Let me sound it loud and clear to remind those who are concerned at this very moment that history and posterity will usually judge our brief stint in life either good or bad but we all have a different choice to make.
From the little that I will divulge to the general public, may I seize this medium to acknowledge a historical contribution of late High Chief Ayo James (Lisa of Ondo Kingdom ‘1992 – 2000’) to the entire Gbanejoke famous family, late Chief Lijoka Kuteyi family dynasty, Leyo Royal Ruling House and the entire Ondo Township for given out his best during his lifetime. The event of selecting a new Osemawe and record of your commitment shortly after the demise of late HRM Oba Rufus Adesokeji Aderele in 1974 will forever remain indelible in the history of events in Ondo Town.
The context of that period was not easy due to the support of late High Chief Adesuyi Fawehinmi (Lisa of Ondo Kingdom ‘1945 – 1975’) and late High Chief T. S. O. Fadojutimi (Losare of Ondo between 1944 -1978 and later became Odunwo of Ondo Kingdom from 1978 -1982) for their Royal Family Lineage with preference to allow the late HRM Oba Aroworayi Grandson to ascend the throne as argued in the 1958 Chieftaincy Committee Declaration of the defunct Ondo Divisional Council under the Western Regional Government which extended and limited the ascendancy of Osemawe throne to direct Son and Grandson of the past Osemawes. (The rest of this history cannot be made public on the social media as we are bound to protect with adequate respect about any debate relating to ‘Ondo Royal Families Genealogy’ at all time).
Bai Loogun, I must respectfully put a distinction on your tireless effort to convinced your uncle of blessed memory- late High Chief T. S. O. Fadojutimi (Losare of Ondo Kingdom between 1944 -1978 and later became Odunwo of Ondo Kingdom from 1978 -1982) whom you treat like your own Father on the need to withdraw his support behind the Adewole family and allow the then, Prince Robert Itiade Adekolurejo to ascend the throne as 42nd OSEMAWE following the passing away of late High Chief Adesuyi Fawehinmi who was the reigning Regent-In-Council (Lisa of Ondo Kingdom) in 1975. There is no doubt about the fact that your brilliant performance in this regard actually earned you the same recognition of your late father’s traditional chieftaincy title as Lijoka of Ondo Kingdom (Head of Ijoka Quarters) in 1977.
WHAT WILL BE WILL BE
Again, it was a different story in 1991, after the death of late High Chief Olaniyan (Adaja of Ondo Kingdom) when you are the only strong contestant with the majority support of the populace among few others for the High Chief Adaja Chieftaincy Title (Kingmaker 6th-In-Command) which was truncated by late Chief J.A. Akinsipe (Logbosere of Ondo) with his dominant upon the sitting Oba at that period and sponsorship for Chief S. K. Adeyeye (Lobosin of Ondo). Although, there was an unforgettable consequence to this effect. The short piece of this event was that the Efun-Oye of Adaja Chieftaincy title was given to Chief Lobosin S. K. Adeyeye by late HRM Oba Robert Itiade Adekolurejo (42nd OSEMAWE). It was a decision that angered the entire Community as a whole and that was the last of its kind. The Oba (King) eventually passed away in August 1991 after a protracted illness, few days before Ogun Festival.
It is quite interesting to put it on record that restitution surface at the same period when late High Chief Saliu Akinmbolaji Oladapo (Lisa of Ondo Kingdom 1976 -1991) passed away in October 1991, few weeks after the demise of the 42nd OSEMAWE. Late High Chief Ayo James swing into action and invited his junior brother from the same Leyo Ruling House – the then, Prince Festus Ibidapo Adesanoye to prepare himself and ascend the throne as 43rd OSEMAWE which successfully become a reality with many landmarks that cannot be overrun in many decades to come.
At this juncture, it is very important to also put it on record that I could vividly recollect the fact that the Leyo Ruling House fought for the following changes:
*The extension of the ascendancy of Osemawe throne from Son, Grandson to all Male Descendants of the past Osemawes.
*The recognition of merging previous five Ruling Houses into just three Ruling Houses.
*The affirmation of these two clauses with an assent of the then Ondo State Military Governor, Navy Captain Sunday Abiodun Olukoya through promulgation of Chiefs Edict in this regard that takes retrospective effect from 1st January 1984, thus, pave the way for the issuance of an instrument of appointment to the then, Prince Festus Ibidapo Adesanoye as 43rd Osemawe and Paramount Ruler of Ondo Kingdom. (The rest of this history cannot be made public on the social media as we are bound to protect with adequate respect about any debate relating to ‘Ondo Royal Families Genealogy’ at all time).
As destiny cannot be change by anyone, His Imperial Majesty – Late Oba Fesutus Ibidapo Adesanoye ‘OSUNGBEDELOLA II’ corrected the anomaly and put things in the right direction according to the expectation and wishes of entire populace with overwhelming support of the Kingmakers and Chiefs, the 43rd OSEMAWE conferred the title of Lisa Of Ondo Kingdom (Kingmaker 2nd-In-Command and Traditional Prime Minister) upon his senior Royal cousin shortly after ascending the throne in 1992.
In conclusion, the rest are now part of history. We must learn how to value and respect each other whenever they are necessity to do so in the society and irrespective of any position that we temporarily serve as an incumbent. We must always be conscious of the fact that there is nothing that will ever last forever.
SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Orun rere o Bai Ajileye, I’a Ijoka, Omo Baba Lijoka Kuteyi, I’a Idimi Ogbodun, Omo Yeye Adekuotu, I’a Okesare, Omo Yeye Olaribike Otojanibuso, I’a Okedasa, Omo Yeye Gbanejoke, Omo Gbesokun, Omo Oba Leyo, Oba Osungbedelola, Omo Oba Odunola, Omo Abaiye, Omo Ugbagbamola, Omo Ajiwajiwaleke, Omo Luwami Ajalaiye, Omo Luwami Apewaiko, Otunba Woka, Omo Luwami Adunmila, Aso, Oibaaka, Obade, O mu kekere gba lila, Oteu, Oreu, Aatiton ni Okelisa, Igi legun e gbamu t’eye t’eye.!!!
Bai du o ba mi ka ki Yei Mowaniunola aburo e o …. O digbose, O tun da obun’muen o!!!
May the gentle and humble soul of Baba Lisa Ayo James continue to rest in perfect peace …. Loud Amen.
Omo rere a gbeyin gbogbo wa o …. Amin.
Otunba Damilola Oladimeji POH, ECHGA, GIOU.
(Ojo Gbogbo Bi Odun ‘II’ )
Ekimogun Cultural Heritage Global Ambassador