Former Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Chief Samuel Oluyemisi Falae was on Thursday, presented with the Staff of Office as the Oluabo of Ilu Abo Kingdom in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
He was installed by the state government as the first Royal father of the ancient town on the border of Akure the state capital towards Owo Road.
While presenting the Staff of Office to the former Minister of Finance, Afenifere chieftain and a former presidential candidate, Akeredolu described Falae as one of the few highly reputable elder statesmen not only within the state but also in Nigeria.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Olugbenga Ale, noted that the presentation of the staff of office was a long-awaited victory and a breakthrough for the entire people of Ilu-Abo and Ondo State.
He said: “What we are witnessing today is a breakthrough. Out of all the Obas upgraded, Akure North has nine in all with Oba Samuel Oluyemi Falae as one of the beneficiaries.
“Let me take this opportunity to tell you that your appointment is divinely orchestrated.
“You have seen it all in the government and civil service and I want to appeal to you to continue with your elder statesmanship attitude as usual.
“The priority of this administration is the security of life and property; and we in government can be sure that with you as the Oba of Ilu-Abo, we have no worries as we are confident of your capability.
“Please note that government will not tolerate any incessant appointments of local chiefs by any traditional ruler outside his own jurisdiction.
“On this note, accept my hearty congratulations on your new office.”
In his acceptance speech, Oba Falae said he had been the Olu of Ilu Abo for the past seven years during which the community had witnessed tremendous progress.
His words: “I have been a servant king here, heartily serving the people. I usually grade this road every year.
“Ilu Abo is a big community and I will be grateful if the government can help us make this road more motorable for the good of all.”
In his speech on the occasion, former Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasanranti congratulated Falae and the entire Ilu Abo community as he observed that his coronation was well deserved.
He said: “Today’s occasion is indeed a memorable one and I want to wish the new monarch a peaceful reign. He is an elder statesman and one worthy of emulation.”
Dignitaries who spoke with reporters expressed their joy and satisfaction as they described the event as a welcome development, saying Falae had been an Olu for several years.
They applauded Governor Akeredolu for upgrading Falae from Olu to an Oba as they advised him to continue his good way and relate effectively with government to bring infrastructure development to the community.
Those who spoke apart from Pa Fasoranti, included the Olu of Odin in Akure North, Jimoh Oluwadare; Chief Imam of Akure Kingdom Alhaji Abdul Hakeem Yayi Akorede; Acting Chairman, Akure North Local Government, Anthony Adebusola; and the Asai of Ayeede community, Prince Bobade Jolade.
Others include Oba Falae’s wife, Olori Racheal Olatunbosun, who is also the Iya ijo of St. David Cathedral Church, Akure; Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Charles Titiloye and Arch Bishop of Akure Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Simeon Oluwole Borokini.
Also present were the Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi; Oba Samuel Aliu, Olumafo of Imafo; Alara of Ilara Mokin, Oba Aderemi Adefehinti; Akapinsa of Ipinsa, Oba Omoniyi Olufunmilayo; and Oba Oluwadare Agunbiade, Oloba of Oba Ile among other royal fathers.
Former Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Akogun Samson Sowore were also in attendance.