In this Exclusive Interview with Omoba ’Peju Akinyemi, Founder & CEO of Ikorodu Oga Radio who incidentally is also a direct descendant of the Ogbonyari-Akarigbo Royal Family, Omoba Jokotex Ogunbiyi Oyeneye- Baale of Idafa Odogunloye and the newly installed Olotu-Ebi Omoba Ogbonyari-Akarigbo in Ikorodu, the Textile Merchant, Hotelier and Community Leader bares his mind on varying issues, ranging from his new role as Head of Ogbonyari-Akarigbo Family in Ikorodu; His responsibility as the Baale of Idafa and the challenge of Insecurity across Ikorodu.
Can we meet you, Sir? I am Omoba Jokotex Ogunbiyi Oyeneye, Baale of Idafa Odogunloye, Ikorodu and the Olotu-Ebi Omoba Ogbonyari-Akarigbo of Remo Land in Ikorodu.
What can you tell us about your installation as the Olotu Omoba Ogbonyari -Akarigbo Descendant Family in Ikorodu? Firstly, I want to thank God for preserving the lives of some of our fathers, like Alh Jimoh Ogunlaru a.k.a Baba Bena who saw the need to hand over the leadership of the Omoba Ogbonyari Akarigbo Descendant Family in Ikorodu to younger elements as a way of sustaining the family bond, history and virtues. Initially, I hesitated but, I had to accept the offer when the old man insisted it was time for younger elements to lead the family.
What has changed since you became the Olotu Ebi Ogbonyari-Akarigbo? It is very interesting to note that, before now, hardly do up to ten people attend our family meetings but, to the Glory of God and the support of our fathers, we are now recording up to 70 family members in attendance. Sincerely, it is surprising to me and all family members.
What can you say is responsible for the positive developments under your leadership? I will say firstly, it is God and the support of our fathers. Most importantly is that, we have introduced some new innovations aimed at repositioning the royal family. Some of these ideas are what no royal family has ever embarked upon before.
What is the Significance of your progenitor, The Legendary Ogbonyari-Akarigbo of Remo Land? Our ancestor, the Ogbonyari Akarigbo of Remo Land and Anoko his younger brother were the only two siblings, from the same mother to have reigned as Kings in the same town, successively in Yoruba Land.
History has it that, those days, people from Ikorodu usually go to Sagamu, otherwise called Orile-Offin for the bi-weekly Osugbo cult meeting. On this particular day and as custom demands, the Ogugbo cult members came to Ikorodu to pick a new Akarigbo after the demise of the reigning Akarigbo of Remo Land. The Ifa oracle had picked Ogbonyari as the next Akarigbo.
At this time, Ogbonyari and his younger brother, Anoko were based in Ewu-Owa at Gberigbe, here in Ikorodu. On sighting the Osugbos, Ogbonyari who was pounding yam with his younger brother, Anoko escaped into the bush. Left with no option, the Osugbos had to take the younger brother- Anoko in his place. But, Anoko only reigned for a few years as Akarigbo and died.
On consulting the Ifa oracle again, it insisted on Ogbonyari as the choice for the vacant stool. The Osugbos had to make another trip to Ikorodu where they now succeeded in crowning Ogbonyari as the Akarigbo of Remo Land. His reign was peaceful, prosperous and long. Ogbonyari died, leaving many children among who are in Ikorodu, Sagamu across the world.
Oba Ogbonyari was a great King who we were told was full of wisdom, hence his name- Ogbonyari- ‘Wisdom is not cheap to come by’.
What is your Plan towards unifying the Ogbonyari Family in Ikorodu and Sagamu under your leadership? I am privileged to be conversant with our family members both in Ikorodu and Sagamu and this background has been very helpful to me in this crucial assignment. We are working hard towards unifying the Ogbonyari family in Sagamu and Ikorodu. Right now, we go to Sagamu for family meetings and events. Our people from Sagamu have also been honouring our invitation to family meetings and social events here in Ikorodu as well. We are going to build on this to build a firm and strong family bond among ourselves and our children.
You are also the Baale of Idafa, how do you intend to combine this responsibility with your new role as the Olotu Ebi Ogbonyari-Akarigbo in Ikorodu? Well, I am not unmindful of the huge responsibilities but, I know and believe in God to help me in the discharge of my duties without any clash. I am a Child of Destiny. What is presently playing out in my life today has been foretold since 1989. This goes to show that God is involved. It may also interest you to know that the love and support I receive from residents of Idafa Community has so much make my job a lot easier.
What’s your take on Insecurity in Ikorodu? The problem of insecurity in our communities is connected to the challenge of unemployment. Our representatives and local government chairmen need to do more by providing employment opportunities for our teeming youths. Once the problem of unemployment is solved, half of the problem of insecurity has been addressed. It will then be easy to arrest and prosecute the unrepentant criminals among them.
Ikorodu Oga Radio: Thank you for your creating time with Ikorodu Oga Radio
Baale / Olotu: It is my pleasure.