Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
The memory of the erstwhile Ooni of Ife, the late Oba Aderemi Adesoji, enjoyed a major retrospective recently when scholars, academics, historians, traditional rulers, culture enthusiasts, politicians, researchers, journalists, students as well as other eminent dignitaries from different walks of life paid glowing tributes to him.
The programme also had Aderemi’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as the current Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi in attendance.
They had gathered at DAWN Colloquium held on zoom to reminisce on the enduring legacies that he set on the throne during his 50-year reign.
He reigned from 1930 to 1980 when he joined his ancestors.
He was the longest-reigning monarch until then.
The event which was held to mark the 40th anniversary of his death was intended to immortalise him, particularly because of his immense contributions to regional and national development.
Themed: “Ooni Adesoji Aderemi, the Philosopher King: 40 Years After,” speakers recalled some unique attributes that marked Aderemi out which helped him succeed as a foremost monarch, political leader, bridge-builder and development champion.
The colloquium was organised by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission as part of its Yoruba Historical Conversation series.
Its Director-General, Mr Seye Oyeleye, said the conversation was established to highlight the greatness of the Yoruba race to enable young Yoruba tribes to connect the past with the present and better understand their great heritage.
The current Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, while eulogising Aderemi, said: ‘Oba Aderemi Adesoji left behind very big shoes with many legacies. He was a major pioneer of Independence negotiation not only in Nigeria but also in Africa.
‘Every day is a celebration of his enduring legacies and his good deeds. I will forever emulate him.’
Professor of History at Osun State University, Siyan Oyeweso, while also reflecting on Oba Aderemi’s virtues said: ‘Oba Aderemi was highly interested in deepening our understanding of the history of Ile-Ife and the culture industry. He led by personal examples.’