By Gbenro Adesina
Amidst fanfare and tight security, Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogunguniso I, on Monday installed five Mogajis and seven Baales in Ibadanland.
Witnessing the installation ceremony were former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Ibadanland high chiefs, including the former Governor of Oyo State and the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Asipa Olubadan, High Chief Eddy Oyewole and former Secretary to the state Government, Akogun Sarafadeen Alli.
Also in attendance were the former and current Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Adeyinka Aderinto, Professor Adebola Ekanola, the institution’s Director of Communication, Olatunji Oladejo, the immediate past chairman and current chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Prof. Deji Omole and Prof Ayo Akinwole respectively and Dean, Faculty of the Social Sciences, Professor Peter Olapegba and former National Treasurer of ASUU, Professor Demola Aremu.
The Mogajis include a literary icon and poet, Professor Aderemi Raji Oyelade, Mogaji Adegboro Family, Kudeti Area; Adegoke Olamide Akinajo, Mogaji of Akinajo Family, Oje-Itutaba; Ahaji Muritala Alamu, Mogaji of Osuntoki Family, Olosun Compound, Agbeni; Akintola Fatai Akintoye as Mogaji Ajia Olorungbiji Family, Itutaba and Mogaji Gbadeyanka.
Among the new Baales are Chief Mufutau Agboola, Jojolola Village in Egbeda Local Government Area; Chief Oladepo Wasiu Atilola Aare of Aroro Town in Akinyele Local Government Area; Chief Olalere Ajibola of Ayekale Community in Ibadan North East Local Government Area; Alhaji Rasaq Abioye Oyejide of Oyedeji town in Lagelu Local Government Area; Chief Muniru Gbolahan of Ogungbade in Egbeda Local Government, Baale Laleye and Baale Gagansi.
Speaking after the installation, Professor Remi-Raji, who could not hide his joy, expressed his appreciation to the monarch and all his well wishers. “I am very happy today. This is a dream come true. I feel overwhelmed,” he said.
He promised not to disappoint Ibadanland, stressing that the title would spur him to serve his people better.
The literary icon, however, urged the Yoruba to value their culture, pointing out that losing one’s culture and language is losing one’s identity.