Wednesday, May 7, 2014 11:01 am
She came on board at a very difficult time not only for her kingdom but also for her family. The kingdom of Akure, one of the major cities in South-west Nigeria, was mourning the demise of its king while the family was mourning the loss of a husband and father. Weeks before becoming the Regent of Akure, Princess Adetutu Adesida-Dike had lost her father, the Deji and paramount ruler of the kingdom, Oba Adegboye Adebiyi Adesida, on 1st December 2013 while Akure , the capital city of Ondo State, had lost its beloved monarch. It was a big blow to the family and kingdom since nobody expected the monarch, who was installed on 5 September 2010, to join his ancestors so soon.
Her ascension has however become a soothing balm on the frayed nerves of her people. She has invested the monarchy with a refreshing verve and endeared herself to many with her comportment and sense of duty. She had to. Her father on coming to the throne had given hope to a people who had a not particularly rosy experience with their former king who was deposed over some unpalatable indiscretion. Before the enthronement of King Adesida, the institution of monarchy in the ancient town was severely jolted and not a few people lost confidence in it. The coming of Oba Adebiyi Adesida brought hope and burnished the institution. And when the people thought that the monarchy had been restored to its pride of place and had become enamoured with the panache and grace of their new natural ruler, the king died.
In consonance with the tradition of the people, the first daughter had to become the interim ruler for the period of the interregnum before a new king is selected. And it had to be a female because making a male the regent could portend danger and a succession crisis may ensue. The choice of Princess Adetutu was therefore by consensus deeply rooted in the mores of her people. Of course she comes to the throne with an impressive credential. A trained pharmacist who lives in the United States, Princess Adetutu is a combination of brain and beauty. This princess, our regent, is graceful and charming. What more, she is well aware of the enormity of the responsibility of presiding over the affairs of Akure with its ancient tradition and political vitality. And the consensus with unambiguous unanimity is that she is discharging her responsibilities creditably well.
After the onerous task of steering the ship of the kingdom was transferred to her, Princess Adesida assured her people that she would do her best to give them the best in terms of governance of the town. And she was ready for the job. Hear her, “I know this is a duty I have to perform, so I have called on my God to help me to succeed in the journey and also God will help the kingmakers to choose the right person to be the next king.”
Of course the home front and her professional calling will not suffer any setback as she continues to serve her people. “The regency cannot disturb my role as a mother and wife and as a career woman. I have also taken leave of absence from my place of work in the United States, my husband knows that I am a princess before he agreed to marry me and he also knows that anytime my father died as a king, I have to assume this position, so there won’t be any problem,” Princess Adetutu said shortly after taking over the mantle of leadership of the town which is also the administrative and political capital of Ondo State.
In her remark during a conference of the National Association of Agricultural Economists held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, the regent, who spoke extempore, urged the Federal Government to tackle Climate Change through proper funding of the agriculture sector. To NAAE she said: “The theme of your conference is apt and timely given the amount of disaster the country has witnessed over the years because of Climate Change. I urge you not to relent in playing your laudable role as agriculturists to tackle Climate Change to reduce poverty and banish hunger in our country.”
And during the celebration of the International Women’s Day at the same institution, Princess Adetutu was at her best. She admonished women and youth to reposition themselves strategically so as to address the teeming challenges Nigeria is facing. According to her, women as nation builders should live up to the expectation of the society. She got a standing ovation for her insightful contribution.
Princess Adetutu has brought to the regency certain panache and humility that has endeared her to many. She mixes freely with the people and attends to their needs without much ado. Her professionalism, education attainment and good upbringing show through her comportment and dedication to duty. Princess Adetutu has elevated the institution of monarchy and given her people hope. This is a regent in whom the people of Akure Kingdom are well pleased.
– Adebanjo, Head, Information, Protocol and Passages Unit, FUTA, writes from Akure