23yrs After: Oba Olateru Olagbegi II & Eventful Story Of Most Influential Monarch
23 years like yesterday
October 30th 1998 the curtain was drawn, the royal trumpet ceased blowing and the music stopped, there was thunderstorm with heavy rainfall in Owo Kingdom, the Heaven heralded your coming.
Kabiyesi, it s 23 years today when you changed mortality for immortality, your legacy reigns, your name is still being mentioned,.On Sunday 7th November 2021, the St. Andrew’s Church, Anglican Cathedral Owo will honour you with an award.
It is two decades and three years after your demise, yet Honour and recognition is still trailing your name and memory.Indeed, you came, you saw and you conquered.
Alayeluwa Oba Sir Olateru Olagbegi 11 KBE,
* Olowo of Owo 1941 to 1968
* Olowo of Owo 1993 to 1998*
President, Owo Divisional Council*
President, Owo District Council ( the six LGA of Ondo North Senatorial District made the defunct Owo District Council )
* Minister in the Western Region Government of the First Republic
* Last President, Western Region House of Obas and Chiefs
* Member, London Constitutional Conference 1958
* Co founder Action Group Party of the First Republic Nigeria
* Knight of the British Empire KBE
An Iconic African King, a Nationalist that joined others to demand for Nigeria Independence obtained in 1960. A Progressive leader and one of the pioneers of progressive politics in Nigeria. He hosted the formal launching of Action Group AG Party led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo at the Aafin Olowo in 1951.
Oba Olateru Olagbegi 11 was an exceptional model in Traditional Rulership, he made loyal friends in all the Quarters that made Owo Kingdom, he had wives in most of the prominent families in his Kingdom, he was on ground with superb intelligence, he cherished his families, friendship and relationship and loved his people.
He embraced Agriculture and was a big time farmer while he encouraged his subjects to invest and take to Agriculture which made many of his subjects becoming wealthy farmers.
He was the 29th Olowo of Owo and ascended the throne at the age of 31 years, a first class King, foremost Yoruba Oba, a pace Setter, bold and Courageous, handsome and flamboyant, an eloquent speaker with deep sense of humour, a veteran lawn Tennis Player, Billiard player and a lover of Sports. He built a lawn Tennis Court in his Palace, the first of such in Yorubaland and perhaps in Nigeria, he hosted many sport tournaments in Owo, Ibadan and Lagos.
Sir Olateru Olagbegi was a wealthy King and one of the earliest Traditional Rulers in Nigeria to acquire a Rolls Royce limousine car WQ1 a world status symbol among the super rich even till date.
A Philanthropist, influential, colourful and a powerful King that reigned during the Colonial period when the words of a King was like a decree, he also reigned at the post colonial period of Nigeria history.
He was President of Owo District Council, the Council covered the six LGA in Owo and Akoko areas of Ondo State and was the last President of Western Region House of Obas and Chiefs before the Military coup of the first Republic.
Oba Olateru Olagbegi11 was blessed with a large family, perhaps the largest in Yorubaland and he invested sound education and quality training in his Children. His family record may be difficult to matched with his Children, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren etc multiplying daily and doing well in all profession and careers.
He laid a foundation for infrastructural development which put Owo Kingdom in the forefront in Yorubaland. Owo town was among the first towns in Nigeria that had electricity, telephone facilities, healthcare, pipe borne water, schools ‐ Imade College, GovernmentTechnical Trade Centre etc among other firsts in the first Republic Nigeria. Indeed he was a pace Setter that facilitated development for Owo Kingdom.
Oba Sir Olateru Olagbegi was a victim of the political crisis that engulfed the Western Region, the Obafemi Awolowo/ Ladoke Akintola political imbroglio in the first Republic. He was an active participant in the Government of the day and in the political process of that era. He lost properties to the crisis and was dethroned in 1968. The travails of Oba Olagbegi in the first Republic politics remains the major lesson for traditional rulers abstaining from partisan politics in Nigeria till date.
However, his subjects in Owo Kingdom loved and appreciated him and they returned him to the throne after the death of his successor. He thus became the first King in Nigeria history to succeed his successor after twenty five years hiatus. He was much loved and adored by his people, an affection that made them to enthroned his elder son as Oba Olagbegi 111 to succeed him just immediately after his demise in 1998.
Kabiyesi, we remember you today, we remember that black Friday of October when you bid the world farewell and the Royal Horse tail was laid down. The Tiger was eulogised but the Tiger had slept and refused to respond. The Mighty has indeed fallen, the Great Ogwa Olagbegi 11 has taken a bow, going the way of his Ancestors.… adiye mu pe se.
The impact you made and the giant footprint can never be erased. Indeed, we are consoled and proud of the good name and the legacy of service you left behind, history and posterity will continue to be kind to you memory.
Ogho mi…..Ogho Olagbegi … Ogho Bami ….as you always mentioned in many of my interactions with you while you will jokingly refer to other towns as ‘ikoko’ …’ira ikoko’
Indeed, you were so passionate about Owo Kingdom. Kabiyesi, the Kingdom is well, growing better, getting bigger and greater to the Glory of GOD Almighty.
Continue to rest well… Oba Sir James Titus Olateru Olagbegi11 KBE
Oju pan keke ma fo
Oran gbo Oma jigi jigi kawo Oma konno
We pray that your Soul will continue to find favour with GOD Almighy
Rest on Baba…. Oma Ologho Elewuokun ayun Ugba one tore
Ekon uli ye pa tokoo jeo
Akata ila bori Ogho male
Igi nla amowo jagbala
Erun ren o
Eternal Rest Grant Him Oh LORD