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New fervor in Ijebu-Igbo as new Orimolusi is coronated

The carnival-like celebrations, the large crowd that attended the grand entry of the new Orimolusi, Oba Jaiyebola Lawrence Adebajo, into Ijebu-Igbo days before and the triumphant air that rented the town might seem too much for some.

But that is not for the people of the town and many aware of the end of the historic interregnum, knotty intrigues and seemingly intractable litigations that dotted the path of crowning a new Orimolusi in Ijebu-Igbo for about the past 28 years.

Ijebu Igbo, easily the largest town in the whole of Ijebuland and one of the proud talking points of all Ijebu people across the world, had been without a king, a rallying point beyond the royal grandeur, since the passing on of Oba Sami Adetayo, the Ikupakude IV.

Reputed with a population of 284,336 according to figures from the 2006 Census, with unofficial estimates putting the current figure around 500,000, Ijebu-Igbo is a town with many unique features, one of which is the division into five clans: Oke-Sopin, Oke-Agbo, Ojowo, Atikori, and Japara, with each boasting a king which submits to the authority of The Orimolusi.

These are: Sopenlukale of Oke Sopin, Olokine of Ojowo, Keegbo of Atikori, Bejeroku of Oke-Agbo and Abijaparako of Japara.

With many villages and hamlets under Ijebu Igbo including the vast farmland covering farmland areas like Idi Oparun, Ganrigan and many others, majority of the people engage in substance farming, with Garri, palm oil, cocoa, kolanut, orange, bamboo stick, yam, breadfruit among the most common farm produces that Ijebu-Igbo farmers ferry to the markets on selected market days.

The town is also famous for her meat butchers widely known as Alapata, indeed Ijebu-Igbo is a town also notable for the distribution and supply of cow meat to towns within and around Ijebu land as well as far-flung places like Epe, Ajah, Sagamu, Ketu, Bariga, and many other areas in Lagos along with over 30 ponmo-making industries.

Another distinct characteristic of Ijebu-Igbo, the political headquarters and commercial nerve centre of Ijebu North Local Government is the Ijebu-Igbo Forest Reserve, also called the Omo Forest Reserve and among the 12 biggest forest reserves in Nigeria.

And for the town to be without a monarch for almost three decades, it was with utmost joy and unrestrained feeling of triumph that the people, elite and commoners alike, welcomed Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State into the Abusi Edumare Arena on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, for the presentation of staff of office and coronation of Oba Adebajo as the new Orimolusi.

Gov. Abiodun, who thrilled the gathering by going the memory lane of how the traditional title transformed to Orimolusi, said the ancient town was dear to his heart, as indicated by heading down despite still being in Abuja until 1 am the same day, would begin to witness an upward swing with a new Orimolusi on the throne.

While describing the event as a “symbolic testament reflective of the time past and a new beginning in community spirit and selflessness”, the governor expressed optimism that the monarch, with his pedigree, would inspire the socio-political development of the town.

He also commended Prof. Ademola Adedeji-led 11-member kingmakers/warrant chiefs, for carrying out an open, transparent and credible process while expressing assurance that the monarch would be guided by the laudable and enviable legacy of honour of his predecessors while urging people from all corners to support him.

Other notable speakers who spoke in various capacities while lauding the event and wishing the new monarch a peaceful reign, wisdom in his dealings with his people, outsiders, government and all-around development include Prof Ayo Ogunye, Senator Lekan Mustapha, Senator Gbenga Kaka, Otunba Femi Dinah among others.

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