Brief Citation of His Royal Majesty, Alaiyeluwa, Ogbagba II, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, CFR, The Awujale of Ijebuland
Alaiyeluwa Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Adetona, CFR the Awujale of Ijebuland is perhaps the longest ruling monarch today in Nigeria, having spent by April this year 61years on the throne. His significance as a traditional ruler as well as far reaching influence in national and global quarters are not exhausted by longevity on the throne. In terms of relevance, progress, statesmanship, the force of ideas and innovation he is regarded in several quarters as the pre-eminent monarch not just in the South- West but in the entire country and well beyond it. Some of his enduring achievements which have been copied by other traditional rulers include giant strides in microfinance, and poverty alleviation, the transformation of the Ojude Oba festival into a cultural global iconic brand, the mobilization of age grade groups ‘regberegbe’ into a powerhouse for fund raising and sustainable development. There is also the conversion of the traditional institution into a moral platform for speaking truth to power and for chastising or rebuffing reprobate leadership.
Born on 10th May, 1934, Oba Adetona was coronated king on April 2, 1960 and became the Awujale of Ijebu Land being a member of the Anikinaiya Ruling House. He succeeded Oba Daniel Adesanya, Gbelegbuwa II and was born to and grew up in his family house, in Ijebu Ode reared by his father, Prince Rufai Adetona Adeleke, one of the sons of Oba Adeleke, Ogbagba Agbotewole I and his mother Ajibabi Adetona (nee Onashile) herself a princess from Ijebu Igbo. Oba Adetona began his education at Ogbere United Primary School in Ijebu Igbo as well as Ansar-Ud-Deen School Ijebu Ode between 1943 and 1950.
Thereafter he proceeded to the famous Oluiwa Secondary School which later became Adeola Odutola College, Ijebu-Ode. He studied at Adeola Odutola College between 1951 and 1956 after which he was appointed at the Western Regional Civil Service in the accounts department. Subsequently, Oba Adetona resigned his appointment in order to undertake advanced studies in the United Kingdom in the area of accountancy. Two years later, Oba Adetona was formally appointed and inaugurated as the Awujale of Ijebu Land.
As indicated in the opening section of this citation, Alayeluwa Oba Adetona has had a momentous career full of several beneficial achievements, not only in Ijebuland but throughout Yorubaland and indeed in the entire country. Two of his particular interventions are in the economic empowerment field as well as in educational development. For example, there is little doubt that one of the most successful poverty reduction programs in the country is the one initiated by Oba Adetona employing the auspices of the Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction.
Developing a model of city wide consultations, the traditional ruler transformed seed money of 500,000 naira into, in a period of a few years, at least a hundred million naira in a program which in those early years had benefited at least 5000 people. Subsequently, the enterprise became far flung with spin offs on agricultural development, employment creation, micro finance, and community based development activities.
Arguably, it is the best of its type in South West Nigeria, and way beyond it. One other exiting area where Oba Adetona had impacted lives and a shape destiny concerns his involvement in higher educational development.
In March 2016, he organized an elaborate fund raising ceremony on an unprecedented scale which dovetailed into a 1billion naira Endowment Fund for the launch of a professorial Chair in Governance located at the Department of Political Science, Olabisi Onabanjo University. In his usual vigorous style, 8months later, the Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Adetona Professorial Chair took off with the appointment of a professor, Research Assistant, and panoply of office equipment for the commencement of academic and research work. It is the best funded professorial chair in the country and beyond developing in the space of 4years an identity of its own and a niche in the academic world. In the same manner, Oba Adetona developed and gave life to the concept of Oba Adetona Institute of Governance Studies located at Olabisi Onabanjo University and took off in May 2020 with the appointment of a Director General. Both the Professorial Chair and the Institute have brought Olabisi Onabanjo University impressive buildings and upgraded roads befitting the educational innovations introduced by Oba Adetona.
We wish Kabiyesi many more years of path breaking achievements