By Remi Koleoso
Movement of people and business activities were on Thursday temporarily suspended as major roads in Ogbomoso town were taken over to welcome the new Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Afolabi Laoye.
The ecstatic residents mounted various points on the streets at different locations, eager to have a glimpse of their incoming traditional ruler.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oba Laoye had just completed the traditional rites and was on the way to the palace.
Banners with pictures of the new Soun were displayed all around the routes from the traditional rite centre to the palace located at Oja’gbo area of the town.
The Soun who departed “Ipebi”, the traditional rites venue, to run into the large crowd of residents at exactly 9 a.m., then had to move round the town in a large entourage.
Oba Laoye arrived Ogbomoso High School at exactly 10:33 a.m. and moved round the town before arriving at the palace at 12:40 p.m. where the residents lined up on the street.
The joyous residents, in separate interviews with NAN, expressed their satisfaction with Laoye’s choice, as well as solidarity and support for him.
A retired Federal Ministry Permanent Secretary and indigene of the town, Mr Olusegun Adekunle, charged residents on the positives in tolerance, peaceful co-existence, and good neighbourliness.
“I am delighted to join other sons and daughters of Ogbomoso in celebrating the ascension of the new traditional ruler.
”I urge everyone to join in the agenda for development, unity and peaceful co-existence set for a new Ogbomoso land with Oba Laoye’s coming.”
He urged the royal father to see the celebration as a period to double his efforts on good deeds by extending the hands of fellowship to other contenders for the throne.
“They deserve to celebrate and be celebrated as well,” Adekunle said.
An octogenarian, Mama Abigail Fashola, prayed for a peaceful reign by the royal father and urged him to take the development of the town as his priority.
She charged the royal father to continue to respect the significance of the various festivals of the town and take it as their way of life.
“His ascension is a period of joy and happiness for everyone in the town, and I appeal to him to bring everyone together to live in peace,” Fashola said.
Also, the Bishop of Methodist Church, Ogbomoso Diocese, Rt. Rev. Ademola Moradeyo, said the situation in the country required the citizens to continue to maintain peace and promote religious tolerance.
“I congratulate the new Soun and other sons and daughters of the town across the globe for witnessing and celebrating another feat in Ogbomoso land.
”I urge everyone to join hands with the new royal father in bringing more development to the town.
“I congratulate all sons and daughters, as well as other residents in Ogbomoso, Nigeria and the entire world for the fresh air and thank God for the new lease of life in the town.
“I want to enjoin you all and our people, in general, to live in peace and celebrate the coming in of the new Soun moderately, and extend hands of fellowship to the aggrieved in the process of selecting a new Soun.
“Today is for thanksgiving and prayers, and I thank God we are able to witness today,” he said.
Also, a student of Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Miss Omolara Fatilewa, called on everyone to maintain peace and live together as one family.
“Everyone must avoid anything that can threaten peace in the town and we must not emphasise religious differences, but rather promote religious tolerance.
“Let us love our neighbours and we must not forget the fact that this is a new Soun. He needs our support and collaboration to ensure that the town develop to the level of vision of its founders,” she said.
NAN reports that the selection of Prince Afolabi Olaoye, a pastor and international businessman, as Soun of Ogbomoso was approved by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Sept. 2.
The stool became vacant after the demise of Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III, in December 2021 at the age of 95 after he reigned for 48 years.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Olawale Alabi