The exemplary gestures of the immediate past Ayangbure of Ikorodu, His Royal Majesty, Late Oba (DR) Salaudeen Afolabi Adekoya Oyefusi, CON, in impacting positively on the people and reaching out to those in needs have continued five years after he joined his ancestors.
The foundation, in marking the fifth anniversary of the monarch’s exit, commissioned a secretariat located within the Royal Castle of Mercy residence of the former king located on Oba Oyefusi Avenue, Lowa, Ikorodu, on Friday, August 2, 2019.
The Secretariat, which has an office for the Foundation’s Executive Secretary, a board room, a library and other facilities, was commissioned by the former Governorship candidate and Chairman, Amen Estate, Mr Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi.
Relief materials, such as ceiling fans, computer set, flat screen television, bags of rice, beans and garlic, were donated to the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with Disability, Owutu, Ikorodu, while suction machine, fans and chairs were donated to the General Hospital, Ikorodu.
According to the former monarch’s family and members of the foundation, the gestures are what the former monarch would have loved to undertake if alive.
More so, as a way of carrying on the late Oba’s legacies, the foundation also announced its readiness to engage interested youths and the less privileged in skills acquisition and also to assist them in furthering their education.
The remembrance ceremony started with Fidau prayers which was held inside the mosque located within the Royal Castle of Mercy residence of late Oba Oyefusi and was attended by eminent guests like Alhaja Silifat Ojikutu, former Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Engr. Adegbola, Chief Niyi Banjoko, Otunba Lamidi Gbadamosi, Otunba Saheed Ibikunle, Prince Ganny Awobajo and Princess Folashade Olabanji-Oba, Engr. Tajudeen Ogunjimi and Prince (Hon) Jokotex Matthew Ogunbiyi.
Also at the event were Elder Akanbi, Mrs Yinka Afolabi Oyefusi, Prince Afolabi Oyefusi, Princess Adebisi Ogunsanya Alaikum and Alhaji Mukaila Shokunbi and his wife.
Meanwhile, Otunba Adewale Rafiu, the Chairman of Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi Foundation’s Board of Trustees (BOT), in his address at the event, stated that the foundation is focusing on empowering people through skills.
“Originally, our plan was to develop leaders through the foundation but we changed our focus after the 4th remembrance anniversary based on the suggestions and positions canvassed by the people. We are now focusing on skill acquisition that would involve indigent and non-indigent students across the state . We are going to partner with some skill developers in training our students.
“Today, we are marking the fifth anniversary with the official opening of the foundation’s secretariat so that people can come around and interface with us and also donate relieve items to the General hospital in Ikorodu and Rehabilitation Centre at Owutu”.
While presenting the items at the General Hospital, Otunba Adewale said that the foundation has fulfilled the requests of the hospital with the donation.
While stating that the donation is in line with the principles upon which the foundation was built, he added that the foundation would be ready to further assist the hospital whenever the need arises.
Widow of the monarch, Olori Muyibat Oyefusi, popularly known as “the most glamorous queen”, described the monarch as a prayer warrior and wise king.
“He loved to pray a lot. He could pray for hours, He was a prayer warrior. A caring husband and he was referred to as the King Solomon of our time. He ruled with wisdom. We have been practising his legacies since he died and they will forever live in our hearts.
“His love for prayers made us invite the Islamic clerics to pray for him at the palace’s mosque,” she said.
She also stated that this year’s edition of the remembrance was mainly for the commissioning of the foundation’s secretariat which was why the event was not that elaborate like the previous editions.
The chairman of the occasion, Mr Gbadamosi, in his own remarks, stated that the newly commissioned secretariat would go a long way in immortalizing the memory of Oba Oyefusi .
He also described the late monarch as a man of many parts.
“His royal majesty was a man of many parts. But most importantly, he was a builder; builder of community and men. All around him during his lifetime, we saw how he encouraged and uplifted those of Ikorodu stock, not just those within the confines of Ikorodu but also around Lagos and indeed around the world”, he stated.
“I think most young Ikorodu people around my age and older ones can attest to his love for the city that he built. He met it as a village (Ikorodu) and developed it into what it is now”, Mr Gbadamosi added.
He further stated that it was the late monarch that gave him the courage to run for the governorship position.
“I remember having a conversation with him, I think about couple of years before he passed on, and he told me that his prayer was for Ikorodu to become big and now that it is bigger than we can make manage, it is up to your generation to make sure that you turn it into something that is bigger than what they have created.
“We have taken that upon ourselves and we are doing the best that we can. I think that without him, I probably wouldn’t have developed the courage to run for the office of the governor of Lagos State.
Speaking on the foundation , Gbadamosi stated that it would go global.
“As it is with something connected with the Oyefusis, it started small but I can assure you that it’s going to grow real big and we are going to make it bigger. Not just me, I can count 500 hundred Ikorodu people around my social and financial standing that are going to be supporting this foundation and making sure that it grows to something of magnitude that the name Oyefusi deserves.
“Kabiyesi left behind legacies of progress, security and expansion for individuals and businesses. I don’t think that there is any trading company that has ever come to Ikorodu during his reign and did not become something to be celebrated in the world. It was in his time that a lot of progress that we are seeing now manifested”.
Gbadamosi also stated that Oba Oyefusi’s passage has created a vacuum which Ikorodu is struggling to fill.
“The fact is that we are struggling at the moment to cope with his exit. The struggles you see in Ikorodu over the four years have been the result of the vacuum created by his absence. We are beginning to come to term with the fact that Kabiyesi is gone, we now have no choice but to carry on the legacies that he left behind,” he said.
Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Owutu, stated that the monarch was a man of honour and dignity, adding that he made the Office of Obaship to be highly coveted.
She described the monarch’s widow as a pillar behind the late monarch while alive and commended her for sustaining her husband’s legacies.
“She is practising what her husband was doing when he was alive and that means that the monarch is still living,” she said.
Princess Folashade Olabanji-Oba, the Vice Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government, while also speaking at the remembrance event, stated that:
“He sacrificed everything to make Ikorodu a peaceful place to live for indigenous people and non-indigenes. The successful and energetic entrepreneurs in Ikorodu will know that something is missing in Ikorodu because they knew the part the monarch played…”.
Executive Secretary of the foundation and son of the monarch, Prince Akande Idowu Oyefusi, said that the focus of the foundation is to impact and empower the youths .
He also stated that they are ensuring that the monarch’s good work continues after his passage.
“For the foundation, we try to immortalise baba and his legacy that he loved to do in his lifetime. We all know that he was a cheerful giver. He supported people in the area of healthcare, education and other aspects of life. That’s why we decided to do what we did to mark the fifth year of his transition.
“Beyond that, during his lifetime, he always supported the General hospital and rehabilitation center. Like you had from the hospital that he always donated generously in term of their needs and some of the things that we gave to them are not just what we deemed fit to give them but what they told us that they needed.
“Again, for his legacy, we chose to revert to the initial dream of the foundation which was skill acquisition and empowerment because we see that that’s the future of our society. If a man is doing well, an average of 5 to 10 people would also do well. His children would go to school and their teachers and landlord would be paid.
“There is a lot that comes from a person that is doing well. We decided to go for empowerment and support people that could not go to conventional universities and those that cannot further their education due to death or incapacitation of their sponsors. We shall obtain a website for entries very soon”, Prince Oyefusi stated.
The Deputy Chief Medical Director, General Hospital, Ikorodu, Dr. Taiwo Hassan, who received the materials on behalf of the hospital, stated that he was not surprised at the gesture because the monarch during his lifetime initiated and sustained presentation of gifts to first baby of the year and assisted the hospital greatly.
He prayed that God should strengthening the foundation’s capacity to do more.
Also at the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with Disability, Owutu, Ikorodu, the center’s administrator who received the team and the relieved materials, recalled the good deeds and support of the monarch and his wife to the institution.