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Who Becomes the Next Ogbeni Oja of Ijebu Land?

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Adebare Akinwale

This is a big topic that has been dominating discussions among Ijebus both home and abroad. It is about who fills the vacancy of one of the biggest traditional titles in Ijebu kingdom.

Illustrious sons of Ijebu are currently being considered for the kingdom’s highest honour for merchants. The title; Ogbeni Oja of Ijebu land (Leader of Commerce and Industry in Ijebu) is currently in contention and Oba Adetona is no doubt having a hard time deciding who, among his subjects, is worthy of the much coveted honour.

The title, held in high esteem in Ijebu is bestowed on recipients according to the prerogative of the Awujale. It is usually given to a very successful businessman who is accomplished in his chosen career.In recent history, the two men who have held the title were accomplished men of immense means. The first Ogbeni Oja was late Chief Adeola Odutola, an Ijebu icon who in his lifetime was easily one of the most successful industrialists in Yorubaland.

When he died, the Awujale made Otunba Bayo Kuku, the next Ogbeni Oja. And he again was a very rich and successful businessman. He died a few years ago and since then, the seat has been vacant.

However, people have continued to mention names of who is the best fit for the title. One of the names currently on paper is that of Fototek boss, Chief Adegunwa. He is very rich and close to the Awujale. He is from Ososa.

There is also Oba Otudeko, a successful industrialist, who is also a big figure in the palace of the Awujale. He is the founder of Honeywell Group. Another major contender for the title is Chief Sonny Kuku. Kuku is currently the Olorogun of Ijebuland. He is an accomplished Medical Doctor and businessman.

As it is, the Awujale has been playing a careful game in picking the next Ogbeni Oja for Ijebuland as he had been torn among key allies who are qualified for the title.

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