Wednesday, January 20, 2016 10:51 am
Ibadan, the Oyo State capital,western Nigeria wore a mournful look on Wednesday as the report of the death of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana, filtered round the state capital.
The monarch died in his palace on Tuesday at the age of 101 years, some three months shy of 102.
Senator Lekan Balogun, one the High Chiefs of Ibadan, and who is the Otun Olubadan, said that the traditional chiefs were meeting over the burial arrangement.
“ The death of the Olubadan has been confirmed; it is true that the monarch is dead,” he said.
One of the daughters of the monarch, Mrs Folasade Bankole, told NAN that her father was a rare gem.
“ He lived the way he wanted to live and died the way he wanted to die. He achieved all he set out to before his death. We thank God for his life,’’ she said.
The Aare Alaasa of Ibadanland, Chief Lekan Alabi, described the demise of Odulana as a big loss to the people of Ibadanland.
“ He was a repository of history and an icon of culture, education and justice. We will miss a great king in the entire Yorubaland, Nigeria and indeed Africa.
“ He was among the rare kings of the century in Africa and the world. He was 101 years old and we pray his soul would find repose in heaven,’’ he said.
Odulana, the 40th Olubadan, ascended the throne on August 17, 2007 at the age of 93.
He died 86 days to his 102nd birthday, April 14.
Odulana was born April 14, 1914 in Igbo Elerin, Ibadan to Pa Odulana Ayinla.
He began his elementary education at Saint Andrew’s School, Bamigbola, Ibadan in January 1922 and transferred to St. Peter’s School, Aremo, in 1929. He completed his middle school education at Mapo Central School in 1936 and was an army officer during the 1939 World War II.
After returning from World War II in 1945, he was appointed to be in charge of the demobilisation of returning soldiers in Lagos.
He briefly worked with United Africa Company as a produce clerk before commencing his teaching career at the Church Missionary Society Elementary School, Jago, in 1938.
Odulana also taught in several schools from 1939 to 1942 and was with the Colonial Office Education Department in 1964.
The late monarch went into politics in 1959 as a member of the House of Representatives and was appointed parliamentary secretary to the late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
He was Minster of State for Labour and in 1964, he led the Nigerian Parliamentary delegation to the London Constitutional Conference to restructure the former British colonies of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia).
Odulana joined the royal chieftaincy line in 1972 as the Mogaji of Ladunni compound in Ibadan, and in 1976, he was conferred Jagun-Olubadan.
He was a co-founder of several organisations such as the Ibadan Economic Foundation and the Ibadan Progressive Union.
The monarch was conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Management Technology by the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, in December 2005