force among the powerful empires within the expansive Oduduwa territory before becoming the Ooni in Ife after his exploits which cut across Benin and Oyo kingdoms where he established his royal dynasties which have been in existence till date.
Historically, the office has its roots in the remarkable roles played by Oranmiyan, the great ruler of old Oyo and Benin kingdoms. Oranmiyan was virile, bold, adventurous, circumspect, dutiful and at the service of his other siblings. He stood as an effective link between them. It was his commitment to a united Oduduwa family that is referenced in the fragment of his panegyric “akantunkansi or as’otuns’osi, akinn’ile akinl’ogun” (the great link to both sides, the brave both at home and at war. Even though both Benin and Oyo kingdoms were at a point most powerful domains within the expansive Oduduwa territory, Oranmiyan ensured that they never overran each other.
Etymologically, “Odole” derives from the expression “odo ile Oodua” (the youth in the house of Oduduwa). It is a contraction of the expression adopted as a title to perpetuate the ideal of internal cohesion for which Oranmiyan stood in the Oodua family of the ancient days.
The traditional title of the Odole of Ife has been retained as part of Ife’s social and political system and specially conferred on distinguished Oodua descendants who in present times can replicate the roles played by Oranmiyan.
In the contemporary history of the Oodua people, the late sage, Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, who later held the title of Asiwaju Ile-Oodua which has since been left unfilled till date, was the first to be honoured with the title after Oranmiyan. The second holder of the title was the late Chief G.O.K. Ajayi (SAN) who was once the Arrtorney General of the Western Region while Sir Adebutu Adebukunola Kensington is the third in the line.
Like his predecessor, Sir Adebutu’s exemplary life achievements and awesome potentials for positive social transformation were a crucial factor in his consideration for the prestigious position.
From a very humble background to a life of a successful businessman of national and international repute, a philanthropist of rare breed and a social reformer of distinction, Sir Adebutu has emerged as the most suitable candidate for the position. He hails from Iperu Remo in Ikene local government area of Ogun state, Nigeria.
The choice of Adebutu as the Odole Oodua is also in recognition of his philanthropy, positive contributions to human development, and promotion of our prestigious cultural values and traditions as descendants of Oduduwa. The Kensington Adebukunola Adebutu Foundation(KAAF) and the medical laboratory and Maternity Centre established in 2005 among other commitments to the service of the poor and other vulnerable people in the society attest to this.
In line with the established process of filling such an important position, both the political and spiritual wings of Ile-Oodua have sought Sir Adebutu’s consent in this regard on behalf of the Ooni and he has presented his acceptance of the offer to the Arole Oodua’Olofin Adimula, the Ooni of Ife for final ratification.
All the necessary rites attached to the installation are being observed ahead of the installation ceremony slated. The kings, the high chiefs (AGBiA IFE) and chief priests (THE ISOROS) are atop of the coronation rites which will reach the climax on the eve of the event in October 2019.