Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, said on Sunday that he was happy he fulfilled the singular wish of the late Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, to ensure the sole ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso, before the monarch joined his ancestors.
Makinde, who stated this at the thanksgiving service held at the First Baptist Church, Oke’lerin, Ogbomoso, in honour of the late monarch, noted that Oba Oyewumi, in his lifetime, stood and worked hard for the development of Ogbomoso and Oyo State at large.
A statement by the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the late Soun asked him for only one thing when he visited the palace ahead of the 2019 election.
According to Governor Makinde, Oba Oyewumi told him that his only wish was to have LAUTECH solely owned by Oyo State.
He said that he was happy that the monarch’s wish became a reality before he joined his ancestors.
He said: “This is a thanksgiving service in honour of our father, late Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewunmi Ajagungbade 111. I deliberately waited to be part of the service because we need to thank God for the kind of life our father lived and all that he left behind.
“At over 95 years of age, what else does anyone expect? Also, for all the developments we have witnessed through Baba’s efforts in Oyo State and Ogbomosoland as well as this country at large, are we not supposed to thank God for all that?
“So, on behalf of the government and the people of Oyo State and on behalf of Ogbomosoland in particular, we welcome our Vice-President. We also welcome him specially for being a part of this celebration to honour our departed Kabiyesi.
“I have spoken about Baba at different fora but I will still say this about Kabiyesi. When I was campaigning, I came to Ogbomoso and went to the palace.
“Baba looked at me and said, ‘Seyi, you look calm and gentle now because you are looking for votes to become the governor, by the time your aspiration is fulfilled, you would start doing something different from what you have promised.’ But I replied saying I would do exactly what the people want but that he should support me to get to the office first.
“When we went inside, Baba asked me for just one thing and he never requested for any other thing for himself. He prophesied that God will make me get to that position and that when I get there, I should do just one thing for him and for Ogbomosoland – secure the sole ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
“I promised him that when I get into the office, by the grace of God, within 18 months of being in that office, the request will be achieved. And I am happy that during Baba’s lifetime, we were able to achieve it.
“So, today, we have come to thank God that Baba came, saw and left his imprints on the sand of time. I appreciate all of you who have also come to celebrate Baba’s life too and pray that God will continue to be with us all.”
Also speaking at the event, the Vice-President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, stated that Soun’s reign was 48 years of progress to Ogbomosoland.
Osinbajo, who on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, expressed heartfelt condolences to the people of Ogbomoso and the government of Oyo State, said: “The late Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, had an exceptionally long, peaceful, and progressive reign, for which we must just continue to give thanks to God Almighty. Having ascended the throne on the 24th of October, 1973, he has delivered four decades and eight years of exceptional and transformational leadership, leaving behind the indelible marks of peace and prosperity.
“Without a doubt, the Oba’s passing has created a big vacuum among the league of traditional rulers in Nigeria. And this is not just because of his age and almost half a century on the throne. It is because he was not just there, he made remarkable contributions to Ogbomosho and to Nigeria, for which the Nation honoured him twice, first as Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and then as Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR).
“His time certainly brought commendable development to this great and ancient town of Yorubaland, so we can say confidently that the Scriptures are fulfilled today – “Didun ni iranti olododo.”
In his sermon, the presiding Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Oke’lerin, Revd. Dr. Victor Oyelowo, maintained that the late Soun laboured for Ogbomoso people and the church.
Among dignitaries present at the service were the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi and other top government functionaries.