Notable personalities last weekend paid their last respect to the father of the Olowa of Igbara-Oke, Prince Ezekiel Abiodun Agbede during his burial ceremony. The Olowa of Igbara-Oke, Oba Adefarakanmi Agbede shared the memory of his late father in this interview with ADEDOTUN ADEROBOYE. Excerpts:
Kabiyesi, how would you describe the life and times of your late father, Prince Ezekiel Abiodun Agbede?
My father was a very pleasant man who had all resources needed to give the best to his children and his community. He was a younger brother to the late Oba Aderibigbe Agbede. He was a wonderful father, a man of virtue and a disciplinarian. He was recruited into the Nigerian Police in 1962 and he served Nigeria with faithfulness, loyalty and all his strength. He left the service with great records.
He was a man who had soft spot for people. He loved listening to people’s problems and helping them solve the problems. He was a gentleman to the core. You cannot find my father anywhere there is a quarrel. People loved coming to him to solicit for various things during his lifetime and he would always stretch out his hands to help them. My father lived a good life and will be missed by everyone. He died at the age of 94 years.
How would you describe the late Prince Ezekiel Abiodun Agbede as a husband and father?
The late Prince Ezekiel Abiodun Agbede was a good father. In fact, he was the best father in the world. He loved taking care of his children. He listened to us and gave us the best he could. He would never neglect us no matter how difficult things were. He would also never allow us to go astray.
To my mother, who is still alive, he was a loving and caring husband. He took very good care of her during his lifetime. He made sure that she was always happy. He made sure he provided for her needs and took care of her children and relatives properly. That is why everyone in the family is missing him right now. He was a great husband and father.
Kabiyesi, what was the relationship between you and your father like?
The relationship between us was very cordial. I was his first son and holding that position made us very close. We would talk from time to time and he advised me on so many things. I learned a lot of lessons from him.
His wise words have really helped me in life and they will never depart from me. As a father, he took care of me very well and related with me in a way that made me love him. Our relationship was great and cordial. To me, he is the best father anyone can ever have.
He was considered to be a father to not just his children but to every indigene of Igbara-Oke. How did he manage to achieve this great feat?
The late Prince Ezekiel Abiodun Agbede was truly a father to everybody in Igbara-Oke. Right from his youthful days, his lifestyle accommodated people. He was born here and grew up here. People knew him very well and stayed close to him like ants stay close to sugar. He loved his people so much and helped them in various ways. The people also loved him so much. So, it was very easy for him to act as a father to them.
As a Prince, he used his position to relate with the people freely and helped them in solving their problems. The love the people have for him can be seen in how everyone wants to participate in his burial ceremony. He was truly a father to everyone in Igbara-Oke.
What would you like to say to the good people of Igbara-Oke and all your well-wishers at this particular time?
I want to thank everybody for giving me great support that I needed at the critical time that I lost my father. I want to appreciate them for standing by me and giving me the succour I need at this time.
I appreciate the chiefs, the people of Igbara-Oke and all my well-wishers home and abroad for actively participating in the process of burying my father. Those who donated towards the success of the burial ceremony. I thank everyone for being there for me. I appreciate you all. Thank you.