Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Dr. Abdul Ganiyy Adekunle Salaudeen, Oloogunebi Ajinese 1, the 28th monarch of the ancient town, has been on the throne since 2006. Oba Salaudeen is a Veterinary Doctor who graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1991 and engaged in private practice until he was selected to become the monarch of the town. He seldom grants press interviews. But during the week the traditional ruler granted WESTERN POST’S Correspondent TOLULOPE FATUNWASE audience during which he speaks on his reign, his achievements and the demand of his people for a tertiary institution in Iseyin among other issues…
Can you let us into your background as a monarch?
I am Oba Dr. Abdul Ganiyy Adekunle Salaudeen, Oloogunebi Ajinese 1, the Aseyin of Iseyin in Oyo State. I was born into the family of late Pa Salau Atanda Oloogunebi of Iseyin over 50 years ago. I attended Ansarudeen Primary School, Ebedi, Iseyin before I later proceeded to Muslim Secondary High School, Ore-Moje in Iseyin for my modern school education. I taught as a pupil teacher in some schools in Oyo State like NUD Primary School, Oluwole. I later started my secondary school education at Iseyin District Grammar School (IDGS) between 1979 and 1984 and I was made the senior prefect. I was offered an admission into the University of Ibadan to study Veterinary Medicine and I graduated in 1991 with a good grade. I did my NYSC in Edo State and thereafter started my private practice up till November 2006 when I was selected to become the Aseyin of Iseyin to occupy my forefathers’ throne. So I’ve been on the throne since 2006 and I am happy till today.
Did you mean you practice as a Veterinary Doctor?
Yes, I practiced as a Veterinary Doctor.
How many monarchs have ruled Iseyin?
According to history, they are 27 in number.
What is your position in the lineage of monarchs in Iseyin?
I am the 28thmonarch.
What are your achievements since you ascended the throne of your forefathers?
Well, it’s God but so far so good, Iseyin has achieved a lot during my reign. Before I became the king, Iseyin, as big as it is, had a single commercial bank and that is Union Bank of Nigeria Plc but immediately I was enthroned, we moved round and we succeeded in getting some other banks which has boosted the economy of the entrepreneurs in Iseyin. Similarly, there were a few industries, but now we have a lot of filling stations springing up here are there. Iseyin now has about 60 filling stations. Aside that, we have hotels, and other businesses are thriving in Iseyin as well. I thank God that within this period roads in Iseyin have been dualized by the present administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
In terms of social amenities, what are the things Iseyin is lacking now?
Here in Iseyin, we need pipe-borne water. I know power generation is low nationwide, and not peculiar to Iseyin. We also call on the government to site a befitting tertiary institution in Iseyin. If you look at the Oke-Ogun region, Iseyin is one of the largest urban settlements in Oyo State with no tertiary institution. Ibadan, Ogbomoso and Oyo had many tertiary institutions. We want the government to look into the educational development of Iseyin.
Sir, do you think the state government will establish a campus of its proposed Ibadan Technical University in Iseyin as promised by Governor Ajimobi during his electioneering?
Well, I hope so.
Have you been using your position as a monarch to invite investors to invest in Iseyin, looking at the historical monuments in the town?
We have been negotiating with investors, because we have lands in abundance. I think one of the best industries that can thrive in Iseyin is an agricultural-based industry because of proximity to Ogun River that serves as a source of irrigation to the farmers. We have been appealing to people that have interest in agriculture and they have been coming up, buying lands.
Can you mention a few of those investors you have invited?
No, we cannot disclose that.
How do you want the state government to further develop Iseyin town?
In actual fact, the state government has tried and I know they can still do more. I think what we need now is a tertiary institution and if that is done, we will be able to have students here which will also facilitate the economic growth of this town through house rent by students.
What is your level of relationship with other monarchs in the state?
We relate very well, there has been no problem.
Kabiyesi, have you been affected in any way by the political and economic situation in Oyo State?
Well, I am not affected in any way. I am a monarch and not a politician. The economic downturn in the country affects everybody, even the government itself.
Recently, the town celebrated its Egungun Festival. What is the significant of this festival to Iseyin? Does it have any economic benefit at all?
It’s just a normal Egungun Festival and there is nothing special in it. Farmers will have the advantage of reuniting with their family. Nothing special is attached to Egungun festival in Iseyin.
What is your word of admonition to your subjects?
The residents should always be peaceful; thank God the state government has provided a very peaceful atmosphere, no more thuggery, no chaos. Also, the security agencies are doing a lot of things to curb criminal activities in the state. People should hold their destinies in their hands.