Citation by Joseph Ojo Oshagbemi on the Occasion of the Presentation of Staff of Office by His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to HRM Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi, Obaro Otitoleke Oweyomade 1, The Obaro of Kabba and Chairman, Okun Area Traditional Councl Held at St. Augustine’s College Pavilion on Saturday, 20th October, 2018.
Your Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Executive Governor of Kogi State, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, kindly permit me to invite out for the purpose of citation HRM Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi, Otitoleke Oweyomade 1, the Obaro of Kabba and Chairman Okun Area Traditional Council.
Your Excellency the unique personality we have before us today had his formative years rooted in the sacred and ancestral Yoruba land of Ile-Ife under the aegis of Oduduwa, the Eponymous father of the Yorubas. Though born at Ile-Ife where his parents sojourned from Kabba, this child of Destiny, joyfully and enthusiastically agreed on going to his very home of origin- Kabba. This was just after two years of primary Education at Ile-Ife. His paternal grandmother then fatefully brought him home to Kabba for the very first time in 1966 to continue his education.
It will interest your Excellency to note that his paternal grandmother brought him directly to the Palace of the then Obaro of Kabba – His Royal Highness Oba Daniel Aka- the then incubent Obaro, who was said to have praised the family’s wisdom and vision for their decision and in addition, fervently poured out prayers and blessings on this child of Destiny.
Your Excellency, we in Kabba believe that the prayers and blessings of Obaro Daniel AKA on the child have now translated into his ultimate appointment as the Obaro of kabba today and it has pleased God to allow this phenomenon to crystallize under your Excellency’s governorship of Kogi State.
Our celebrant today completed his primary education at Egbeda Kabba and decided to proceed to Ijumu Anglican Secondary School Iyara, for his Secondary education. Why Iyara, Ijumu, one may wish to ask? Destiny was already at play, preparing him for a good knowledge of not just Kabba Kingdom, but other Okun communities. As the Chairman of Okun Area Traditional Council, all the vast knowledge he has garnered in Ijumu will definitely be of immense use.
His prodigy as an outstanding scholar pointedly manifested itself when just 3 months after completing his secondary education he gained admission through competitive examination to the prestigious, premiere and pre-eminent University of Ibadan for a four year degree course.
While he was at the University of Ibadan 1975-1979, it was indeed a period for the sparkling of the youngster’s intellectual effervescence which found expression in his robust intellectual and academic discourses. His vast knowledge of History, Classics and Philosophy fortified him in making mince meat of his argumentative antagonists.
He was noted for fiery debates on array of topics: capitalism and socialism, on pre-colonial Africa, the conservative and progressive ideologies etcetera. Your Excellency, permit me to reveal one of his favourite philosophers he liked to quote in his numerous dialectics. He is none other than the radical, schismatic and iconoclastic British Philosopher -Edmond Burke 1729 – 1797. Some of Edmond Burke’s postulations which His Royal Majesty was fond of were;
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
“The hottest fire in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis”
It is therefore no wonder that our progressive Royal Majesty has always been a revolutionary and a change agent. He is never equivocating or nebulous but frank, down-to-earth and straightforward.
Your Excellency during his very eventful undergraduate days, he was one of the delightful stars who suffused the students’ body with deep fact- backed eloquently delivered sophistry such that in the Faculty of Arts and Tedder Hall which was his hall of residence, he was popularly called and hailed as “the Prof”.
In his working days, our Royal Majesty made his mark as a news editor at Nigerian Television Authority, NTA and eventually moved to the Nigerian Customs Service where he spent twenty seven years and rose meritoriously to the rank of Deputy Comptroller, before he retired. As a Customs officer he travelled and criss-crossed the Nigerian territory- making friends across ethnic divide and garnering vital information and nuances about the tradition, culture and norms of Nigerian people.
Your Excellency, this rich experiential background and his copious knowledge of the diversities of Nigeria’s culture, tradition and norms will now definitely come handy in his new role as the Obaro of Kabba and Chairman of Okun Area Traditional Council. It is thus manifest that Destiny has prepared him for this exalted post.
Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen characterising the personality of our ebullient Royal majesty will succinctly show that he ably has the traits that are congruous and co-terminus with good leadership. Here is a personality that is amiable, a personality that is self effacing, introspective, decisive, altruistic, boisterous, hilarious, and gregarious, focussed, visionary, frank, forthright and a personality that is a bundle of energy.
Your Excellency, it is instructive to note that such wholesome leadership traits have been found with the past seven Obaros from his ancestral Ijemu clan. They were:
Obaro Okika- 8th Obaro of Kabba
Obaro Abajuloju – 14th Obaro of Kabba
Obaro Ayomo – 20th Obaro of Kabba
Obaro Apepemueje – 28th Obaro of Kabba
Obaro Aside – 29th Obaro of Kabba
Obaro Olusuyi – 30th Obaro of Kabba
Obaro Onike – 31st Obaro of Kabba
Your Excellency Sir, HRM Obaro Solomon Dele Owoniyi, Obaro Otitoleke Oweyomade 1 is the 8th Obaro of Kabba from his clan and the 44th in popular, acceptable and authentic Kabba royal History.
Your Excellency, as you must have observed from your smattering interaction with the Kabiyesi, his smile can melt the hardest hearts… and so it melted the heart of his beautiful and delectable wife who God has joined together with him and are happily married with three children. The wife is none other than our new Olori; Olori Marie Ige Owoniyi MJF, NLCF, FCA, a consummate chattered Accountant, a lioness of the Corporate world, but a lion of Lion’s Club International, a Human Resources Consultant, and until her recent retirement, the head of Human Resources and Executive Manager Stake-Holders Relations for Nestle Nigeria Plc.
Your Excellency, with the hand of destiny clearly and palpably seen in today’s event, with the Kabiyesi’s right decision to leave Ile-Ife for Kabba at a tender age, with the powerful and potent royal blessings from HRH Obaro Aka, and with his accumulation of copious knowledge of virtually all parts of this country and a multi talented and formidable wife to support him and with the solid, zealous and enthusiastic support of the vast majority of OWE-Kabba people, we proudly present this child of destiny- HRM Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi, Obaro otitoleke Oweyomade 1 – the Obaro of Kabba and Chairman Okun Area Traditional Council for Your Excellency’s presentation of Staff of Office.