For the towering magnate, the path to honour doesn’t lay out in flat miles, it’s riddled with trials of fortune and intrigues of commerce. Eventually, it’s the imagination with which he perceives industry and the gestures by which he honours it that stands him out from his peer. Armed with this ageless wisdom, notable sons of Ijebu land sought their niche in the world of commerce.
And having attained acclaim and global deference in the cutthroat world of industry, they silently seek good graces of their kingdom’s paramount ruler, Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebu. As you read, illustrious sons of Ijebu are being considered for the kingdom’s highest honour for merchants and a son of the soil. 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, which is one of the biggest titles 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. Since then, that seat has been vacant.
Then there is the Fototek boss, Chief Adegunwa. He is also very rich and close to the Awujale. He is from Ososa. Could it also be Oba Otudeko? The latter, a successful industrialist, is close to the Awujale as well. Another likely contender for the title is Chief Sonny Kuku. Kuku is currently the Olorogun of Ijebuland. He is an accomplished Medical Doctor and businessman. But while Ijebu’s royal circuit mull over the likely recipient of the esteemed title, not a few people are wondering if the Awujale would risk making the title one family’s birth right by replacing a Kuku with Kuku as the Ogbeni Oja of Ijebu land. Only time will tell.