Olowo’s passage: Burial rites begin
By Jimoh Ahmed
Cutting of trees and relocating the king’s market were major rites of passage in Owo yesterday formally announcing the death of the Olowo of Owo, Oba Dr David Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi.
Oba Folagbade, 77, joined his ancestor’s on Tuesday evening after suffering a cardiac arrest in the palace.
The Hope exclusively gathered that burial rites for the Olowo will be concluded latest on Sunday in strict compliance with Owo tradition which mandates the burial of an Olowo on a day the Ogwata market is held.
As early as 7am, Iloro Chiefs armed with sticks stormed the palace to cut the king’s market trees and that of the palace to announce the Oba’s death.
Soon after, the main market known as Ulede was shut while trading activities were relocated to Ogwata market, the site of the present Oja Koko.
By this relocation, trading activities are forbidden at the main market until a new Oba is chosen.
Our correspondent who visited the ancient town yesterday said market women and Iloro Chiefs were seen singing the traditional “Oyingbo ya Oron” a dirge for the dead at a brief marketing activities at Arigidi and Omusen quarters in the town.
At the demise of an Olowo, marketing activities must be held on the same day at the three markets.
Speaking with The Hope on the demise of the Olowo, the Olubola of Owo, Chief Olusola Ogunleye who is also the Chief of Staff and Personal Secretary to the monarch described his death as a shock not only to him but the entire people of Owo.
Ogunleye said the death of Oba Folagbade is a great loss to the people of Owo, Ondo State and Nigeria as a whole.
The Ojumu of Owo, High Chief Olanrewaju Famakinwa said death is inevitable and that it pleases God to take him away at this time.
The Elerewe of Owo, High Chief Ilori Tunde who said he was with the Oba on Tuesday said he was hail and hearty until he called him at about 12am on Wednesday to tell him he was not feeling fine.
The Elerewe said he was with the monarch until he passed on.
Chief Sidney Ogunleye, a prominent Chief from Iloro quarters described the death of the monarch as a shock to the people.
Sidney Ogunleye said the Iloros are the custodians of the tradition relating to the burial of an Olowo and as such has commenced his burial rites and warned that apart from the Iloros no other people or religious organisation can decide on the burial rites.
Buhari mourns Olowo
President Muhammadu Buhari has extended condolences to the family of Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, the late Olowo of Owo and the people of Owo in Ondo State on the death of the highly revered traditional ruler.
President Buhari also commiserates with the government and people of Ondo State on the demise of Oba Olateru-Olagbegi, former Chairman of the Ondo State Council of Obas.
The President affirmed that the late royal father was recognized as an accomplished legal luminary and tutor who played exemplary roles in the training and development of lawyers in the country during his days as a teacher in Nigeria Law School.
President Buhari believes that the departed monarch would be fondly remembered and honoured for his numerous social, economic, educational, peace building and community development initiatives which greatly endeared him to people in his domain and other admirers across the country.
As the people of Owo and Ondo State prepare for the burial rites of the Olowo, the President assured that his thoughts and prayers are with them during the mourning period.
He prayed that the almighty God will receive the soul of Oba Olateru-Olagbegi and grant his people a worthy successor.
Olowo, a quintessential monarch – Akeredolu
Also, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has described as a huge loss, the passage of Olowo of Owo, Oba David Victor Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Yemi Olowolabi.
Akeredolu, who condoled with the late monarch’s immediate family, the people of Owo kingdom and indeed the entire citizens of Ondo State, noted that the state had lost one of its most cerebral royal fathers who combined deep intellectual capacity with admirable traditional flamboyance.
A law scholar of no mean repute, the late Olowo was a devout Christian whose reign ignited a remarkable revival of Pentecostal evangelism in the legendary palace of Olowo of Owo.
The Governor also observed that in spite of the late monarch’s commitment to christianity, the rich, robust and transcendental culture and traditions of Owo kingdom flourished under his leadership, just the same Owo witnessed unprecedented development and all-round peace.
On behalf of the government and the good people of Ondo State, Arakunrin Akeredolu thanks President Mohammadu Buhari, other state Governors and indeed distinguished Nigerians from all walks of lives for their condolence messages and comforting calls over the loss of this great son of Ondo State.