By NBF News
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Royal honours for Agagu, Alapinni
…As Oba Olashore turns 75
Thursday , March 11, 2010

• Chief Alapinni (right) Oba Olashore and Chief (Mrs) Alapinni

The sleepy town of Iloko-Ijesa in Osun State came alive recently as dignitaries across several walks of life converged on the town. The occasion was the conferment of honorary chieftaincy titles on former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu and his wife, and the retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Mr. Tunji Alapinni and his wife.

The ceremony, which was part of the activities marking the 75th birthday anniversary of the Ajagbusi-Ekun of Iloko-Ijesa, Oba Oladele Olashore, saw Agagu and wife becoming the Gbobaniyi and Yeye Gbobaniyi of Iloko-Ijesa while Alapinni and his spouse became the Fiwagboye and Yeye Fiwagboye of the town.

The modest open arcade of the Ajagbusi-Ekun was filled to the brim while guests, men and women, from within and outside the country, also filled the palace square in different colourful attires. Declaring open the ceremony following the traditional rites at Ile Ase, where the chieftaincy titles were conferred on the two couples, Orisa of Iloko-Ijesa, High Chief Olusola Ogunsanya, stated that the chieftaincy titles were in honour of the selfless service rendered to the Iloko people by both Agagu and Alapinni.

According to Ogunsanya, who is second-in-command to the Oba, honorary titles of the sleepy town were neither for sale nor for asking. In his words, they were for worthy people who display outstanding performances in public or private offices. 'No matter who you are, whether president, governor or minister, the Ajagbusi-Ekun will never honour a public office holder while in office. His chieftaincy titles are not for sale or for asking.

'In the list of names submitted for consideration this year, these two personalities stood out based on their records of performance,' Ogunsanya stated. He attested to Agagu's humility and his commitment to quality service while he was governor. He also applauded Alapinni's performance while he served as a police officer.

After the presentation of staff of office, the Ajagbusi-Ekun also attested to the humane disposition, moral uprightness and respect exhibited by both Agagu and Alapinni while in their respective offices.

He spoke glowingly of the two personalities and how they endeared themselves to him. Of Agagu, the royal father said: 'I don't why he so loved me and my community. As Minister of Power and Steel, he helped in the stepping down of electricity by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) at Asoro Power Station. As a governor, there is nothing we did here that he would not attend personally. And he used to send us end-of- the-year hampers as a mark of his love for us. This is apart from several instances where he has accorded me respect either in Abuja or at the airport. His title justifies what he has been doing to me and my community.'

On Alapinni, the monarch said the former Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Ijebu-Ijesa endeared himself to Iloko community with his exceptional humility, respect and exploits as a crime fighter. 'All the royal fathers talk glowingly about him, including our revered Oonirisa of Ile-Ife. He is humility personified and his conduct and comportment as a senior police officer earned him this honour,' the royal father said. He also prayed for the two honourees and their wives. He later challenged them to make the community feel their impact the more in the areas of economic development and social advancement.

Responding on behalf of the two families, Agagu applauded the gesture of the Ajagbusi-Ekun and Iloko Traditional Council for bestowing honour on them. He explained that the chieftaincy titles came as a big surprise to the two of them as they never lobbied the king or any of his chiefs for the honour. 'We are not even rich to give Ajagbusi-Ekun money for these titles. So, we really appreciate what the community has done for us and I want to tell all our friends here, who have come from far and near that the journey to Iloko-Ijesa has just started.

If Kabiyesi kills a fowl, we are all coming together again to join him in eating the fowl. If he kills a cow, you are all coming with me to join Kabiyesi in eating the cow,' Agagu stated. Among those at the ceremony were Nigeria's High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro; Former Chief of Army Staff, General Alani Akinrinade (retd); eminent businessman, High Chief Bayo Akinnola; Senator Gbenga Ogunniya and Chief Benjamin Adigun, among others. Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly also led a powerful delegation from the state while traditional rulers from neighbouring communities were an exciting sight with their royal attire.