Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure and Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
A prominent traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folag- bade Olateru Olagbegi, is dead.
The first class monarch, who ascended the throne in 2003, reportedly died inside his palace, yesterday. He was aged 77.
A source at the palace told Daily Sun that the monarch had earlier at- tended a security summit in the town same day.
The source hinted that the late monarch later developed complications after he had retired to the palace and eventually died.
Although, the state government was yet to make any official statement on the death of the traditional ruler, the news of his death has gone viral within the state.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Segun Ajiboye, said he was yet to receive formal notice of the monarch’s death and could, therefore, not make any comment on his death.
Incidentally, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who hails from Owo, was on an official engagement out- side the country.
However, an official of Owo Local Government Area of the state, who preferred anonymity, confirmed the death of the monarch and said the chairman of the local government will, today, formally announce it.
He said the monarch had been on and off the hospital for over a year and attributed his death to health challenges he suffered since ascension to the throne.
The late traditional ruler was a prominent lawyer during his life time and he was honoured with a national award of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR).
He was appointed the chancellor of the University of Benin in 2015, and later the University of Abuja.
The late Oba Olagbegi was a former chairman, Ondo State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Meanwhile, Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1, has described the late Olowo as a great man, even in death.
He said this in a statement issued by his Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Public Affairs, Adeola Oloko, yesterday.
Oba Adetunji said the death of the first class Owo monarch came as a rude shock to him, but noted that he lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation.
Olubadan, however, commiserated with the government and people od Ondo State in general and people of Owo town and his immediate family in particular.
He also prayed God for the repose of Oba Olateru’s soul.