By Niyi Olasinde
NIYI OLASINDE reviews the contributions of late Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Abdulrauf Olayiwola Olawale, Adedeji II in his lifetime.
PON his ascension to the throne on July 5 1990, the most pressing task at hand, which had been pursuant since the time of his predecessor, Oba Lawani Atoyebi Adeyemi Oyejola (1945-1989), was the creation of a state with the status and identity of Osun. This noble cause, which came to fruition almost exactly a year into his reign, formed the acid test for his royal status. He threw himself at it and other progressive causes with all might and mains.
The foregoing defines the life and times of the departed royal father of Ikirun, the headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government of the State of Osun, Oba Abdulrauf, Olayiwola Olawale, Adedeji II, who, till breathing his last on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 lived, exerted and worked out the best for his people, his domains and the State of Osun throughout his glorious reign, spanning almost 31 years.
‘Baba Akinrun’, as he was fondly addressed, epitomised the best traditions of the royal institution. Bold, pungent, practical and pugnacious, the liege lord towered prominently and earned respect of state and local helmsmen; national and international movers and shakers, as his reign witnessed switches across systems: military and civilian. Barely a year before his ascension, Bórípé was severed out of Ifelodun LGA, the duo becoming vibrant councils in the 42-structure old Oyo State LGA system. The two councils formed two solid first generation LGAs in the new State of Osun, emerging through the 1991 state creation. By political delineation in Osun Central, Baba’s domain of jurisdiction became the headquarters of the Ifelodun/Bórípé/Òdò-Otin (IBO) Federal Constituency; and zonal headquarters in many other respects.
Upon the creation of LCDAs and Area Offices, Ikirun, under Oba Olawale never lagged, as it got its fair share in the bargain. Thanks to the Rauf Aregbesola administration.
As at the time of his installation/coronation, Ikirun was begging for expression as zonal head in the full context. He brought this to fruition through his impressive, eventful reign. Oba Olawale brought developments to Ikirun and environs via his visionary and accommodating gaits. The number of government establishments and institutions multiplied during his reign. Some of the federal establishments that either got instituted outright or got upgraded are the Federal Government College, the State of Osun School of Science, the Federal High Court, upgraded State Hospital and the federal security and paramilitary apparatuses, all of which got their offices and services upscaled in the zonal headquarters during the time of the late monarch. Aside this, trade and commerce thrived, private institutions increased in number, while religious institutions grew in leaps and bounds. On the whole, peace and tranquility became a creed all through Oba Olawale’s reign.
Roads and other infrastructure in Ikirun and environs got a touch of rejuvenation under his reign. New roads were opened and paved. The famous and prestigious Akinorun Grammar School became totally overhauled and revamped through the progressive and dynamic drives of this great king. Secondary educational institution ceased to be the pinnacle, as a faith-based private university, in the order of Islam, was in the offing before Papa’s translation.
As a former banker, it is impressive to put on note how financial institutions multiplied in Ikirun under his reign, even when many communities were losing bank branches to recapitalisation! A cog in the wheel was the threat posed to this trend by incessant nefarious activities of armed robbers and bandits. The late Akinrun was almost through with putting the bank branches fully back to their feet before his supreme call of reunion with his ancestors.
Trade and commerce flourished and this reasserted Ikirun’s status as commercial hub. Notably, Monday and Thursday (Alamisi) markets sprang into existence. They both tower colossal influence till date.
In copious cognizance of his sterling contributions and impact-filled reign, the President Goodluck Jonathan PDP-led administration, during its hey-days, conferred on Oba Olawale, Adedeji II the prestigious National Merit Award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).
We identify with Ikirun sons and daughters at home and in the diaspora, the kingmakers, the Olómo Obas, the Akirun-in-Council, Ifelodun Local Government and the State of Osun in mourning the monumental vacuum created by the irreparable loss of this quintessential monarch. We pray that God’s peace continue to reign supreme over his domains and our state. May God raise another goodly, progressive monarch as replacement over His people.
We wish the kind and illustrious soul of Oba Abdulrauf Olayiwola Olawale, Adedeji II, MFR an everlasting repose with Allah in Aljanna Firdaus.