SAMUEL Odulana, Odugade 1, Olubadan of Ibadan, is dead. Odulana died at about 7:30 pm on Tuesday, January 19, night. He was 101 years old.
Details of the Oba’s death were sketchy but he had not been seen in public for some time on account of old age.
Femi Lana, a university don and eldest son of the monarch, refused to comment on the development. Some Ibadan chiefs contacted also kept mute lips but sources close to the family said the body of the late monarch was taken to a morgue on Tuesday night.
Isiaka Akinpelu, a personal assistant to the Odugade 1, dismissed the story about the death of the monarch as a rumour. He claimed that the Olubadan was hale and hearty.
With Odulana’s death, Saliu Adetunji, the Balogun of Ibadanland, is expected to be named as the new Olubadan by the Olubadan-in-council.
Adetunji is one of the nine Ibadan high chiefs promoted by the monarch on January 1. The promotion pitted the Olubandan-in-council against the state government.
Odulana ascended the throne in 2007 as the 39th Olubadan. He was the 17th Olubadan since the title was elevated from Baale Ibadan to the Olubadan in 1930.
The first traditional ruler to bear the title of Olubadan was Okunola Abass who reigned between 1930 and 1946.
Odulana ascended the throne following the demise of Yunusa Ogundipe Arapasowu I, who ruled from 1999 to 2007.
The late Olubadan hailed from the Ladunni Compound in Oja Igbo within the Ibadan metropolis. He was born at Igbo-Elerin, Lagelu Local Government Area on April 14, 1914, to Odulana Ayinla.
He began his elementary education at Saint Andrew’s School, Bamigbola, in Lagelu Local Government Area in January, 1922 before obtaining a transfer to Saint Peter’s School, Aremo in 1929.
In December 1936, the late monarch completed his middle school education at Mapo Central School. He developed his education through correspondence courses.
He had a stint with the United African Company, UAC, as a produce clerk, before taking up a teaching appointment at the Church Missionary Society, CMS, Elementary School, Jago, Ona-Ara Local Government Area in 1938.
Odugade I also taught in several schools between 1939 and 1942.
When he stopped teaching, he voluntarily joined the military as an Army officer during the 1939 Second World War.
After the end of the war in 1945, he was saddled with the responsibility to demobilise returning soldiers in Lagos, a role which earned him an exemplary character award of the Army 4th Brigade.
He was subsequently appointed to man the Colonial Office Education Department in 1946.
He voluntarily retired from the civil service to embrace politics. The late Oba Odugade I aided the establishment of both primary and secondary schools in various parts of the old Western Region.
In the 1959 pre-independence federal elections, he contested to represent his constituency as a member of the House of Representatives.
His political career ended with Nigeria’s first military coup on January 15, 1966 after which he went into philanthropy and community mobilisation.
The late Oba graced the Ibadan socio-cultural landscape with so much fanfare. For instance, he was a co-founder of prime organisations, including Ibadan Economic Foundation and the Ibadan Progressive Union, among others.
The groups were created to sustain the high standard of patriotism and self-sacrifice of Ibadan founding fathers by up-coming generation of indigenes.
He was conferred with a honourary degree of Doctor of Management Technology by the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, in December 2005.
His journey to the throne began with his appointment as the Mogaji of his family compound at Oja-Igbo in 1972.
In 1976, he became the Jagun-Olubadan and with a steady rise, he gained 22 steps on the ladder of chieftaincy titles within 31 years.
— Jan 20, 2016 @ 12:45 GMT