The city of Oyo indeed came alive on Saturday 28th August when His Imperial Majesty, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo, conferred the title of Ayedero of Yorubaland (someone who brings peace, tranquillity and prosperity), on an illustrious son of the land Honorable Shina Abiola Peller, alongside his wife Chief (Mrs.) Ayobola Peller.
A one-term ‘super’ lawmaker at the 9th Assembly, Honorable Shina Peller the son of the late Africa’s foremost magician, Professor Peller, already warms the hearts of Nigeria political big wigs serving his federal constituency Iseyin, Iwajowa, Kajola, Itesiwaju and revolutionizing the political landscape of Oyo state.
A natural philanthropist who conquered in business especially as an entertainment mogul, Peller saw the need and withdrew home to unite his people into an indivisible political unit, and in 2017 collaborating with the Oyo state Ministry of Youths and Sports and the Oyo state Football Federation, organized a football competition originally conceived as OKEOGUN UNITY CUP which covers his political constituency, but for conviction was later tagged Peller Unity Cup to honour the 20th years of his father’s memory in Iseyin, the home town.
For a competition that may have been named ‘Oyo Unity Cup’ if Peller could invoke a state power which of course he didn’t have, the sporting event rather transcended the Oke Ogun Oyo geopolitical space where it was scheduled to hold and became a pronounced historical episode that brought the Alaafin of Oyo and the Ooni of Ife together under one roof for the first time in history when the two most respected kings in Yoruba land decided to honour him as the royal fathers of the event in their persons. There and thereafter marked one of the many times both the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; (Ọjájá II) took notice of the peace vanguard attribute of Hon. Shina Peller as ‘Omoluwabi’ or in component “Omo + ti + Olu-iwa + bi” which is a Yoruba philosophical and cultural description of a person of good character, courage, humility, honour, respect, who believes in hard work, respects the rights of others and gives to the community in needs and in action. Above all, an omoluwabi is a person of integrity.
It therefore fits when the revered Imperial Majesty, Alaafin Iku Baba Yeye in January this year through a formal letter addressed to the federal legislator, informed him (Hon. Shina Peller) of his decision to confer on him the Chieftaincy title of Ayedero of Yorubaland.
The First-Class monarch in the letter noted that “Any person that could be conferred with a title that covers the whole of Yorubaland must be of impeccable character”. That it was against the backdrop of the principle enunciated above, and that after due consultation with the Oyomesi (the traditional cabinet of the Alaafin who are the kingmakers) that he has thoroughly examined the character, business acumen, philanthropic and public disposition of Hon. Shina Abiola Peller, and found him worthy to be conferred with the Chieftaincy title of Ayedero of Yorubaland”. The Alaafin concluded in the letter that “Hon. Peller is a well-bred Yoruba man who is culturally-inclined to wear the toga of the Yoruba royalty and traditionally-oriented to promote the chieftaincy institution of Yoruba land”.
But as it is in the disposition of a thorough breed Omoluwabi and what is culturally pleasing of honour, Peller didn’t sleep on the letter but took the news to the king of the source in his palace in Ile Ife and the revered Imperial Majesty Ooni Of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi received him well and sent him forth with blessings and prayers.
With reference to yet another of Honorable Shina Peller’s passionate concern for peace, unity and security of the country which as a matter of urgent concern moved him to host what was planned to be the biggest national security and peace meeting titled “National Security and Peace: Role of Government, Citizens and Institutions in May to mark his 45th birthday, where both the Ooni and Alaafin were yet Royal Fathers of the day, the Ooni Ojaja II challenged Peller to take up greater privileges of service that will bless greater humanity.
Recall that the National Symposium on security had the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari through his Chief of Staff, Ambassador Ibrahim Agboola Gambari as a special guest participant, and VP Professor Yemi Oshinbajo represented.
Governor Kayode Fayemi was ably present as the chairman of the day, other state Governors of the federation, security professionals, traditional rulers, professors, citizens and concerned stakeholders were all in attendance.
Then came the deal installation day at the Royal Palace of the Alaafin when the revelation was made obvious that between two First Class kings of Yoruba land, Peller had been prepared for greater responsibilities with the Alaafin recalling the exploits of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Chief Samuel Akintola, who while in their 40s as Shina Peller’s age, not only changed the society for better but built what is today known as Nigeria.
The Alaafin then said: “The Ayedero of Yorubaland that I confer on Peller literarily means the one who brings peace and prosperity to the world. Peller is ordained to elevate his people and bring peace and prosperity to the world. From time immemorial as the king and head of Yoruba Nation, I am the only King in Yorubaland who can confer chieftaincy title to a worthy man or woman to cover the whole of Yorubaland. What I want to let you know is that I specifically chose this occasion to call on the youths in Yoruba land and everywhere that you can do it, you can change the course of history, you can bring peace and tranquillity, harmony to Nigeria.”
The Royal Father, Iku Baba Yeye, therefore, enlightened on the historical richness and ingenuity of the Yoruba culture, race and that of the Oyo influence.
He concluded: “Yoruba culture consists of cultural philosophy, religion, and folktales. We have rich and diverse culture ranging from our religion, festivals, food, music, art, among others. The role and depth of Oyo’s influence in nurturing a Yoruba identity and consciousness among the Yoruba have continued to resonate across generations and boundaries.”
An appreciative Peller in his address recalled a long-dated friendship between the Alaafin and his own father Professor Peller, how the Alaafin encouraged him to venture into politics, and his determination to promote and represent the new honour bestowed on him well. His Words:
“Since gratitude is to life what salt is to food; I must start by saying: from my childhood, i have always seen His Royal Majesty in awe, and great respect is given to his leadership in preserving and promoting the cultural and traditional heritage of Yorubaland. Beyond this, His Imperial Majesty has remained my father whom I have continued to learn from, given that His Majesty and my biological father (Professor Moshood Abiola Peller) were childhood friends, and interestingly bear the same oriki as His Majesty is Atanda and my late father was also Atanda. And since my biological father is no more, His Imperial Majesty has continued to guide and treat me like his own son.
“His Imperial Majesty, Iku Baba Yeye, the Alaafin of Oyo, was the first person that from his vast wealth of wisdom advised me to join politics and contest for election in service of our people. Like my father, I had to heed his wise counsel, and today, although politics is challenging, I have never regretted the fact that I heeded my father’s advice.
“In carrying the responsibilities that come with this honour, I am mindful of those cherished lessons and values that I learnt from Oba Adeyemi. He taught me that nothing in life is constant; that we must spend our time and effort in service of our people; and that there are times things will get difficult but we must be steadfast.”
“Just as the Alaafin believes in me to boost peace and prosperity in our land and make things easy for all, I will not disappoint him and will rise to the expectations of my new role as the Ayedero of Yorubaland.”
“I am therefore honoured and humbled by His Imperial Majesty’s kind gesture in conferring me with this title of the Ayedero of Yorubaland. Even though it is not in my personal culture to celebrate awards and honours as i always consider them as the challenge of responsibilities, this time, it is different as my inspiring father, His Imperial Majesty has given me a wider platform and a greater challenge to continue to promote the peace and prosperity of the Yorubaland.”
While the Ooni of Ife was present at the conferment as ably represented by Oba Adekunle Adebowale, the well-packed event also witnessed the presence of the former Oyo State Governor Alao Akala, many royal fathers and traditional chiefs in different parts of the country, businessmen and women, celebrities and other prominent personalities both within and outside Nigeria.
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