In a remarkable display of academic and cultural convergence, the Aladeshonyin of Odo-Noforija Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Babatunde Ogunlaja JP, FMBE, hosted Political Science Education students from the College of Management and Social Sciences (COMSSED) at Lagos State University of Education, Noforija, Epe Campus. The convergence unfolded on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, as part of the students’ field trip under the course POS 211.
During the visit, Oba Aladeshonyin, in the company of the revered Omola of Odomola, HRM Oba Adebowale Adeshina, and the Aladepekun of Odo-Egiri, HRM Oba Musiliu Oliwo, commended the students for their relentless pursuit of knowledge and took the opportunity to address the national discourse on young people advocating for political leadership. He emphasized the importance of experience in navigating government policies and programs.
“We thank Governor Babajide Sanwoolu for the birth of LASUED, which has further given our young people the opportunity to thrive academically. You are all critical to the growth and development of our nation, and clamouring for “Not too young to rule” is a good idea; however, you can’t fit into all aspects of governance due to inexperience,” he stated.
The monarch expressed gratitude for the establishment of LASUED and announced the resolution of the Noforija Campus land dispute, revealing the addition of more acres to the university despite the lack of any compensation from the state or federal government. “We have added more acres to LASUED; the C of O will soon be handed to the university management.”
Oba Aladeshonyin provided a thorough community history, delving into traditions, culture, and heritage. In particular, he noted that the progenitors of the community are offspring of the then Gbelegbuwa I, Awujale of Ijebu Land, stressing that the prefix to the ancient community’s name “Odo” refers to an area where a king has performed “Ipebi” before ascension to the throne. He added that the meaning of the community, Noforija, stemmed from the interpretation that says, “Where the road path leads” (Ibi ti ona f’ori ja si), which falls into one of the “ipebi” of their progenitor, which is Awujale Gbelegbuwa I.
Students engaged in a lively question-and-answer session, with the monarch generously offering insights and even cash gifts. The visit explained symbolic elements such as calabashes, shakers, and barefoot entry into the palace, each holding significance in the community’s rituals and prayers.
The monarch elucidated the community’s relationship with the legislative, executive, and judicial systems, highlighting the energetic collaboration with the government at all levels. He eased concerns about the Oro festival, explaining its cultural importance and the measures taken to ensure it aligns with curfew times. “I met it on the ground, and it cannot be abolished,” he stated.
Detailing the unique ascension process, Oba Aladeshonyin traced the lineage of rulership through the first Aladeshonyin dynasty, which reigned between 1760 and 1799. “The eldest child of the first Aladeshonyin, Ligbe, ascended the throne, followed by the progenitor’s second son, Ajano, and the third son, Eyindi,” he said. He revealed that the name of the community was originally “Aladeshoyin” (the owner of the crown-making honey) but was corrupted to “Aladeshonyin” due to pronunciation issues.
He shared insights into the community’s uniqueness, such as being one of the palaces with an ancestral shrine in Lagos State. “The Omitu” shrine, immortalised after the wife of the first Aladeshonyin, he revealed, holds potent blessings for barren women seeking fertility.
The Acting Head of the Department of Political Science, Dr. Asa, described the interactive session as fruitful, commending the peaceful and accommodating nature of the host community. In appreciation, LASUED faculty members, including former Commissioner IV, Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Alhaja Adijat Hassan, and Mr. Ajayi, presented gifts and a LASUED logo frame to the monarch.
Comrade Akinwunmi Joshuah, on behalf of the students, delivered a heartfelt vote of thanks, expressing gratitude for the monarch’s benevolence. The palace echoed with voices of appreciation, turning the visit into a symphony of gratitude for the enriching experience provided by Oba Aladeshonyin and the Kingdom of Odo-Noforija.