Arrangements are in top gear for the 3rd coronation anniversary of His Royal Highness, Oba Owolabi Adeyemi Adeniyi, the Oba of Igbobi-Sabe, in Shomolu area of Lagos State. According to the Monarch, who spoke with The Nation in his palace last Thursday, the community decided to celebrate the anniversary of his ascension to the throne largely for the purpose of drawing the attention of Nigerians, especially the Yoruba race, to the prominent historical position of Igbobi-Sabe.
Oba Adeniyi, who lamented that his domain was, for some time in the past, under the siege of criminals, expressed happiness that with his coming to the throne of his fore-fathers, the community was able to overcome the numerous challenges posed by criminals and their sponsors. He attributed his success in ridding Igbobi-Sabe of criminals to God and his fore-fathers.
“Whenever a rightful King mounts the throne, the community will prosper and overcome all crises. Fadeyi, the most popular part of my domain, was a notorious place as we all know. But those people who were causing problem there before are not from this domain. They are strangers. We thank God we got rid of them. There is no magic other than the prayer of the people in my domain and the grace of God. Our ancestors stood by us and we overcame the problem,” he said.
Speaking on the place of Igbobi-Sabe in Yoruba history, Oba Adeniyi recalled that the founder of the community, Sabe, was one of the great-grandchildren of Oduduwa, the father of the Yourba race. He lamented that this historical importance of the town is almost forgotten by the Yoruba race. He added that the coronation anniversary will be used to reiterate the place of Igbobi Sabe in the country’s socio-political history.
“The creation of Igbobi-Sabe dates back to the early years when our progenitor, a great hunter of no equal, Sabe, settled in the Colanut groove (Igbo-Obi) here after a tortuous journey on a hunting expedition, from Ile-Ife, the cradle and ancestral origin of the Yoruba race. It was at the end of that predestined journey that our ancestor founded our town here.
Sabe was one of the many great-grandchildren of Oduduwa, the father of the Yourba race. Of course, his journey was not without If a divinity which actually directed him to where he should go and finally instructed him to settle here in Igbobi Sabe, a Kolanut farmland. The farmland back then was popular for a variety of Kolanut called Edun.
As the custodianof a rich tradition and culture that need to be propagated for people to remember and respect the place of our town in the history of the land, we are doing everything possible to promote our cultural heritages and reposition Igbobi-Sabe to take her rightful place in the comity of nations in Yorubaland and in Nigeria as a whole.
Ours is a community with huge presence of traditional deities which are frequently worshiped by our people. We still hold our culture and tradition in high esteem as a frontline Yoruba town. Deities like Elegbara, Ogun, Gelede and others are still very alive with us here but Gelede is the most popular. We have the best varieties of Gelede here in Igbobi Sabe. These are some of the things we want to use the anniversary to propagate,” Oba Adeniyi said.
Explaining his love for the Gelede, Oba Adeniyi said he usually bring the devotees of the deity from Ketu in neighboring Benin Republic. According to him, the people of Ketu, who are siblings of the Sabe people here in Igbobi, have religiously practiced the Gelede over the years so much that the practice has remained the same as it was in the very beginning.
However, the Monarch, who said he was a Pastor before ascending the throne of his forefathers, was quick to point out that adherent of other faiths like the Christians and the Muslims, are free to live and practice their religion in his domain. According to him, there is no way anybody can be forced to practice a religion other than the one he desires.
“We do not disturb or discriminate against non-traditional worshipers. I was a Pastor and a Shepherd before becoming a King. I was first a Shepherd in the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC). Then I later moved to the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Agbala Itura. Look at me today, I am on the throne of my ancestors as a traditionalist. So, we do not force people to partake in our worships, everybody is free to belong to any religion in Igbobi Sabe,” he explained.
The Monarch also talked about his achievements on the throne and his aspirations for his subjects. “The moment I climbed the throne of my fore-fathers three years ago, my first step was to establish a foundation that is aimed at helping our people to the best of my ability. I provided scholarships for indigent students and organize free tutorials for students and school children in my domain after the end of each school session. Igbobi Sabe has the highest number of educational institutions in this part of the world. My domain has played significant roles in the educational pursuit of our children.”
Hon. Aliu Babatunde Kazeem, a former member of House of Representatives and a childhood friend of the King, described Oba Owolabi as a very peaceful, calm and intelligent person.”I wish him a successful reign. I pray Igbobi Sabe people will know his tenure for good, development and peace,’ he said. The ex-Lawmaker added that Oba Adeniyi has brought lots of respect and awareness to the town in the last three years.
Chief Kolawole Daudu who is the Baale of Abule-Ijesha, also described the Oba as accommodating and determined to change the fortune of his domain for good. He described him as the unifying force for the many communities in Shomolu and Yaba areas of the state. The community leader added that Oba Adeniyi’s effort at developing his domain is worthy of emulation by other traditional rulers. ” He is a change agent,” Daudu said.