By: Jimmysayo Adebiyi
President Bola Tinubu has commended Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Osemawe and Paramount Ruler of Ondo Kingdom for the tremendous socio-economic and human capital developments that took place in Ondo Kingdom within the 17 years he ascended the throne.
Tinubu made the commendation on Sunday during the Thanksgiving service of 70th birthday and 17th anniversary on the throne of Oba Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo at the Diocese of Ondo (Anglican Communion) Cathedral Church of St. Stephen in Ondo city.
The president, who was represented by Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister of Interior, said the last 17 years had been very peaceful in Ondo Kingdom.
He urged everyone to keep supporting the traditional ruler in ensuring that there was peace and security while the kingdom continued to develop.
President Tinubu said: “Kabiyesi has been a great contributor to the development and security of his kingdom and Ondo State at large.
“I want to urge sons and daughters as well as residents of Ondo Kingdom to continue to support the Royal father in his strive to see the kingdom develop socio-economically.
“All I can wish is that this should continue and probably get better under the leadership of kabiyesi as he continues to lead us in the right direction.”
In his congratulatory message, President Tinubu emphasised that the Federal Government was not unaware of the support Oba Kiladejo lent agencies, institutions, programmes and government officials in relation with the Oba’s community over the years.
He said: “You pulled out to mount the throne of your forefathers, as the Ose awe and Paramount Ruler of the Ondo Kingdom.
“It is evident that 17 years on, your imperial majesty has filled that expansive office admirable, thus proving that the kingmaker of Ondo, obviously operating under divine inspiration, did not make a mistake in their unanimous choice of you as the next Osemawe in 2006.
“Today, no one needs to go too far to encounter the evidence of your impactful reign over the Ondo Ekimogun people. They are visible all over the community, and touch practically all aspects of human endeavour.
“On a personal note, let me, once again, express my appreciation to you for the two letters of congratulations you so graciously sent to me upon my victory at the February polls, and later, my subsequent inauguration as President.
“I pray that the years ahead turn out to be much more remarkable, for you, your immediate family, and the good people of Ondo Kingdom, whom you have led so admirably, these past 17 years. May your reign continue to be fruitful and prosperous.”
in his response, Oba Kiladejo appreciated President Tinubu, for the honour he gave him by attending his 70th birthday and 17th anniversary on the throne.
He commended the President for appointing Tunji-Ojo as one of his ministers who he described as an outstanding performer since he assumed office.
Oba Kiladejo disclosed that he really didn’t want to celebrate the birthday and the anniversary in a flamboyant manner, but his people insisted that they wanted to celebrate him.
He said he enjoyed uncommon love and support from his siblings when he was nominated to be the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom.
According to him, unlike what usually obtains in some rulings houses in African kingdom’s where siblings killed one another to ascend the throne, his siblings rallied round him and chose him to be the king.
He said: “I am a child of destiny. My siblings all agreed that I should be the king when it was our turn. I would rather say that the style of upbringing given to by our father was responsible for the great love among us his children.
“When we were growing up, we all are from the same bowl and the soup is put in the same plate. Our father said he wanted all of us to be swallowing one another’s saliva.
“That’s his style of raising his children and this really paid off.”
The Paramount Ruler of Ondo Kingdom also appreciated all his counterparts from different kingdoms, particularly in Yoruba Kingdom, including Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Deji and Paramount Ruler of Akure Kingdom, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, and several monarchs present.
He commended Senator Olorunimbe Mamora and many other dignitaries present for honouring him with their presence at the celebration.
In his sermon entitled: “The King Shall Rejoice,” the retired Archbishop of Ondo Diocesse of Anglican Communion, Bishop George Lasebikan commended Oba Kiladejo for reigning over his people with the fear of God.
He said the king radiates all divine virtues expected of a king who is after God’s heart.
Admonishing politicians occupying elective positions in the country, the cleric charged them to be altruistic and serve the people right.
Bishop ‘Lasebikan said: “When we are in positions of exultation, we throw our heads as if nobody is above us.
“Permit me, if not for your sake, but for the sake of our leaders, there’s a need for sanity.
“I want us to learn from the words of Khaled Hosseini, he said: “It’s better to get hurt with the truth than be comforted with lies.”
“All we do is to souround ourselves with sycophants. Leadership today needs a repentant attitude in how to treat the followership.
“We tend to rubbish those who are lesser individuals. How many of them(political officeholders) are confident to go to their local government. If they go there, they will be stoned.
“How you reign over the people matters. We tell them that people are being killed, but they go about in bullet proof vehicles because they don’t want to be killed. Is that not a scam?
Life is temporary. Permanent Secretaries are not permanent after all.”