By Lai Mahmood
The Oniroko of Iroko, HRH, Oba Olasunkanmi Abioye Opeola, has installed Engr Oyèdélé Hakeem Àlàó, the 2019 AD governorship candidate in Oyo State, as the Asiwaju of Iroko land.
The installation took place Friday, 26, at the palace of the Oniroko, Iroko, Akinyele Local Government Area (LGA), Ibadan, to mark the 10th coronation anniversary of Oba Olasunkanmi Abioye Opeola.
Also, other chiefs numbering 14 were installed alongside Engr Oyèdélé Hakeem Àlàó.
In his welcome address, Oba Opeola told the new chiefs that they must always be available when they were called upon because, “we make people chiefs for the development of Iroko land.
“Some chiefs have been dispossesed of their titles because they disappeared after installation and refused to contribute anything to the progress and development of Iroko.”
Informing the gathering that the chieftaincy of Oniroko was gazetted in the 1957 chieftaincy declaration of Oyo State, Oniroko Olasunkanmi Abioye stated that “Opeola is the only ruling house in Iroko entitled to the throne of Oniroko.
“The Oniroko forebears fought for the throne for about 35 years. I was challenged in court but we won the case.
“Every chief should know their limit —-you should not to be saying I’ve been on the chieftaincy lineage for long, so I deserve a particular title. Oye ajewo ni oye Iroko; Iroko ki se ilu igbalode,” meaning that chieftaincy in Iroko is not rotational.
Installing Engr Hakeem Àlàó as the Asiwaju of Iroko, Oba Opeola and another chief at the event acknowledged Engr Àlàó as a kind-hearted person who had always been on hand to help the people of Iroko and Akinyele LGA as a whole.
The chief, who performed the coronation rites for Engr Oyèdélé Hakeem Àlàó, noted that the Covid-19 palliatives of the Omani-based structural engineer were the first consignment of the relief to be received ever in Iroko land and its environs.
Oba Opeola, however, warned people not to attach political meaning to the installation of Engr Hakeem Àlàó, emphasising that the former AD gubernatorial candidate deserved the honour “as a bonafide son of Iroko because his ancestral village, Motunde, is under the jurisdiction of Iroko.”
The Oniroko Opeola noted that Engr Seyi Mákindé, Governor of Oyo State, was installed as a chief in Ajia, his village in Ona-Ara LGA, before he became governor.
“So, I install Engr Oyèdélé Hakeem Àlàó today as the Asiwaju of Iroko because he is a bonafide son of Iroko that we are proud of and has been playing wonderful roles in the lives of sons and daughters of Iroko without prompting.
“Please, nobody should read political meaning to his installation as a chief of Iroko,” HRH Oba Opeola submitted.
Among other chiefs installed were: Akintomide Olalekan Akinwusi (Akin Omo Akin), Mayegun; Aramide Omobolanle Akinwusi, Yeye Mayegun; Adeola Akano Folashade, Asipa Iyalode; Matthew Olujide Olaniyan, Akogun; Folake Esther Binuyo, Otun Iyalaje; Isaac Abiola Popoola, Aare; and Adedolapo Akanbi, Otun Asiwaju.