President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday called on Nigerians to emulate the exemplary lifestyle of Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I as the remains of the foremost monarch were interred in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The interment was the high point of the week-long activities lined up by the state government, the family and other stakeholders to give the royal father a heroic burial.
The president, who spoke at the funeral service held at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Aremo, Ibadan, described Oba Odulana as an epitome of honesty and dignity.
Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said that the departed monarch exhibited the fear of God throughout his lifetime.
Eminent personalities from all walks of live joined the chief mourner and host Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, to bid the foremost king final farewell.
Among them were the Governors of Osun and Lagos State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola and Mr. Akinwumi Ambode respectively, as well as the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu.
Others included a former Governor of Osun, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Chief Harry Akande; wife of a former Oyo State Governor, Alhaja Mutiat Ladoja; and Chief Adeniyi Akintola, SAN.
Others were the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Michael Adeyemo and members of the House; State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Akin Oke; Senators, members of the House of Representatives and prominent Ibadan elders and high chiefs.
The president stressed the need for Nigerians to work towards being celebrated while alive and to leave a good legacy after death.
He said, “The whole of Nigeria is proud to have the like of the late Oba Odulana because of his life of honesty and forthrightness.
“I hope we all can imbibe such Spartan life so that we can be celebrated like him. I’m proud to call him my own father. He was a king who earned the respect of all through his life of dedication and service to humanity.”
In his remarks, Governor Ajimobi paid glowing tribute to what he called the exemplary attributes of the late traditional ruler.
The governor said that Oba Odulana left an indelible mark in the sands of time in the areas of politics, civil service, military and other leadership positions he was privileged to occupy before his ascension to the throne.
Ajimobi said, “Let us remember with pride that Kabiyesi was a quintessential patriot and nationalist who served meritoriously with dignity and transparency in all the positions that he was privileged to attain in his lifetime,”
“Let me recall with nostalgia and affection how Kabiyesi supported our administration’s urban renewal programme and how he appreciated our efforts at improving on the beautification of Ibadan in particular and Oyo State in general.”
He also recalled the numerous contributions of the late Oba to good governance and human development, not only in Ibadan but in the entire state. The governor noted that the contributions of the monarch helped in his electoral victory as governor for a second term.
In his sermon, Most Reverend Olusegun Okubadejo said the myriad of orations and tributes from different categories of people were testimonies to the fact that the revered monarch had secured heaven.
The priest challenged all and sundry to be cognizant of the need to live a life that would guarantee them good names and legacies after their death.
“The most recurring attributes mentioned in the orations were of his courage, discipline and aversion for corruption which is common in the present Nigeria,” Okubadejo said.