Another distinct and great King in Yorubaland has gone to join the ancestors, Oba Samuel Adegboyega Osunbade, Adeyelu II, JP, FCIS, FCA, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon. A well-educated monarch with high official and personal profile changed the face of Orile-Igbon, Surulere Local Government of Oyo State with his expertise and zeal to uplift the exalted throne and the land of his fathers.
Historically, the stool of the Olugbon was among the top provincial rulers of the Oyo kingdom. However, Igbon was one of early casualties of the destructive forces unleashed on the Kingdom from the beginning of the nineteenth century by Afonja. By 1830, the Igbon community had scattered, and a section of its people, with the Olugbon, had found refuge in Ogbomoso, his predecessor, Oba Akanni started the resettlement efforts at Orile-Igbon and after the instalment of the Oba Osunbade on the 24thof July 1992, he continued the resettlement efforts with notable strides. According to Osuntokun and Oduwobi in The Merchant Prince and the Monarch, Oba Oladunni Oyewummi, the Soun of Ogbomosoland.
The strides of the 21stOlugbon, Oba Osunbade to Orile Igbon was in diverse folds, this include, the removal of the consent of the Soun when subsequent Olugbons will be installed as recommended by the Oloko Commission of Inquiry emphasised that the Olugbon ranked second to the Alafin in the state in terms of traditional hierarchy. The King also embarked on a quest to have Orile-Igbon as headquarters of a newly established local government in 1996 which was a great feat for his people and subsequently, he became the Vice Chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas. Many developmental projects that have attracted the siting of various government agencies in the community largely based on his philanthropic gestures.
The monarch with a flourishing accounting practice in the metropolitan city of Lagos was prepared for all the struggles with government institutions for all these visible developments of Orile-Igbon. As a student in England, he was the General Secretary of All African Students Union and also the President of the Nigerian Union of Students in England and Ireland, this afforded him the opportunity to visit a lot of African countries. In 1967, he led a delegation of Nigerian students from England to pay a visit to the General Yakubu Gowon –led Federal Military Government to intervene in the national crisis at the outbreak of the civil war.
I had the opportunity of meeting the monarch in his Ogbomoso home located on Ikoyi road by his 3-star hotel, Olugbon Hotel. He greatly encouraged me when I embarked on the noble course of writing the biography of my maternal grandfather who was his spiritual father while he was the under shepherd of First Baptist Church, Okelerin, Ogbomoso. The ever-accommodating King was glad to contribute to book and he wished me success. He received my calls whenever I called him and he gave his contribution to the book to Olajide Akinsola, my very good friend. As described by Revd Okesiji, Oba Osunbade truly cared about the work of God and his leadership charisma was evident in his wisdom regularly doled to other traditional rulers around him. He was not a hindrance to anyone within and outside his community who worshipped the triune God.
Unfortunately, the great story of a noble King and activist had a dark lining when the King was bereaved in 2012 when his son, Prince Aderoju Osunbade, died in the ill-fated air crash. This deeply affected the well-celebrated monarch till he eventually gave up the ghost on the 14th October 2016.
The Royal Accountant credited with glowing tributes from across the globe as a boardroom colossus, a traditional ruler of repute and a devoted Baptist has completed his terrestrial 82- year race. The King served both divinity and humanity. He has transited to the Greatest Accountant who will reckon his final ledger.
Kabiyesi Olugbon ti saye re; yoo si sorun ire! Fare thee well, Sir.
(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria