We want to revive Ijesha’s culture of hardwork

Ijebu, Ogun

Today, the people of Ijebu-jesha will commence an eight-day programme to mark one-year anniversary of enthronement of Oba Moses Olufemi Agunsoye, as the Abikehin Ekun, Agunsoye II, The Eleboro of Ijebu-Jesha. Palace Watch had an interview with the Elegboro of Ijebu-Jesha, Oba Olufemi Agunsoye on his reign.

Kabiyesi, what has been your experience, considering you came from the Federal Public Service?

MY experience this past one year has been wonderful and quite interesting. I am, however, not surprised that I have so far had a smooth sail, as my people wanted me on the throne.

So, they have done all within their power to ensure I succeed. Things have been easy so far because I met good people on ground and the elders are also helping to put me through.

I have been having a very smooth administration, because the chiefs and the people have been co-operative. We thank the Lord for everything that has happened during this first one year of my reign.

Within this period, I am very happy to note there has been a rapid development in the town.

Immediately after my ascension to the throne, the first thing I did was to open two media offices, whose duty, among others, is attend to dignitaries.

The second thing I did was to establish a functional administrative office for my palace, so that the palace’s affairs will be properly run.

What specific development have you brought to your domain in the past one year?

There was this High Court project the State Government asked us to put in place. As we speak, we have constructed magnificent buildings that will house the High Court and Magistrate Courts in my domain.

The projects are ready for commissioning. Within the one year under review, the Federal Government approved the Legal Aid Council for Ijebu-Jesha. The council has already taken off, with a lawyer sent in from Oshogbo.

We have also put in place an international market. I personally built some stores in the place, which I donated to the women. This has encouraged many people, who are now building all sorts of facilities in the place.

To my surprise, the market has developed within a short a period. The construction of my administrative building and renovation of my palace is also ongoing.

The entire town is experiencing massive construction of different structures.

Hasn’t there been any problem at all, in terms of managing disputes?

You can’t rule out such things. You can’t please everybody, no matter what you do. Even the Bible says, “Out of 12 there must be a Judas”. We have our fair share of Judas here, but that does not mean I should reject anybody. I am a father to all of them. We just have to try and accommodate and carry them along.

Once we are fair and open in all our dealings, they won’t have any room or opportunity to operate. That is the only way to check such people, and we are doing it effectively.

Within the past year, we have tried to manage ourselves. We thank God that things are gradually taking shape as planned. We are achieving this by talking to ourselves and pleading with ourselves, if the need arises. We are working very hard to get people to key into the town’s progress and unity.

Presently, we are trying to mend fences and ensure things go smoothly. So far, no serious challenges in the areas of conflict management; things are working out well.

How do you adjudicate in purely traditional matters?

Every Monday, we set aside some time to look into domestic and traditional matters. The day is called “Ajo Ilu.” It is on this day minor conflicts are reconciled. Since I have been on the throne, we have not had any serious issue we have not been able to handle. The matters that have been coming before us at Ajo Ilu are mainly land matters, which we promptly resolve.

Other matters have to do with disputes between commercial and Okada rider unions and divorces, among others. I would quickly add that things are this easy because of my people’s love for their Kabiyesi.

They all know once any case comes before me, no matter who is involved, they will get justice and fair hearing. To me, this is the right and proper way to run your domain as a king. This has brought about the relative peace we enjoy here.

The Ijesha people were known for their business acumen, but lately, things are not the way they used to be. What are you doing to bring back the past glory?

Ijeshas are generally known for their “Osho Malo.” I have resolved that as long as I remain Oba, we must do all possible to make our youths, who seem to be wasting away, to acquire skills, learn trade and continue to do what Ijesha people are known for.

We are business minded people. People do not unnecessarily owe us for a job done or owe us for whatever we sell to them. We have a way of making our debtors pay for the service we render them. That is why we are called “Osho Malo.”

Wherever you go, you will come back home to meet us waiting on your doorstep. I am working hard alongside other people to ensure the “Osho Malo” culture returns to Ijebu-Jesha.

We do not tolerate lazy people in Ijesha land. Our youths were never known to be Okada riders. No, an Ijesha is not known for such jobs.

However, we are looking for means to empower our youths. We are trying to put in place many things that will motivate them to work. Within the period I became Oba, Osun State Government has converted the former games village in Ijebu-Jesha, where athletes used to train during the government of the late Bola Ige to a full fledge technical college, to train our youths in various vocational jobs.

When the school becomes functional, it will go a long way in helping us train our youths and make them more productive. The games village, which has been dormant for about 20 years, is being renovated. Auto-mechanic, shoe making, tailoring and hair dressing, among others, will be taught in the place. We are very happy about the development. We are already working very hard to encourage our youths to take advantage of the college.

The Okada business has ruined a lot of people and families, and that is not the type of trade we want for our children. We are determined to re-orientate them to leave Okada business and go learn a trade, while the Government Technical College will take many of them if not most, off the street.

In the same vein, some industries are springing up in my domain. Obe-Esu Investment is already setting up a rice and maize industry here. The same company is at advanced stage of establishing radio and television stations in Ijebu-Jesha. When functional, these companies will also help take some youths off the street.

Another plant dealing in soft drinks and bottled water is already being set up here. We also have a fertilizer plant. All these efforts are to help take our youths off the streets.

How about securing life and property in your domain?

I must confess that in the area of security, we are having a lot of challenges, but we are not folding our hands. We are working round the clock to ensure investments are safe here, alongside lives and properties. We are working closely with all security agencies.

We are not at all joking about this. We must do all within our power to ensure our environment is safe.

Obviously, the security challenge in the country is such that the Nigeria Police alone cannot provide the security we need.

So, we have introduced our own methods, whereby security is provided by people in every street and community in Ijebu-Jesha. We have set up security outfits that are helping to handle these challenges.

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