Great leaders in world history are bright minds who surround themselves with like minds. The Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabir Adewale Shotobi is not only a United States trained Engineer, His Royal Majesty is a quintessence of intelligence, elegance and wit, who knows how to appoint competent hands to serve in the royal court.
Most of his trusted chiefs and allies are highly educated and mostly foreign-trained. The king is surrounded by intellectuals and he is still wooing more bright minds into his royal court as we yet again, witnessed an auspicious installation of a new Chief in the Ikorodu Kingdom.
The enviable Honourary chieftaincy title of Bashorun Oga of Ikorodu Kingdom was bestowed on the Publisher of Literamed Publications, Otunba Olayinka Lawal-Solarin, at the Ayangburen palace on July 12, 2019. The colourful traditional rite was a spectacle to behold, as royal convoy of Akarigbo of Remo land, Sagamu-Ogun State, came in support of the newly appointed Chief.
The event started at about 10 a.m., when the celebrant and his European wife, Architect Bjorg Lawal-Solarin, arrived the venue, richly dressed in traditional Yoruba attire. They marched slowly into the palace amidst supporters from Sagamu. The Ikorodu palace representatives inspected the noble guests and welcomed them. They were temporarily seated in the lobby awaiting His Majesty’s presence on the throne.
Minutes later, traditional Chief, Apena, announced the procession of His Majesty and his Chiefs. Prescribed traditional panegyrics were being recited as the Oba walked in to take his royal seat, the throne. Everyone in the palace prostrated in reverence, chanting his adulation; ‘Kabieysi!’ The charismatic Monarch gracefully took his seat, with his amiable queen, Olori Kudirat Abosede Shotobi seated by his left hand side. Other notable Chiefs sat accordingly, all looking radiant.
The palace compere and close confidant of His Majesty, Otunba Ayodele Elesho, picked up the microphone and had everyone’s attention. He thanked the honourable guests and welcomed them on behalf of the Oba. Chief Ayodele Elesho, who was a former Lagos State Commissioner for Information, was not only eloquent but was also versed in traditional rhetoric as he spoke to the gathering. Oba Shotobi, who peered through his glasses, carefully looked around the hall, observing all and sundry. The Monarch patiently listened to all comments and remarks before calling on the compare for a brief remark.
Oba Shotobi’s resonant voice came on as he spoke into the microphone on how impressed he was about the visiting guests and his convoy; ‘Akarigbo only told me there is a few party coming today; I didn’t know there is going to be impressive guests like what I have right now. I could have prepared feasts of pounded yam.” This remark brought the room into chuckles. Kabiyesi allowed the murmurs to settle and added; ‘The Apena should collect a fine from the celebrant for not informing me ahead to prepare special feasts for the large guests.”
The compare resumed his task by inviting the celebrant to do as tradition demands by presenting gift to key groups in the royal court. The Erelus, Oshugbos, Lasuwon clan, court drummers, court staff and the Baales received a parcel each from the celebrant through a representative. Otunba Yinka Lawal-Solarin and his wife Bjorg took their seat on the right flank of the King, his close confidant, Chief Seni Adio (SAN), was invited to read citation of the newly appointed Bashorun Oga of Ikorodu. Chief Yinka Lawal-Solarin was all smiles and truly looked elated when his profile was read as his foreign wife looked at him admiringly during the citation reading. After this, he was permitted to make his acceptance speech.
He started by recognizing all the dignitaries, who accompanied him from Sagamu to the event. “I must say that some may think I am new in Ikorodu; truth is, I have long time ties with the people. For a while now, I have been visiting some close friends here. That was before I was nominated for this title. This new status as the Bashorun Oga of Ikorodu will empower me to facilitate a smooth relationship between Remo land and Ikorodu”.
Before the new Chief was presented the appointment letter, His Royal Majesty, Oba Kabiru Shotobi made a poignant remark. His Majesty recounted his days in Sagamu after he returned home from the United States of America. “When I returned from my sojourn in the United States, I settled with my family in Sagamu. Most of my investments were situated in Sagamu. I profited from my various businesses there and got support from notable individuals in the land; notably among them was Baba Oba of Sagamu.” His Royal Majesty narrated how he left Sagamu after 25, years to Ikorodu and how he was first made the Odofin of Ikorodu as well as the overwhelming support he received from Sagamu.
Oba Shotobi has always been concerned about the relationship between Sagamu and Ikorodu; the reason he has never relented in rekindling the ancient ties. The gifted Oba held everyone bound in spell with his narrative, humour and wit. The adorable queen, Olori Kudirat Shotobi beamed in admiration. “You may be wondering where I am going with my tale but the inference is not farfetched. During my stay in Sagamu, I visited Ikorodu in a posh Mercedes car. My predecessor, the erstwhile King, Oba Oyefusi, asked me a crucial question and that was if I had a house property here in Ikorodu, to which I replied in the affirmative. Today, I am asking the new Bashorun the same question – Do you have a personal house in Ikorodu?”
This clever narrative brought the audience to a round of applause. Oba Shotobi is famed for brilliant and strategic surprise plans; he always connects the missing dots whenever he handles things. He continued, “The specialty of this ceremony is beyond the frenzy in this hall; its significance transcends this ceremony. The next Odun Osu celebration will mark the formal installation and the sealing of the authority of position.”
His Royal Majesty, Oba Shotobi, may be a trained Engineer by profession, he is versed in history and is a natural orator like the classical Roman leaders. His soothing words, logical presentation of points and charisma kept the audience in rapt attention. He thanked the humble queen for ensuring that the pre-event preparing was fool-proof and cordially supervised. The Oba showed his sincere appreciation to members of the ruling house, the Erelus, the Oshugbos, the Apena and all the royal court staff. To the visiting guests from Sagamu, he thanked them for the act of love and support shown towards the event. To his Sagamu counterpart, the Akarigbo of Remo land, Oba Shotobi presented twenty five (25) copies of Oriwu Sun Newspaper special edition of the Akarigbo iconic visit to Ikorodu last month. Along with the newspaper copies, he gave them Disc video coverage of the event.
Two representatives from the Erelus and the Osugbos were called to present the letter of appointment to the newly chosen Chief Bashorun Oga of Ikorodu. The four representatives danced through the hall with a white calabash; engraved around it was the title of ‘Bashorun Oga’. The calabash contained a letter of appointment and kolanuts. The presentation was followed by a photograph session with the Oba, the new Chief and family members. Every key groups took turn to pose for the camera with the celebrant and the Oba. After all the hall activities, Oba Shotobi invited his guests to the banquet hall for sumptuous meals.
The palace banquet hall was arranged with round tables as caterers waited to serve the guests. All tables, beautified with colourful table cloths, were soon occupied by the guests. Before he took his seat, Oba Shotobi supervised the serving personally, ensuring that all his guests were adequately served. Classical Sakara music blare from the speakers as the guests enjoyed their treats.