Governor Abiola Ajimobi has described the late Oba Samuel Odulana, the Olubadan of Ibadan as an important figure that contributed immensely to the development of Oyo state.
The governor said this during the lying-in-state ceremony of the late monarch which took place at the House of Chiefs, Parliament building in the Ibadan area of the state. There was drumming, singing and dancing as the body of the late monarch was carried into the building closely followed by members of his family.
The governor noted that the programme was geared towards celebrating the life of the monarch who he said dedicated his life to the people of Oyo and Nigeria.
Ajimobi said the late king was a “meritorious ruler who served with diligence and honesty”
In his oratorical exaltation of the late monarch Governor Ajimobi noted that the service rendered by Oba Odulana includes participating in the First World War, serving as the minister of state for labour during the first republic and contributing immensely for the development of education in Oyo state.
“We mourn your transition not because you are our king but because of your many contribution to Oyo state and Nigeria. I join Oyo in celebrating the glorious transition of Oba Odulana. We celebrate the majesty of God’s heavenly grace in your majesty; a shiny example of great leadership in military, public service, education
It is on record that you are one of the builders of this state. May the memory of the distinguished life and era of Oba Samuel Odulana be with us.”
The lying-in-state ceremony is part of a week-long burial programme in honour of the late monarch who passed away on Tuesday, January 19 at the age of 101.
Also present at the ceremony include Honourable Michael Adeyemo, the speaker of Oyo state hHouse of Assembly, Professor Femi Lana who is the eldest son of the monarch, High Chief Kola Daisi, Bashorun Kola Daisi, members of the state House of Assembly and other members of the family of ther monarch.
As promised by the organising committee that everything about the burial of the monarch will be done in the open, the ceremony was also attended by Oyo state who came to pay their respect to the monarch.
Meanwhile, the crisis in the Olubadan-in-council recently became public knowledge after Governor Ajimobi of Oyo state issued a 48-hour ultimatum to nine elevated chiefs in Ibadan to revert to their former status on Monday, January 4.
Prominent scholars and personalities called for a review of the Ibadan chieftaincy tradition system in order to attract younger, educated and vibrant men to ascend the throne of the Olubadan. The current system requires a person to move from stage in the hierarchy system which means the Olubadan is usually an old person as at the period of coronation.