Tuesday, 15 September 2015 22:30

Baltimore Opens A New Chapter In Nigeria/American Relations And Co-Operation : Akure Community in Baltimore Honors The New Eyesorun Of Akure With A Big Reception.

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History was made on Sunday September 13 at the Carriage Hill Apartments Hall at 3456, Carriage Hill Circle at Randallstown in Baltimore Maryland. Akure immigrant in Baltimore led by their women group collaborated with the Oyemekun International Group led by Dr. Femi Alade to host a reception for Her Royal Highness, the favorite wife of His Royal Highness the new Deji of Akure who was crowned on June 9, 2015 in Ondo State. The Eyesorun who had lived for more than 20 years in Baltimore with her husband, the new Deji was visiting Baltimore for the first time after their coronation.

The visit was to serve as a prelude to Kabiyesi's official visit to the United States next year to visit thousands of his subjects scattered all over the United States but with the majority of them in the Northeast of America in big American cities like Washington D C, Baltimore, Newalk, New jersey, New York, Hartford Connecticut and Boston Massachusetts.

The visit and the reception constitute another milestone in the bi-lateral relations between thecity of Baltimore and Akure City, the Ondo State Capital and one of the 8 Millennium Centers approved for accelerated development in Africa by the United Nations for Development in Africa. It is a friendship that the new Deji plans to improve upon and consolidate when his Royal Highness pays a courtesy visit to the Mayor of Baltimore early next year.

The Akure immigrants constitute a huge voting bloc in Baltimore because thousands of Akure sons and daughters live and work in the city and have continued to make a huge difference to the economic development of the great American City.

The Deji of Akure institution is one of the most respected in the Southwest geo political zone of Nigeria. The Deji has a long history that goes far beyond Ondo State and Nigeria. Erinlakatabu Ogiso Ajapada Otolu Apara Kabiyesi Afunbiowo the First had something that no other Deji before him has ever done. He renamed a hamlet in Akure Kingdom from Ulado to "Arodoye" becauae that was the village where the Kabiyesi lived with his father-in-law before he became the Deji. He had struggled in vain for 15 years to be crowned the Deji. He contested for the throne two times but was finally lucky to win at his third attempt in June 22, 1897. The new Deji, Odundun Asode Dero the Second therefore shared one or two things in common with Deji Afunbiowo.

It was Deji Afunbiowo who conferred the Bale of Alayere on his father Pa Ogunlade Aladetoyibo Aladelusi as proof of his royal lineage and pedigree in Akure. I knew that for a fact as the grandson of Deji Afunbiowo and the Secretary in 1975 to the only Asodeboyede Ruling Line in Akure before the Osupa/Odundun Ruling line was carved out in 1991 by a Decree signed into Law by Navy Captain Sunday Olukoya as the Military Governor of Ondo State.

Don't be surprised if tomorrow you hear the city of Baltimore renamed as "Arodoye" for most of our people domiciled in the city, because Baltimore was where the new Deji and his new Eyesorun were domiciled for more than 20 years before God answered their prayers. You can really make the case that Baltimore and Akure indigenes who live in the city had paved the way in cash and kind for the new Deji to achieve his life dream as one of the great grandsons of Deji Odundun the First to be lucky to be crowned the Deji in Akure.

In February, 1956 when Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth The Second visited Nigeria 3 years after her coronation at the age of 25, one of the distinguished natural rulers she met at the Government House at Agodi Ibadan was the then Deji of Akure, Olofinlade Afunbiowo Adesida, Ogiso Otolu Apara o ko eyin ori seje, Iwerepe gbara re gba igi oko. I recall the Deji blessing the Queen with a special prayer. The Deji pronounced "ex Cathedra" in undiluted Akure dialect that the Queen would live to a ripe old age like the famous white Chameleon that crawls with its white walking stick.

The Queen who was only 25 at the time had grown to be 88 years old and now 63 years on the throne. Queen Elizabeth had now beaten Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch in British history. The Kabiyesi Afunbiowo himself who made the prayer died at 125 years of age and he was for a long time the oldest traditional ruler in the world and the longest-reigning Deji of all times.

I recall Oba Adesida being honored with a citation from King Edward the VIII who abdicated the British throne to go marry his American divorcee, Sarah Simpson. King Edwards went into exile in Paris with his wife and they both lived there till their death. Queen Elizabeth had wanted to knight Kabiyesi Afunbiowo but could not do so because Oba Afunbiowo was too old and too frail to fly to London to receive the award.

The Queen later was gracious enough to have the colonial Governor Sir John Macpherson deliver the OBE title and citation to Kabiyesi in lieu of the Knighthood in his old Palace in Akure on a platter of gold when I was a teenager growing up at the Deji's Palace in Akure.

The Deji of Akure institution has a long history behind it and Oba Adesida the First made it so with his sheer charisma, wisdom, long and eventful reign of 60 years when Akure metaphosed from a little hamlet to a vibrant city and now the doyen of all cities in Ondo State .

Deji Afunbiowo was abundantly compensated by God in a way nobody is able to explain. He accomplished something no Deji in Akure has ever attained. He was succeeded by three of his own children and one of his grandson named Deji Afunbiowo the Second, Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida who reigned for only 3 years but accomplished what all his predecessors combined could only dream of in their close to 50 years after Deji Afunbiowo.

Deji Agunsoye bi Oyinbo Ademuagun Adesida reigned for 16 years 23 days. Deji Otutubiosun Adelegan Adesida reigned for another 16 years and 7 days. Deji Ataiyese Adebobajo Adesida reigned for 8 years. Deposed Deji Osupa the Second who wrongly called himself the Third reigned for only 5 years. But Deji Afunbiowo the Second, Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida reigned for only 3 years. He was once described as the "Deji of Nigeria" by no less a powerful traditional ruler than the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar the Third in his own tribute and eulogy at the Deji's memorial service in 2014.

I have never in my life seen Akure people at home or abroad stand up for a cause as doggedly and as passionately as they have done in reference to Prince Aladetoyinbo's long quest for the Deji's throne from his base in Baltimore, Mary Land. It is often said that "Akure ki yin ni Ogun" meaning that Akure, "Omo A muda sile mogun erun pa ni" would sooner desert you than stand by you through thick and thin but they did stand with Patrick Aladetoyinbo in Baltimore for some mysterious reasons which many of the guests at the reception spoke so much about at the party..

They did with their moral and financial support all the way from year 2005 till 2015. You can say that Odundun Asode Dero became the Deji in response to the call of Destiny and by the special grace of God Almighty. The other factors for his success included the unconditional love and loyalty of his Eyesorun Abimbola Aladetoyinbo nee Akintide. The other factors that made the dream come true

For the new Deji was the Akure Group in Baltimore and Oyemekun International Group led by their President, Dr. Femi Alade. The members of the Oyemekun Old Boys Association of Baltimore, and the Women Group whose membership and motivator included Mrs. Ronke Jackson who remains the senior sister and confidant to the new Eyesorun of Akure till tomorrow.

Others I must never forget included distinguished ladies and gentlemen like the new Yeye Ewe of Akure Land, Mrs. Ikusika, a veteran nurse of repute who is known to have delivered thousands of babies in the Baltimore area. There is the Eyelaje of Baltimore by reputation, the one and only Dr. Irine Oseyemi Oluwole from Ijare and the last and not the least, Pastor and Pastor Mrs. Gbangbalasa of Mary Land. "Awon igi nla ni yen" meaning the big wigs among the Akures in Maryland and environs. Others include Alagba Jackson Falade a former President of Akure Descendants Union, Mr. and Mrs. Iyabo Oyeneyin, Mrs.  Foluke Akintan nee Tuki, of Maryland and others too many to recount in this write-up. There are some of you who played a significant role but whose name may have been left out in this write-up I f I do not remember you, God remembers you and will abundantly bless you for remaining anonymous. The enthusiasm you all showed at the reception for my daughter tells me loud and clear there are so many of you my family would never know but we know we owe you a debt of gratitude that only God can repay. I just love my daughter looking so radiant even better and more beautiful than Princess Diana at the height of her fame.

The reception for the Eyesorun drew a cream of the society in Baltimore and the environs. The Eyesorun was accompanied to the party by members of his family which included her two children namely Prince Adegoke and Princess Aderisola Aladetoyinbo. I attended the ceremony as the father of the Eyesorun and the Daodu of the late Olugunshin of Igunshin Bale Akintide Gbangba family of Akure. I came there to honor my daughter with my retinue of friends from New York which included all my children and grand children namely, Folajoye Akintide, a Naval Seal in the US Navy and his wife, Rita; Dr. Doyin Akintide, a Nephrologist based in Virginia and his Philipinno wife and their 3 children, Derinsola, Rayo and Dara, Mrs. Ololade Oloruntoba-Wayas a Pharmacist from Abuja.

It was an ecumenical gathering consisting of VIPs from all corners of America. The Master of Ceremony of the occasion was Mr. Adekanbi. Among the other dignitaries and family members included Mr. Segun Adedipe of the Okira unit of the famous Adedipe family of Akure..

Among the big speakers at the reception included, Segun Adedipe , Dr. Femi Alade, Mrs. Ronke Jackson  and a host of other speakers who spoke glowinglyand eloquently of the many virtues of the new Eyesorun.

To round up the speeches was the new Eyesorun herself dressed in full regalia with a life size picture of the Kabiyesi at the Hall to signify his spiritual presence. The Eyesorun spoke glowingly about her husband and she thanked all of the organizers and most especially the Akure Community in Mary land. She paid special encomiums to her father Dr.  Akintide and all of the other dignitaries which included The Iyalaje of Baltimore, Pharmacist Dr.  Irine Oseyemi Oluwole of Ijare who was there as a guest of Dr. Akintide. There was Mrs. Ola Alade of Baltimore and so many other Nigerians who. were all there to honor the Eyesorun.

The party lasted from 6 to 10 pm at night with lots of food and drinks and a lot of dancing as reported by the Sahara Reporters Television crew that covered the event to honor Dr. Akintide who is one of their volunteer staff and opinion columnists. The highlight of the day was a powerful speech delivered by the Eyesorun's father who quickly abandoned his prepared speech and he started singing One of the old tunes of Elemure Ogunyemi in praise of his daughter:

"Lekeleke mo b a sori Igi lugbe e,  Eiye Oko in mo w a ria un o. Eiyesorun d'Araba O d'Uti o mo yege" Dr.Akintide then followed  with the traditional cognomen {Oriki} of his daughter and her husband the Deji of Akure in flawless Akure dialect as reproduced below. Theoriki" eulogy drew a standing ovation from the other guests who joined him. The cognomen is reproduced below verbatim for those of you who speaks Akure dialect fluently.

"Eyesorun jogbodo Olopo Ewa, Aya Agbogbomoja o gbomo ni buruku ori. Omo Eleiye se uye uye at dori ogun l'Ugoba. Omo l'Ugoba ugbamo yeye. Ejioba Omo Olale, Omo a jigbe agba urin. Omo Oloba o rin  jeule. Ale le k'omo Oba mo rin, tugbi osan lisoro. Omo a yugbo Ebo m'Osupa jie re bo. O dumosa luku Aiyegbe. Omo Baralaye ko l'Uro meji O ti popo loju Ogun Ogingin Uro o tu poronyin we se, ona ni mo ko Olokoju Ayeko. Omo Alakoda kon meran Erin so. Omo Oluda firi bi Ojiji  Omo Ole taun topo topo Aguntan meta orundurun. Ole!  Ole! Ole! O bolomo mesan pin I ki olomo je kan ki ohun je mejo. Omo eyin moran ariwe. O le wa bi Mojere, O mo roro bi ojo. Orisa jimi la ki mi ri bi Oluleyi, sugbon ku o ri bi Oluleyi ku e ladin be sikon? Wa segun Ota, wa ri ehin Odi, Omo Araiye ko ni ri e gbe se Hon r'aba o wi si. Asiko re ati Oko re a tu Akure lara".

Now to" Kabiyesi  Odundun Asode Dero Keji Egun Mogaji Oko Eyesorun. Ekun tan ni kere mu. Agbogbomoja o gbo moni buruku ori. Olori Alade Ajiwa jiwa Ileke. O tori Ileke d'oluku Oyo Afinju Oloja ko m'ejo so gba di. Wonni ko gbudo j'Ejo sugbon o gbori Oka ha nu. Adumila ogiso Otolu Apara o ko eyin ori Ogun seje. O ro pupa bi Odide. O beri omo sagongon t'oke Eda r'odo. Omo Igi meta Oke Eda, Oke Eda nwo orun timo timo. Odudu gbemu gbemu o lomi sira bi aboyun. Omi nini Eiye mu, Okun Araba Ribi, O bunimo bunimo soju koko mo ni. Iwerepe gbara re gba igi oko. Eru Oba ni moba, Oba to. Oba toto bi aro Oba to, Eru Oba ni moba Oba to. Oba re re bi Osun, Oba to. Alaiye  Odio Igba Keji Orisa. Alaiye gbede gbede bi oni layin. O momo rubo ki eru ba diye, O momo rubo ki eye re ki arufin ana. I arufi ana o  lua mi. Omo pa kon pa, Omo mu kon mu Omo eiye te ori Ade. O pakoko pa koko o pa Akoko toro toro o pa Alani o mu aremo re seji. O gbomo ligi kije re sokoto udi re.Omo l'Usopo mari ja l'odi, Omo L'Usopo moyinyin so re. Usopo mo be sise, iyan no gun ro L'Usopo.Omo Oba to nf'Oba je. Aluko fini Oloro ba a ji. Iku Ooooooodio Saki Ekun Ha ha ha, Oba li je be. Wa gbo, wa to, wa segun Ota, wa rehin Odi".

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