In Itori, God has given us light from heaven – Oba Agbodere

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Eleven years after he ascended the throne, His Royal Majesty Oba AbdulFatai Akorede Akamo, Agbodere, the Olu of Itori tells OLUSOLA OKUNLADE how God has changed the history of the town.
The people of Itoriland, in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, migrated from Egbaland. But during the course of their journey, some decided to stop and settle at Igbo Egba, where they are today as Itori, while others continued their journey only to settle in Lagos. Today, Isheri consist of Awori and Egba people. According to oral traditions, it was a challenging journey, as the people travelled on bare foot and braved several odds only to find their home in their current land.
The current monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulfatai Akorede Akamo, Agbodere I, the Olu of Itori, ascended the throne 11 years ago, in a small, but colourful ceremony. The monarch has, since then, piloted the affairs of the people and town. Looking fulfilled with joy for what God has used him to accomplish in the town, the monarch, who still believes that more is yet to come for the people, shed more light on his people and the town.
“I never thought about becoming king, though I have been part of the palace. I had about seven chieftaincy titles before I was installed. Eventually, when they called me, that the oracle has picked me as the next king, it came as a surprise. I took it in good faith and handed it over to God, since then God has been my guardian,’’ he said.
Since he ascended the throne, His Majesty’s reign has brought lots of development to the town. Hear him: “I believe I am not in a position to catalogue my achievements by myself, you should ask my people what they consider as my achievement. Since the past 11 years, God has given us a light from heaven. Where you sit now is a forgotten land, before I was installed. God has turn the place to a befitting edifice. As I am talking to you, we have over ten thousand population, unlike when I came here, the population was less than five hundred. I fought for tertiary institution and today we have an information and communication technology (ICT) centre, a polytechnic with more than thirty thousand students. It has improved the social economics of the community.
More so, I am building a gigantic hall, which is nearly completion. It will be ready before my 12th anniversary on the throne. The hall has a capacity of five thousand seats for events and one hundred rooms for lodging with law tennis court, volley ball and standard swimming pool. I can boast of several companies; some of them are Lakatabu, the first in Africa largest cement factory, Dolphin Iron Steel, Ofada VeeTee Rice Company, numerous fuel stations, banks, newly building. Before I became an oba you could hardly see two to three people in the market, but our market now, boasts of nothing less than two thousand people.’’
The history of the people reveals that culture and tradition play a central role in their indigenous beliefs system. Oba Abdul- Fatai Akorede Akamo explains how some of the people’s culture had been of help. ‘‘I am an Egba indigene; part and parcel of Abeokuta. In Itori, we have all the deities like Egungun, Oro, Esu, Igunnuko, and so on. We have a yearly festival called Odun Alashe. It’s significant in paying homage to our ancestors and fallen heroes, in the olden days. During the festive period, our people engage in sweeping one another’s compound.
They rotate it until they are done in sweeping the whole town before coming to the palace for royal blessing, prayers by the priest. It will end in merriment.’’ The recent celebration of the eleventh year on the throne was a colourful event, as the people trooped out in their thousands to pay homage to the monarch.
Explaining the significance of the event, the traditional ruler said: “The paramount thing is when my people are happy I am happy. We visited juvenile and orphanage homes. We had Jumat service, gave out packages to the widows, which was supported by my club members.’’ Apart from all these, the monarch recounted his challenges. According to him, kingship was not a bed of roses. He said that hard work and commitment had been the secret of his day to day living, and overcoming challenges of life.
He, therefore, advised Nigerians to get closer to God, because with God all things are possible. He also urged the youth to see education as a priority. “As you can see Itori is highly organised and the youths are well behaved. People should not partake in political violence and bloodshed in the course of voting during the election.”

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