• Jonathan, Gov. Abiodun, Dangote, Oloyede, others to grace coronation ceremonies
At age 9, Allah revealed I’ll be a king: New Olowu
• Akogun explains wisdom behind palace circumambulation for seven times
He is a devout Muslim brother – The Companion Amir
• Ipebi; a traditional school of politics to train new monarchs: Prof. Kilani
By Rasheed Abubakar/Abeokuta
The Executive Director of Ankor Pointe Integrated, Dr. Saka Adelola Matemilola has been crowned the 14th paramount ruler of the Owu Kingdom, a first-class traditional title in Ogun State.
Oba Saka Matemilola, the Otileta VII, was crowned on Monday in the presence of dignitaries from within and outside the Kingdom, who had thronged the palace to be part of the ceremony.
Among the personalities who were welcomed with fanfare, drums and trumpets were leaders of Islamic organisations to whom the Kabiyesi is actively connected.
Some of them include Port-Harcourt-based Al-Usrah and the Lagos chapter of The Companion, an association of Muslim men in business and the professions, among others.
The sons and daughters of Owu Kingdom were also not left out in the celebration of this year’s Odun Omo Olowu, an annual carnival-like event held on the same day, hours after Oba Saka Matemilola was installed with the Owu traditional crown.
The 2022 Odun Omo Olowu witnessed the showcasing of different Owu tradition to the delight of those present at the palace.
Dr. Matemilola, a devout Muslim and member of the LightHouse Muslim Community, Lekki, Lagos replaced the late Olowu, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, who returned to his Creator in December 2021.
Ahead of the formal crowning, the agile Olowu of Owu accompanied by chiefs and hundreds of indigenes circumambulated the palace area seven times at midnight, wearing a traditional crown.
He was also seen wearing the symbolic small Obalufon crown, holding it with one hand, during the exercise.
Muslim News findings revealed that the exercise marked one of the rites meant to build a spiritual relationship between the King and the palace where he is going to reign.
Why we circumambulate the palace seven times, Akogun explains
About its significance, the Akogun of Owu, Raobil Ishola Akinsipo said, “Just like all pilgrims circumambulate the Ka’abah, the holy sanctuary in Makkah, the same way every king has to circumambulate the palace seven times.
“You know, as Muslims, we don’t even ask for the reason for circumambulating the Kaa’bah, we do it to obey Almighty Allah. So, we are doing it because that is the way our fathers have been doing it. And we found joy in it.
The Akogun added, “There is also a form of exercise in the traditional rite. For instance, the king has been in seclusion for 90 days he didn’t go out of that enclave. So, it is an opportunity for him to move around the palace he is going to reside.
“Then, your acceptability is measured by the type of crowd that followed you. Although it was the middle of the night, the crowd that followed us was mammoth. We thought by the 3rd to 4th round, the crowd would have reduced, but they continued with us in their numbers. This shows that our Kabiyesi is accepted by all.”
Oba Matemilola, already putting another beautiful crown known as the ‘Oduduwa crown’, prayed for the community to grow during his reign, at the frontage of the palace, where people were already gathered in numbers.
Allah revealed I’ll be a king at age 9 – new Olowu
While speaking with Muslim News in an exclusive interview, Oba Matemilola, the Chairman Welfare Committee, Falomo Mosque, Ikoyi said Allah had revealed to him that he would one day become an Oba in his community.
According to him, “The truth is, Allah had shown me this when I was about 9 years old, very clearly. I didn’t even realise who I was at the time. At that time I wasn’t even aware that I was from a royal family, but Allah showed me in my dream that I was crowned, and the crown was such that it had rays of light all over it. I couldn’t explain it.
“So, when I woke up, I sketched exactly how I saw myself and showed it to my father. He asked if I was sure. I said, yes. He then said do you know you are from a royal family? I wasn’t aware. So, he explained to me how we are from a royal family; how our forefathers have been kings.
“And he said by Allah’s grace, you will become a king one day. Here we are today, being crowned as the 14th Olowu of Owu Kingdom. Alhamdulillah (Watch out for his exclusive interview in our special print edition in November 2022).
He is one of us; a devout Muslim brother – The Companion Amir
Also speaking with Muslim News, the Amir, The Companion, Lagos District, Abdul-Kabeer Olayiwola Baruwa, said, “We are here to felicitate our brother, Dr. Saka Matemilola, who is being crowned as the Olowu of Owu Kingdom. He is one of us; a Muslim brother and member of The Companion.
“We are to support and pray that Allah guides him because the responsibility he is taking is not an easy one. May his reign bring success and prosperity to the kingdom, so that he might have no cause for regret at the end. May Almighty Allah assist, guide and bless him in this world and the hereafter. (Watch out for Amir’s exclusive interview in our special print edition in November 2022).
• Ipebi a traditional school of politics to train new monarchs: Prof. Kilani
Prof. Abdurrazaq Kilani, the founder of Al-Usrah, congratulated Oba Matemilola, saying, “He was the secretary of the organisation in Port Harcourt for close to a decade before he relocated to Lagos and up to the time of his announcement, he was still an active member.”
The Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Port-Harcourt said there is nothing wrong if a devout Muslim takes an exalted throne, adding, “What we need to do is to interrogate some of the Yoruba cultures, especially their basis.
For instance, he described ipebi as a traditional school of politics where an Oba will be retooled. “It’s like a school of politics of Owu Kingdom, but because it’s called Ipebi or seclusion, people think it’s about some kind of initiation. This is one of the misunderstandings and misinformation.
“Someone coming from the academic sector or business world and you’re dealing with traditional people, you need to be retooled on how to greet, address and how to manage local meetings, etc”, he added. (Watch out for Prof.’s exclusive interview in our special print edition in November 2022).
Muslim News can authoritatively confirm that while Oba Saka Matemilola was at Ipebi, he established the five daily Salat; joined by other Chiefs to observe the first Jum’ah ever within the compound, and on Sunday, Asalatu, etc
The eight-day coronation ceremony continued on Tuesday with traditional homage to the new Olowu at his palace by villagers, groups and associations.
“The homage will continue on Wednesday (today)”, said the Chairman of the Coronation Committee, General Ekundayo Opaleye (rtd).
“Youth seminar and colloquium will be held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, (OOPL) on Thursday, to be chaired by JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, OON, who is also the Secretary General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA; as well as the launch of the Olowu Foundation by the Olori Agba, among other events.
While speaking at the press conference held to kick off the coronation on Sunday, October 23, Gen. Opaleye said, “there will be a special banquet on Friday, October 28, which will be chaired by the Chairman of the Dangote Cement Company, Aliko Dangote, while the royal father of the day is Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III.
The day’s activities will also include the tour of historical places in Abeokuta, storytelling and reminiscences by elderly people, games and sports, all of which will precede the banquet to hold later in day at the OOPL.
He stressed that the official presentation of the staff of office by the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to Oba Matemilola will hold on Saturday, with former President Goodluck Jonathan as Chairman of the day and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi as the royal father of the day. The venue of the two major events is the Oba Odeleye Park, Ori Omi, Owu Totoro, Abeokuta.
Opaleye said the programme will climaxes on Sunday October 30, 2022 with Christian, Muslim and traditional thanksgiving services which will also hold at the Oba Odeleye Park.
On the same day, a world press conference by the new Olowu, Oba Saka Matemilola and an appreciation evening with him and officials will round off the activities at the Olowu’s palace.
The new monarch holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ibadan. He also bagged a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Matemilola is a stakeholder in the petroleum industry where he served as a Consultant for Reservoir Engineering at Shell Petroleum industry in Port-Harcourt from 2009 to 2011. He was involved in the establishment of the Centre of Excellence in Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering, University of Benin in 2011.
He sits on the board of Motus Technology Limited, City Roller Limited and Cypher Crescent Limited. He belongs to the Nigeria Society of Engineers and a Fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society.
Matemilola has contributed to the development of his community by providing water boreholes, feeding the needy, financial and healthcare support, provision of school facilities and other acts of philanthropy.
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