MY LOYALTY WILL CONTINUALLY BE TO THE WILLS OF THE GODS- Chief Abayomi (The New Amusesemule Of Osun Ekiti)
The aura of the moment and the beautiful display of ancient artefacts strategically placed to adorn the town of OSUN-EKITI traditionally shows that the natives of this land still holds cultural beliefs at a very high esteem, one would have wondered, why this ambience? It is the Oosa Atobatele festival, a memorable event to celebrate all the past kings of the land and the present king appease the ancestors of the land. It is usually a three day traditional fiesta where sons and daughters of the soil come together in unity to celebrate the heroic fits of their previous kings and to eulogise their essence which they believe still live with them.
This year’s celebration comes differently as the celebration coincidentally saw to the installation of the new Amusesemule of Osun Ekiti.It was indeed a memorable event for the people of Osun-Ekitias the Oke’s family pulled prominent political gladiators to Osun-Ekiti to witness this ancestral installation. The former high priest who also was once the family head of the Okes had just passed on and since it is their ancestral position, another family member must be appointed as the Amusesemule of Osun Ekiti. This position“Amusesemule of Osun Ekiti” is traditionally meant for the eldest male of the Oke’s family in Osun-Ekiti. This is a sacred position meant for people who have a vast understanding of divinity and the rituals entrenched in it, it is indeed a sacred position with all the rituals involved. After the events of the festival, it is therefore the time to install the new “Amusesemule of Osun Ekiti”. The appointee who is the latest family head of the Oke Clan in Osun- Ekiti is a man of great honour as described by Master of the Ceremony who in turn read out a brief biography Chief Abayomi Oke
CHIEF ABAYOMI OKE
(Amusesemule of Osun Ekiti)
Chief Abayomi Oke born in the early 1940s, though he had a partial formal education to the then form 5 before the demise of his father and since there is no sponsor he then moved in to the late Ifalere, one of the most famous ifa priest to have originated from Osun-Ekiti to be trained in the doctrines of Ifa and divinity, upon the death of Ifalere ,Chief Abayomi Oke began to train as a cocoa merchant before the outbreak of the “Ogun Agbekoya” between 1968-1969 where he also fought against the heavy taxes and compulsory taxations on farm produces in his locality, with the role he played during the war, the political elites have already singled him out to be a resonating voices against oppression and a voice that commands attention to his people. They see him as a viable link to reach out to the people. This then willed him a place among the then ACTION GROUP the political party of Obafemi Awolowo, later, he moved on with the likes of Tinubu,Falae,Bola Ige as a member of NADECO and NDC(groups who mobilise support for the restoration of democracy and recognition of the June 12, 1994 election) to fight for the which today birthed the thenAD, laterAC and ACN respectively and now APC ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS, and ever since them he has been a staunch member of the APC within and outside the state. He is also an ardent believer in indigenous traditions as a result of his childhood upbringing being the OMO IFA(child of the diviner) to the late Ifalere of OSUN-EKITI.
The king,Oba Adeleke Adeniji the Owa of Osun Ekiti (Arapakijamole 2), opens the coronation ceremony with the chanting of the “eledumare” panegyrics and several incantations , he acknowledges the supreme deity who he believes is responsible for the bountiful harvest enjoyed by the farmers and the year void of pestilences, he then acknowledges the choice of gods to have appointed Chief Abayomi who now assumes their family ancestral stool“the gods has smiled on us greatly this time around that he gave us a son of the soil who is a man of influence and affluence, at least, Osun-Ekiti is going to limelight, I acknowledge the presence of a political frontier, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who might not have visited this our small town if it was not because of his faithful who has just been installed as Amusesemule of Osun Ekiti(laughs). We appreciate your presence and the good work you are doing in southwest and in Nigeria at large”. I also want to acknowledge the presence of all the dignitaries present to have graced this occasion, I can see from my far left,the APC interim State Chairman Chief Olajide Awe,the deputy governor of the state Professor Modupe Adelabu who have come to represent the governor, from my right, I see the Secretary to the state Government Dr. Ganiyu Owolabi.
I want to acknowledge the presence of kings and chiefs present, we are indeed happy to see you all, and may the gods of the land bless you all. I want to acknowledge the effort of the oke’s family, you all have proven to be worthy ambassador of this town, you have projected our fame across boundaries, and may the gods replenish your acts of love. Once again, thank you all.He concludes.
Among several political big wits, the National Leader of the all progressives’ congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, stated that his presence at this event should not be seen as a biased one but it is way to appreciate and commend loyalty. “I have known Chief Abayomi, now Chief though, then we call him Egbeji Oosa which remains confidential (laughs) for quite a long time and sometimes, I often question his loyalty, oftentimes, I asked him, why did he believe so much in me and my tenets or doctrines, his answer is always in Yoruba:Asiwaju, Omo Akin ni e translated to mean ‘I am fearless’ and it is only fearless warrior that aligns with the same warrior,. I have always sited his daring approach to issues that concerns his people, he was a voice then and I see that he wills the attention of his people, he is indeed a great man to align with, if not that he is always on several spiritual and traditional exercises he would have beenhonoured with some political appointments at the state and federal levels, but I am always committed to his course, anything he wants within Nigeria and any part of Nigeria, he will definitely have if, this is what brought me here to honour a great patriot and a man of essence. I will always reward loyalty.” He concludes.
Speaking at the event, the Head of Ifa tradition Osun-Ekiti ,Akanni Ifafulere , buttressed the need to reviveour forgotten cultural inheritance, he said ‘We are gradually treading on the forbidden path of forgetfulness, leaving out the values, respect, courage and chastity given to us by our fathers
He added, we have traded all our cultural valuables for civilization, carelessly we have forgotten that our ancestral link cannot be negotiated for a pound of meat. It is therefore expedient to say that we the people are the only viable instrument to maintain and uphold these practices and that we are here today and having heard the utterances from our fathers who had spoken, especially theAPC national leader, where stressed that the fact that Chief Abayomiis a loyal patriot to him and that whatever he desires anywhere in the country will be given to him should serve as a lesson to us all that loyalty to the things of the gods pays off, we should not commit sacrilege on the pretence of civilization or modernization He concludes.
As the people of Osun-Ekiti all eagerly waiting to hear from the new Amusesemule of Osun Ekiti who was astonishingly cladded in a cultural apparel with several decorations of traditional adornment,the ovation was quite loud as he took the Mic and addressed the people. ‘I want to appreciate all present today from my political godfather and my political and traditional sons, I also want to appreciate the effort of my siblings, I mean all the Oke’s present and absence, I appreciate you, it is indeed a glorious privilege to serve in this capacity as the family head and also the custodian of this position. It is a glorious day for us in the Oke’s clan to have witnessed this festival.’
He added,’ Calling myself a political and traditional stand pole will not be an overrated idea because I am, I have managed this two standpoint well and I happy to have gotten to the apex of my traditional will, and I therefore make this pledge that I will continually do the will of the gods and uphold the tenets of our cultural and traditional heritageand My loyalty will continually be to the wills of the gods’.
‘I want to appreciate you all for your time and presence today, may the gods will us good things’ He concluded.
Conclusively, it is imperative to note that the cultural heritage of a race cannot be separated from them; it is their way of life which should be commended and respected, as all events witnessed are tailored along the borders of loyalty to the will of a phenomenon.