The ways and manners by which Oyo State lost five prominent traditional rulers within the past eight months have been described a mere co-incidence that should not be worried about.
The Regional Pastor of Ibadan Regional 21 of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Charles Obasa, gave the assurance on Wednesday on the sidelines of his courtesy call on the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mohood Olalekan Balogun, Ali-Okunmade II, at his Alarere residence in Ibadan.
The former Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade. II, was the first to join his ancestors in December 2021. He was followed in January 2022 by the former Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, while the Ashigangan of Igangan in Ibarapaland, Oba Lasisi Adeoye also bade this world goodbye thereafter. The former Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, also joined his ancestors in April 2022, while the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba AbdulGaniy Adekunle Ologunebi, breathed his last in July of 2022. The youngest of all the dead monarchs was 62 years, while some of them were in their 80s and 90s.
There were apprehensions in the state over what could have caused their sudden demise one after the other. Some people even accused the state governor, Seyi Makinde, of being the one that was responsible for their deaths. But Makinde swiftly answered them, saying he was not the one killing them, and that it has been appointed for every human being to die.
But Pastor Obasa, in his response to the apprehension, said death would come when it would come, adding that the development was nothing to fret about.
He stated that to live or to die is the prerogative of God, and that the sequence of death of the traditional rulers was nothing unusual, saying it did not connote any meaning. God, he said, was at work as “He calls to His side anybody at his or appointed time. Some of them were advanced in age. So, there’s nothing to worry about in the rate of death.”
Obasa enjoined traditional rulers to remain impartial in their relationship with their subjects, asking that they should also bring to bear on the society at large, their knowledge, experience, cultural values and heritage.
His words: “Our traditional rulers owe us a duty too to ensure equity and justice so as to engender peace. Not only that, they should impress it on the political leaders to administer with equity and justice, that’s what God wants. Without equity and justice, you cannot talk of peace and the absence of peace means retardation, stagnation or even retrogression. Equally, Nigerians should ask themselves how just and equal it is to have Muslim-Muslim ticket for both the President and his Vice in a secular country.”
Obasa had earlier delivered a goodwill message from the church’s General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, noting that the main purpose of the visit was both cultural and spiritual. The cultural angle, he said, was fulfilling the Yoruba heritage of honouring elders, and the spiritual was hearkening to the admonition of the Bible that the Church should pray for the leaders.
“While we are here to felicitate your Imperial Majesty on the ascension of your throne and to rejoice with you on the celebration of your first hundred days on the throne last month, we are also here to pray for a healthy, long and prosperous reign and to also assure Your Majesty that we won’t cease in our prayers for you.
“Looking at your pedigree as the most read, enlightened and exposed, a Senator between 1999 and 2003 among other attributes, all these put Your Imperial Majesty in good stead to bring progress, growth and development to, not only Ibadan, but the entire Oyo State. It is our prayer that God would strengthen and grant you long life to bring to bear all these past accomplishments on your reign, Kabiyesi. “
Oba Balogun, in his reaction, expressed delight at the visit by the Church and urged them to remain steadfast in lifting up the country in their prayers for peace to reign, stressing that there had never been a time Nigeria was this tense and the role of Church in stemming the tide cannot be over-emphasised. He promised that he would continue to let fear of God guide him in all his actions at all levels of his interactions.