By Olatidoye Akeem
His Royal Highness, Oba AbdulRasaq Adegboyega Afolabi Iyiolaseni III, the Olojoku of Ojoku land in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State clocks 10 years on the throne.
When Oba Afolabi ascended the throne of his forefathers in 2009, his ascension was unanimously supported by the community as the royal father because of his outstanding qualities and track records.
Today he is 10 years on the throne as the Olojoku of Ojoku with lots of distinct developments that he brought to the town.
In an exclusive interview, the monarch told The Herald that he was born in the Oluwole Compound of Lagos State but later taken to Ghana where he spent some years before coming back to Ojoku to start his Primary School education at Methodist Primary School, Ojoku.
He mentioned that the 10 years anniversary of his tenure as the traditional ruler of the community has been designed to appreciate the contributions he was able to make, to appreciate God for his life, and to further seek for more blessings from God for every citizen of Ojoku.
Oba AbdulRasaq also said his 10 years on the throne was challenging, sometimes scary, but he thanked Allah for making everything easy for him.
Speaking about his emergence as the traditional ruler, Olojoku said he was called upon by his people because he has what it takes to manage the affairs of the town and he accepted their clarion call because he meant well for the people and the community.
He disclosed that, “though it was a contest between all other contenders from other ruling homes in Ojoku, but I eventually emerged the King of Ojoku and I will continue to praise Allah for that”.
He acknowledged some of the members of the Ojoku town both in Nigeria and in Diaspora for their immense support and contributions towards fast tracking numbers of projects and programmes within the town.
The Traditional ruler mentioned that his experience as the Olojoku is so good. “If you are a traditional ruler of a particular community, there nothing God is deserved from you more than praising Him and appreciating Him because when you consider the type of honour and the respect the people would be giving to you, the old and young people, the rich and the poor.
“You won’t know how the tears of joy would drop from your eyes, and you would continue to praise God and imagine “.
He said the 10th year anniversary celebration was to showcase those achievements he was able to record since he came to the throne.
Oba Adegboyega said the achievements were projects by the Kwara State Government, projects by some of the Ojoku Community association among other supports received from the well meaning personalities from Ojoku.
He said schools under Ojoku have been renovated and upgraded within his 10 years on the throne by the Kwara State Government except the Wesley Primary School that has not received good attention, but something would be done.
He promised that the towns prominent association, Ojoku Descendant Union (ODU) would get stronger and recognise everywhere under his leadership.
He appealed to sons and daughters of Ojoku to come and invest in the town in order to project the name of the community in the four corners of the world.
The Olojoku urged other people from the town, especially those who are yet to contribute to the development of the community, to please do so in the interest of their ancestors and incoming generations.
He expressed displeasure over the state of roads linking Ojoku to some other neighbouring towns. “I want you to take it from me that, if those roads are put in proper shape by the present administration in Kwara State, those roads would improve the socioeconomic development of Ojoku “.
He stated “if these roads are the only thing that the present Governor does for us during his four year tenure, we are satisfied “.
The ruler informed that the town has witnessed rapid physical development in the last 10 years, “there are some edifices here in Ojoku that many believed that it is only in Lagos and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja that such buildings could be found “.
He mentioned that many times when he travelled overseas and have the opportunity to meet with some of the sons and daughters of his community, his request to them was they should come and invest in their country home, Ojoku.
“Numbers of buildings make a place a mega city. It is my dream and prayer to turn Ojoku to a mega city and I have e stated working on that only what I need from you my people is support”. He said
He added, “any where I been to, I project the Good image of Ojoku. Have been to London, Canada, United States of America (USA), I gave positive image of Ojoku, my father’s and people really appreciated it.
Olojoku however frown at some of the attitude of some academicians who doesn’t associate with their immediate communities but turned the cities to their permanent homes.
He said, their failure to visit their towns and villages, especially the Professors who have e lots of things to lose.
Oba Afolabi mentioned that it is by visiting their immediate towns and villages regularly they would be able to play their own parts in the development of their place and again benefited from the communities and the people.
He said, many people from the town were married to people from other states in Nigeria, and they even failed to visit Ojoku, to familiarise with the town.
He described the attitude as bad and would not do any good to them and their families.
“If any one continues to abandon his immediate town and villages, he his planning to produce a lost generation because when you died and your children didn’t know where you belong, then you have produced a lost generation”.
He noted that the only challenge facing Ojoku is the issue of farms encroachment by the Fulani Bororo whose cattle always eaten up farms.
“Any time we heard of such case and we investigates and discovered the Bororos were at fault, we instructed the owners of the farm produce eaten by the cattle to pay compensation which they have been doing.
“As we know that Ojoku is like most of the States in the Northern parts of the country where we have the presence of so many tribes. We have Agatu from Benue State, we have the Hausas, the Fulanis, the Bororos and some other tribes and we accommodate them because Ojoku people are loving ,peaceful, and we believe we are one Nigeria and they are our brothers and sisters but we are not going to condone any forms of violence, illegality and breaking down all laws”.
AbdulRasaq who was a former Labour activist under Kwara State, said “Labour union is not meant for daft, riff-raff and nonentity. Labour activists are people with integrity, those that are mentally sound and upright “.
He said those during his period as a leader of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), welfare of members was paramount to him. “We facilitated the currents salary status of the local government workers in the country today because there was a discrepancy between the core Civil servants salaries and the local government workers in the past”.
He also said, “I ensure that members of worker governments benefited from free hajj programme during my period, but the whole system have been bastardised today”.
He also talk about the Educational system in Nigeria, saying that, “nothing is bad about our policy on education, but we have challenge with our implementation.”
There is a need for government to take a critical look at ways and manners policies are been implemented in Nigeria but only on education.
Olojoku appreciated Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the tremendous achievements he has recorded within the period he assumed office as Governor; he appealed to him for assistance in the construction of roads that connect Ojoku to other communities and city.