From left: Chairman of the Occasion and of Ayedire Local Government, Alhaji Adeboye Mukaila Oladejo; Olori; and Olowu of Kuta, Oba Adekunle Oyelude, Tegbosun the Third… at the ceremony in the ongoing town hall building at Kuta, on Saturday November 21, 2020
By Banji Ayoola
Children of Kuta in Ayedire Local Government of Osun State rallied at the weekend to complete their 25-year old town hall project, and recommitted themselves to rebuilding their hometown in the spirit of making everything new that is sweeping across the earth.
They also used the rally to give gratitude unto the Almighty Father for miraculously granting the completion and commissioning of the age long Osun Bridge which links Kuta, Ikoyi and Ede communities together, and to the outside world in His own wonderful Ways and at His own Time.
In his welcome address, the President of Kuta United Front, Deacon Gboyega Adeniran, on behalf of Kuta and Ikoyi communities specially appreciated the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt Gen. TY Buratai and the Nigerian Army, for completing the Osun Bridge and the facilitator, the Olowu of Kuta, Oba Adekunle Oyelude, Tegbosun the Third. He prayed for the monarch saying: “Kabiesi , your day will be long, you will not just rule, you will keep ruling and reigning in Jesus mighty Name.”
He said that this year’s Kuta Day was being celebrated with a difference “to celebrate and appreciate God for His Goodness and wonderful Work to us on the just commissioned bridge over Osun River by the Nigerian Army” and “give a brief on the Town Hall where we are seated today.”
His words: “We are here to celebrate and thank God for His Faithfulness, Goodness and wonderful Work of us as a community on the landmark achievement of having a bridge over Osun River on Kuta-Ikoyi-Ede Road which was commissioned on Monday 14th September, 2020 courtesy of the Nigerian Army headed by the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen TY Buratai.”
He thanked the royal host, the Olukoyi of Ikoyi, Oba Adigun Badeji, Akinmoyero Akinropo the Third and other eminent guests.
Said Adeniran: “May I also welcome the Chairman of today’s event, a colleague and friend Otunba Mukaila Adeboye Oladejo, Chairman Ayedire Local government; the chairperson, my dear wife Mrs. Ronke Aminu; the chief launcher Supol Lateef Ajani, Retired, a childhood friend and brother and the special chief launcher; our own honorable representing Ayiwola Federal Constituency at the green chamber, Hon. Akintola Yunusa Amobi, also a brother and childhood friend.
“I salute and welcome all political appointees/office holders and all government functionaries in attendance.”
Adeniran said: “With deep sense of honor, I heartily welcome you to this 30th edition of Kuta Day Celebration holding today, Saturday 21st November, 2020 on behalf of HRM Oba Hammed Adekunle Oyelude, Tegbosun the Third, the Olowu of Owu-Kuta, the Executives and Members of Kuta United Front(KUF) and the entire Owo-Kuta community.”
In his speech, which he rendered extempore in Yoruba, the Chairman of the occasion and of Ayedire Local Government, Alhaji Adeboye Mukaila Oladejo said: “I am so happy because Ileogbo is progressing, Kuta also is doing same, so also is Ikoyi. This deserves gratitude and is worth more than gratitude because according to KUF President, we have been on this project for some years.
“And when the Lord Permits one to witness a big event like this, and in one’s own time, may the most Merciful Lord permit us to tread the path of progress for long.
“I am grateful for the Olowu and I am grateful also for myself because when big and remarkable events happen in one’s time, one needs to be grateful for this. I am grateful that it is during my tenure that Osun Bridge was completed and commissioned for Kuta-Ikoyi-Ede Road to run through. I am grateful unto the Lord for our father. May you reign for long.
“I am grateful also that as we are doing well at Kuta, so also development goes on in Ileogbo. The Lord is the Enabler. I am grateful that He enabled me to cross the path of good things in Ayedire Local Government. Please help me give gratitude unto the Lord. He would not spoil our mouth of gratitude. Once again I welcome us all to this ceremony. As they said, it is an in-house event. It is meant for us as Thanksgiving unto the Lord. May the Lord preserve our gratitude.”.
Praying for all who are committed to the development of Kuta, starting with the Olowu, Oba Adekunle Oyelude, Tegbosun the Third, he said: “By the Grace of the Lord, as you are moving Kuta forward, you yourselves will not retrogress. Because you are making enormous sacrifice going to Abuja, Kano and other places so that Kuta will progress. You would not be tired. You would live long performing this task.
“I greet our father the Olowu for his exemplary leadership and commitment. I greet our Honourable from Abuja, Hon Yunus Akintola Amobi. May the Lord continue to grant you the wisdom to stand aright at your duty post. May the Lord be with you.
“I greet the Olori. I do not disrespect you. By the Power of the Lord, you would stand aright in your role for long. And may the Lord be with you. I greet the President of KUF, Deacon Gboyega Adeniran. Thank you so much. May the Lord grant you good health.
“I greet my people from Ileogbo, the IUF representatives, Dr and Awolowo. Thank you. Welcome. I greet all chiefs and princes at Kuta, all first borns, everybody, all our guests from Ileogbo and everywhere to this ceremony. By the Grace of the Lord, we would be kept alive strong and healthy to celebrate the next Kuta Day. We won’t be found missing. They asked me to greet you all and speak as the Chairman of this occasion and that of Ayedire Local Government.”
In his own speech, rendered also extempore in Yoruba, the Chief Launcher, Supol Lateef Ajani, retired, was effusive with gratitude for the entire Kuta community for lovingly accompanying him to the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, and standing by him throughout his 35 years of service until he voluntarily and honorably retired in 2002.
Noting that the event was the celebration of Kuta’s birthday, he said: “I greet Kuta. I am happy to be here today.
“Ten years ago, in 2010, Kuta gave me The Best Citizen Award. I am grateful to Kuta.
“And I am grateful to the four corners of Kuta that accompanied me to the Nigeria Police Force and stood lovingly by me for 35 years and ensured that I went well and came back well.
“My prayer unto the Lord is that all you our mothers won’t weep over any of us. They won’t use us as vehicle underlay to bring us home.
“The development of Kuta is of great concern to me. When I had the opportunity with eminent sons and daughters of this town sometimes ago, I said I love Kuta so much and I love the Kabiesi. What we are celebrating today is Kuta’s birthday.”
On his own, the star launcher and Member of the House of Representatives representing Ola Oluwa Federal Constituency, Hon Yunusa Akintola Amobi, kicked off his speech, also rendered extempore in Yoruba, with some moving songs of gratitude unto the Lord for the new things hitherto considered impossibilities, that are being accomplished in Kuta in a wonderful manner.
“Awa naa re, Oluwa, awa naa re, Oluwa, a wa dupe oore at’odun m’odun, a wa dupe oore at’osu m’osu, a wa dupe oore igba gbogbo, awa naa re Oluwa… Opelope e Re, Oluwa, opelope e Re, aye i ba yeye awa, opelope e Re… Olo’un t’ O se’ yii a dupe, Olo’un t’O se’yii O se’un, oro egan lat’enu ota o ti di welo…”
He urged the Olowu to give KUF a deadline by which the Town Hall, which foundation was laid about 25 years ago, must be completed.
His words: “This town hall project started many years ago. Kabiesi, give KUF mandate to complete this Town Hall. May the Lord help us. They did it in Iwo and completed it on time. They did it in Ileogbo and completed it timely. This one, Kabiesi, all the wisdom you used for the palace to stand, this town hall also would stand by the Grace of the Lord.
“I use this opportunity to show gratitude for sending me on errand that I would be the one to carry much of the burden. The way I would carry it, the Lord would grant me helpers. Now that you have given it a royal blessing, I myself would make it a point of prayer that by the Power of the Lord, I would find helpers.”
He paid glowing tributes to all past KUF presidents and eminent community leaders for their selfless contributions to the construction of the newly commissioned Osun Bridge and the overall development of Kuta, saying: “I pay tributes to our eminent politicians. Late distinguished Senator Akinboro was a son of Kuta.
“The then Permanent Secretary in the old Western Region, Late Chief Augustus Babalola was a son of Kuta. My brother Kola Bamiduro, former House of Representative member was from here.
“All of them tried and contributed their own quota each. We need to praise the deserving whether dead or alive and their families would know. They all tried for Kuta.
“When the Kabiesi assembled all the youths of Kuta in his palace and addressed them that nothing should be destroyed here during the EndSARS protest, our late father, Senator Akinboro, if we do not forget, did the same thing during the UPN and NPN days when they were burning houses in Iwo. They didn’t allow the burning of anything at Kuta.”
He said: “When I was coming here today, I remembered that it is the Lord Who built the palace, first of its kind in Nigeria, I showed it to a friend in Abuja and told him this is our Oba’s palace. He said waoh! He collected it from me and said ‘wonderful!’
“We can bring people to the palace, where a whole Chief Olusegun Obasanjo entered and said Ha! That Gen Buratai visited and said Ha! We should know that the Kabiesi whom God gave us is real EbunOluwa. You who gave him that name got it right. Let us rise and greet the Kabiesi.”
Amobi commended Oba Oyelude for preventing the wanton destruction and violence which rocked many towns and cities across Nigeria during the recent #EndSARS protests hijacked by hoodlums. The monarch had assembled youths of the town in his palace and addressed them on the need to shun the violence and destruction raging elsewhere outside his kingdom.
He said: “Let us praise the Almighty. We were in Abuja and we did not know what happened. They destroyed my boss’s house Oriolowo and my office in Iwo. But my house is in Kuta.
“Somebody asked me to remove important things from there; I said where do I go? Whatever they wanted to burn let them burn… We thank the youths for listening to the Kabiesi.
“I am grateful I am a son of Kuta. Outside today, I can boast I am from Kuta. Sometimes ago when you were asked for your destination in Lagos, and where you hail from? The answer usually was Iwo.
“Now our brothers and sisters mention Kuta conveniently. But we have to see signs on us that we are from Kuta. We should identify whatever we do in Kuta however little.”
Amobi said: “Kabiesi, I am so happy today. I am the happiest today. First of all I greet all who are seated. Olori. I greet you. I greet the Chief launcher of today. I greet my overall boss, distinguished Senator Oriolowo. He is my boss, whom Hon Ayofe represents. By the Grace of the Lord, we would all reap and bring the harvest home.
“I greet the Number One citizen of this local government, and honourable chairman of this occasion, my elder brother and husband of my sister, Bra Mukaila Oladejo. Thank you.
“I greet Hon Femi Idowu Ookanola. I greet our President, KUF President Oloriire my brother Gboyega Adeniran. We have been having presidents who accomplished, he is exemplary. I greet my brothers Gbenga Odedeyi, Dr Lekan Ayantunji, our father Baba S. A. Aminu. I greet you all. You will live long for us. I greet all chiefs and princes here. I greet the Chief Imam. I greet all of us. Thank you.”
Delivering his speech from the throne and giving royal blessing, Oba Oyelude declared that with his stepping that day into the hall for the first time since his birth, the Town Hall should be taken as completed and standing.
His words: “This is New Kuta, be part of it. Go and write it down. I have never entered this hall since I was born. Today that I enter this place, it is already completed. Go and write it down.”
He said that Kuta is now in the national focus as he unveiled his other ongoing efforts to take the town into the modern global picture, and charged his subjects to use aright the rare and special blessing of the Lord now in their midst.
He said: “Banji or somebody was saying a while ago that God has faced Kuta. It is so. But it is now left to us in Kuta.
“Something that we had been expecting for 100 years, our forefathers contributed money several times; they cleared weeds by hoeing to meet Ede; they gave the money contributed in Kuta to the Ede contractor, Jackson.
“It is here in Owode Market that they told Adedapo that if it is only lapalapa, let us use it to construct bridge over Osun River. History is there. Kuta and Ikoyi, we should give gratitude.
“I asked the chairman a while ago about when the foundation of this town hall was laid; he said 1993.”
Noting an observation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that town hall among other projects are usually white elephant projects which drag on for many years before completion, he declared affirmatively that the Kuta Town Hall would soon be completed and commissioned like the age long Osun River.
The royal father said: “We greet all our community leaders who have been working since 1993. Time is now ripe. If we had given this project priority above any other thing, we would have completed it.
“Now that it is our priority, how we would meet it, we can’t say. Oladejo. Even if allocation does not come to the council, Oladejo himself in person is capable for us to complete this hall.
“And still our Representative is on seat. Ha! He is capable; and even more than that. The only thing is that there are so many responsibilities. He is responsible to many areas. You know he is responsible not only to Kuta.”
He expressed confidence that Amobi whom he saddled with carrying the largest burden as regards completion of the town hall project, would deliver in record time. He urged all Kuta sons and daughters to rally round his appointee, whom he gave special royal blessing.
The monarch charged: “It means all of us have to support him; we need support.”
His words: “Amobi would also deliver. What could be a burden for him I have lifted it off his neck; and that is the bridge issue. If you don’t forget, when we were celebrating Amobi’s electoral victory, I said we sent him only to go and complete the bridge. And when the Lord came with His wonderful Ways, He helped Amobi, and I removed the burden cushion (osuka) off his head.”
He promised to mobilise all compound heads in the town behind the Town Hall project as he called on Kuta sons and daughters to come home regularly and contribute to the socioeconomic and physical development of what he called New Kuta.
He said: “We would discuss with the bales (compound heads) and they would participate. Look at the grace we had during the commissioning. It was the way we discussed with them. So time is now ripe for all Kuta children to participate in activities of the town.
“It is not only during fund raising that we want to see you at home. Come and participate in the town’s affairs. Even this boosts the economy of the town.
“At weekends come home and spend weekends in Kuta. Kuta is peaceful. Horns would not disturb you. You don’t need air conditioners. Kuta is peaceful. Come home at weekends. If you come home at weekends, if it is only pure water you buy in Yemisi’s shop here, you have added to Kuta’s economy. If it is bread you have added to the town’s economy.
“Our politicians, don’t spend your money to contribute to other places’ economy. Why are you running away from your home? Please. Kuta’s children who are not up to tenants in Lagos but are landlords at home are many. What are you looking for? I contribute to Kuta’s economy daily.”
Describing Amobi and Oladejo as exemplary in that they have personal houses at Kuta in which they live, he appealed to indigenes outside to patronize their home town and discourage capital flight, saying there is no place on earth to hide from death. “Please I beg and appeal.”
He said: “We are putting Kuta on Multimedia, Google. We are moving forward and upward. We shall never go back.
“You who contribute will be replenished in multiples that would surprise you. May the Lord reward richly those who have been doing it all along. And those who are coming to join us would be given the grace to contribute generously. Thank you. I am grateful.”
Oba Oyelude said: “We thank the Lord that He gives us today. We greet our Local Government Chairman, the most peaceful local government in Osun State. We greet our Representative who is representing us well and with a difference in Abuja. We greet the distinguished Senator who represents our Senatorial District in Abuja who is being represented by Hon Ayofe and who is the Mogaji Owu in Iwo. We greet Senator Adelere Oriolowo.
All the Olowu in Council, compound heads, Iyalode, KUF President and Elders, Prince Aminu, we greet you. Elder Odedeyi, we greet you. We greet the eminent scholars representing BOWEN University Iwo, Dr Adegbola, you are welcome. We greet you very well. Planning Committee, we greet you.”
He specially commended Oladejo, one of his predecessors, Hon Gbenga Odedeyi and Dr Lekan Ayantunji for participating in activities in the palace, as he urged KUF and other sons and daughters to emulate the trio whenever in town, without waiting for formal invitations.”
Later at a reception in the sprawling Olowu palace, Ajani told The Radiance: “Thank the Lord that today is here. Today is another beginning of further development in Kuta community and I want to say Thank you Lord.
“I want to say that the sons and daughters of Kuta who have found time to attend today’s day, when they are going back to their respective locations and stations, may the Lord see them through.”
At another reception, indeed a party at Amobi’s house at Oke Owu, the architect and prime mover of Kuta Day, and a former Chairman of Ayedire Local Government, Hon Gbenga Odedeyi spoke with The Radiance.
He said that at the beginning, “We had no kobo in the account. The chairs and canopy were brought by me. The cow was brought by me on credit. Elubo was brought from Oyo on credit. Then I did a write up in Sketch and Tribune as if it was a press conference.
“Baba Chief Olatokun brought his friend as chief launcher who donated N100,000 at that time. That was a lot of money at that time. It was after that in 1994 that I became chairman of council. That one again boosted the Kuta Day. They brought a lot of people. We sustained it from 91 to 96 before I left.
“But I am happy today that the seed I sowed germinated and flowered and has become fruitful today. That’s why I am so happy. 1992 the foundation was laid by the then commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Osun State then during the time of Adeleke.
“Adeleke was the governor then. I went to him and he promised to bring the furniture to the place to the court hall then and he fulfilled it. 1993 the administration of Adeleke had been terminated. So I remember everything vividly. I was fully involved.
“I thank the Lord today. The hall is complete already. The Lord completed it today. Believe it, trust the Lord, it is completed. By the time we would sit there next year it would be naming. At that time there should be efforts to bring awareness of Kuta Day to all sons and daughters of Kuta.
“We thank the Lord. That’s why we are able to see people like Mr Banji around today, very active today. We are happy to see you. God will bless you. He will enrich you. You will prosper in Jesus Name.”
On how it was at the beginning, Odedeyi said: “Except the financial aspect for the first one, it was very good at that time. It was fine. People were ready to embrace the programme. Except the first time, which was financial. But we weathered the storm. We took off successfully. It has been very fine since then. I don’t like missing it. It was my baby.”
He added: “The first Saturday in November 1992 was when we laid the foundation by the then the commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of Osun State. But we thank the Lord. What we started that time is fine today.”