It has been said that the fruit of honesty is God’s blessing. For a monarch, the fruit of a long and fruitful reign is the people’s. When he came to the throne of his ancestors, Oba Frederick Obateru Akinrutan the Olugbo of Ùgbó kingdom, had s many things to contend with, not least his people’s skepticism to his capabilities. A decade later, go to Ùgbó and witness the thriving industry of praise singers and worshipful citizens of a transformed kingdom.
The paramount ruler and prescribed authority of Ugboland in the Ilaje riverine area of Ondo State, HRH Frederick Obateru Akinrutan, will mark a decade since the royal diadem was placed on his capable head. In that interval, he has mounted the wings of transformation and brought the dividends of political and cultural democracy to his people. The sleepy town has been energized with a certain joie de vivre as an important centre of Yoruba cultural awakening under the king’s leadership.
Aside from never missing a chance to emphasize the centrality of the Ilaje people in Yoruba history, Obat, as the flamboyant monarch is fondly called, is always doing one thing or the other to give his people a new lease of life. Communal crises that rocked the town for generations have been settled amicably, free welfare initiatives spring up from the Oba Palace almost every month, and making sure everyone is educated and well-fed remain his everlasting priority.
No wonder the man who sits atop oil and gas giant, Obat Petroleum, is enjoying universal popularity among the people. Nor is he a pushover in the council of Yoruba monarchs. He is ever ready to defend against anything he regards as an affront to his prestige and his people’s.
With November 10 just a few days away, Ugboland has been transformed into a beehive of activity. Eminent personalities in the oil and gas industry have already signified their intention to grace the occasion. Royal fathers — rivals and friends alike — aren’t going to be left out either. Everyone is gearing up for what is sure to be a superlative occasion. With the wealth at his disposal, Obat is acclaimed as the richest king in Nigeria. He is not going to spare any cost to make the day memorable.