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THE MAKING OF AN OLUBADAN

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By: Mogaji Wole Arisekola

 

 

Every family and clan in Ibadanland has a Mogaji. Mogajis are family heads. They control the affairs of their family and ensure law and order. They are made Mogajis by the Olubadan after they have been so appointed and the family written to formally inform the Olubadan and the Council. In Ibadan, there are over 2,500 Mogajis or family heads at present. The installation ceremony of Mogajis is often performed at the palace of the Olubadan with pomp and fanfare. A Mogaji is a potential Olubadan in waiting if he eventually succeeds to join the ladder. It takes a whole lot for a Mogaji to become Jagun, the lowest rung of the Olubadan ladder, as there are competitions from other Mogajis.

To become Jagun, however, Baale Ayorinde said there are three things to consider. A prospective candidate could be from an historical Ibadan warrior family or having done valiantly to save the land in one form or another. The candidate might also have done something worthwhile for his community or Ibadanland as a whole, while his wealth, which he had used for the uplift of the downtrodden, could be another consideration.

When there is vacancy for the Jagun position, the Olubadan-in-council would consider the prospective candidates and hereby appoint one to the Olubadan line or another to the Balogun line, depending on where there is vacancy. The appointees would now become Jagun on either and or both lines. The promotions of such Jaguns are not, however, random, as they are promoted in a sequential and orderly procedure. Upon vacancy in any of the lines, the title holder of a lower rung is promoted to the next rung of the ladder. The Balogun line has 23 rungs while the Olubadan line has 22 rungs. The next Olubadan alternates between the Balogun and the Otun

 

Mogaji Wole Arisekola

The promotion in the line of Balogun follows this pattern: From Jagun – Ajia – Bada – Are-Onibon – Gbonnka – Aare Egbe Omo – Oota – Lagunna – Are-Ago – Ayingun – Asaju – Ikolaba – Aare-Alasa – Agba-Akin – Ekefa – Maye –Abese – Ekarun Balogun – Ekerin Balogun – Ashipa Balogun – Osi Balogun – Otun Balogun and eventually to Balogun. The journey from Jagun to Balogun will take a prospective candidate through a 23-rung ladder, and, having reached the top of the ladder, he becomes Balogun and would, therefore, wait for his turn to emerge the Olubadan of Ibadanland.

The promotion in the line of Olubadan follows the same pattern, but is 22 rungs : From Jagun – Ajia – Bada – Aare Onibon – Gbonnka – Aare-Egbe Omo – Oota – Lagunna – Are-Ago – Ayingun – Asaju – Ikolaba – Aare-Alasa – Agba-Akin – Ekefa – Maye – Abese – Ekarun Olubadan – Ekerin Olubadan – Ashipa Olubadan – Osi Olubadan and finally to Otun Olubadan. The nomenclature looks the same with that of Balogun, until when the prospective candidate finally gets to the Ekarun Olubadan. Upon emergence as the Otun Olubadan, the candidate is set to emerge the next Olubadan of Ibadan land on his turn.

Baale Ayorinde gave English meanings of some of the titles thus: Otun – second in command/Commander of the right wing; Osi – third in command/Commander of the left wing; Asipa – Leader of the Vanguard; Ekerin – Fourth in Command; Ekarun – Fifth in Command; Abese – Superintendent of foot soldiers; Maye – Stationary Veteran Soldiers; Ekefa – Sixth in command; Agba-Akin – Chief of the Brave; Aare-Alasa – Chief of the Squire; Ikolaba – Sango’s apron man; Asaaju – Front ranker (front liner); Ayingun – Official war wager; Aare-Ago – Overseer of Blood Relations; Laguna – Swivel Lance Comptroller General; Oota – Sharp Shooter; Aare-Egbe-Omo – General of the Youth Wing; Gbonka – Dignified war wager; Aare-Onibon – Brigadier-General of Gun Combatant Shooter; Bada – Chief Spy; Ajia – Commissioner; Jagun – Warrior/Defender of the ruler.

When death occurs of any member on the ladder, there has to be installation ceremony to the next rank for affected candidates not less than 21 days after the burial of the last occupant. The Olubadan, upon notification of such death, will approve the promotion of others and perform installation ceremony for them at the palace. This is one of the reasons Ibadan chiefs are called Agbotikuyo (someone who rejoices at the death of another candidate).
Ori mi Dara,pe Ibadan ,ni won bi mi ooo eeee.Ibadan,ilu alaafe ilu oloye ti wa ni,ori mi dara,pe Ibadan ,ni won bi mi oóooo eeeee.

 

 

 

 

©️ Mogaji Wole Arisekola

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Victoria Bamidele Shin-Aba @60: Untold stories of humble beginnings of an aviation amazon

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By Oluwadamilare Emmanuel

Behind the glorious career fulfilment of some people lie tattered beginnings harsh enough to devour even the strongest of men. While many have shared their grass to grace stories, however, some deliberately left the stories to waste away in memory because of the emotional trauma recalling almost to the present, the forgotten ugly past experiences before success came smiling on them. Truly as they say in this part of the world, ‘Life no balance’. However, it is amazing to know that some people would rather re-arrange the unfavourable condition life throws at them in their favour instead of wallowing in self-pity or blaming others for their misfortune.

The foregoing encapsulates the multidimensional and inspiring story of the immediate past Regional Terminal Manager, (South West), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs Victoria Bamidele Shin-Aba, the first female to be so honoured with such a position. Her entry and subsequent growth through the ranks in FAAN to the peak is almost one of a divine arrangement and uncommon courage as she explained in her soon to be launched book ‘My Resilience’. The book launch and her retirement party holds today June 2, 2022, in Lagos

Humble beginnings

Born 31st of August, 1962, Shin-Aba who is due for retirement this week and would be clocking 60 in few months’ time, was barely six months old when she lost her father while they sojourn in faraway Ghana. Apparently, she neither knew nor felt what her father was before he passed. Thanks to the magnanimous love and efforts of a ‘never say never’ mother who despite all the odds, kept to her husband’s words of ‘even if it remains a trouser in my wardrobe, my children must get quality education to keep her six children (including Shin-Aba) on track and ensure their access to quality education with no support system.

However, life did not stop dealing her a big blow despite the loss of her father. From the earlier blunt rejection of her husband, Nasiru Kolawole Shin-Aba by her mum and other family members due to religious differences to his subsequent sickness, loss of sight, depression and death after just an eight-year marital journey that lasted from 1985 to 1993, Shin-Aba has experienced it all. To add to the already piled up horrible situation, she lost her last child, Segun whom she had with her husband during his lowest ebb in life at age 10; days after being diagnosed of cerebral malaria. However, in all of these vicissitudes of life, she remained steadfast and focused despite heated entreaties from friends and families to abandon her sick husband. When she was getting overwhelmed by the myriad of challenges thrown at her at just 37 years of age, her loving mother who later welcomed her husband with open arms encouraged her not to heed evil advice, but rather stick with her husband whom she met a complete man.

In the words of his HRM, Oba (Prof) Akintola John Akintola, who doubles as Professor of Entomology, Biology Department, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) and the Alapa of Okinapa who wrote the foreword of her book: “The demise of her father at her tender age, which denied her fatherly care, did not deter her from achieving greatness. She was single-handedly trained by her uneducated mother who had a passion for education; and with the help of God, she did not derail on track as many of her peers, who found themselves in such circumstances would have done. There was a repeat of ugly occurrences in her life; she lost her beloved husband along the journey of life. She had to singlehandedly train her children too, due to some challenges in her family. She didn’t allow religion to create a gorge in her immediate family; she managed the challenges with elasticity. When opportunities presented itself in her favour, she was there for everyone, to raise them up within her limited capacity. What a show of love! Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba is a woman of uncommon love and humility. She extended love to all, immediate and distant relations. Her humble beginning came to play in many histories and stories too numerous to mention. This is what many failed to do and had turned up as regret for them after retirement,” Kabiyesi wrote elatedly of the accomplished woman of substance.

Journey to FAAN

While many would have accepted fate and end it all career-wise, Shin-Aba was rather focused all through the challenges. She did not hang her boots or drift to the classroom as many would have expected of her upon completion of her College of Education studies and receipt of her certificate in 1984. She proceeded to obtain her first degrees, and local and international training/certifications while also combining a number of sides hustles especially during the early days of her career in the Agency.

Her journey into FAAN (formerly, Nigeria Airports Authority, NAA) dated back to 1987 as Assistant House Manageress. She joined her husband who was then the Head of Civil Engineering at the Ibadan Airport.

Steady growth through the ranks at FAAN

As typical of any hardworking person, Shin-Aba soon became the cynosure of all eyes in FAAN. She held several positions in the operations department of Authority including; Airfield Operations Officer Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA); Apron Control Officer MMA; Airport Duty Officer ITZ MMA; and Terminal Operations Officer; General Aviation Terminal (GAT); Hajj and Cargo Terminal (HCT) and International Terminal MMA.

She was promoted Manager of the Akure Airport in 2011, a post she held till 2014 when she was redeployed to MMA as Head of Operations.

In September, Shin-Aba scored another first. The FAAN management appointed her as first female Regional General Manager (South West)/Airport Manager, Murtala Muhammed International Airport and subsequently attaining the rank of a General Manager, Airfield Operations.

As HOD operations, she led the team that prepared MMA for pioneer certification in Nigeria and organised the review and unbundling of MMA technical manuals and related Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)in collaboration with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The much-coveted Aerodrome Certification to MMA, issued by NCAA on 15th September 2017 is to the credit of her team. Her experience also came to play during the coronavirus pandemic that grounded flight activities worldwide for months.

Multiple Awards and Recognitions

In recognition of her hard work and selflessness to her fatherland despite the initial setbacks, the Nigerian Aviation Award (NIGAV) in 2018 honoured her with ‘The Airport Personality of the Year 2018’; in same year she also went on to win the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE) Award 2018. Most recently she won the ‘Airport Operations of the Year 2021 and Operational Resilience Airport of the Year 2021 Award.

Solving generational problems

Having giving a better part of her life to standing up to challenges against her and others around her, one would have expected her to roll down the sleeves and possibly go on vacation to enjoy her retirement. But Shin-Aba has other plans. As retirement beckons, Shin-Aba hopes to use her time and resources for solving generational problems/challenges. .

“This is the more reason why I have a growing interest in attempting to solve the generational problem through a yet-to-be-unveiled scheme which aims to address human capital empowerment and entrepreneurship development in the community upon my retirement,’ she said in her book.

It is, therefore, the right thing to, in the bobbling spirit of oneness, to roll out the drums and celebrate with a rare woman of courage and virtues, Mrs Victoria Bamidele Shin-Aba as she mark her retirement from service, launch her book today and also mark her 60th birthday in advance.

 

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‘Why I’m Supporting Bola Tinubu’- Mogaji Wole Arisekola

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Ibadan-born businessman and pub­lisher of Ireland-based journal, The Street Journal Magazine, Mogaji Bowale Oluwole Arisekola has stated reasons he is supporting the ambition of the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and frontline presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to become Nigeria’s next President.

He told some selected senior journalists at his Abuja office on Friday that Asiwaju Tinubu had got what it takes to provide the quality and desirous leadership Nigeria needs at a time like this.

“Those who know me will attest to the fact that I am ever loyal to my friends, loyal to a political cause I believe in and on no account will I comprise my moral rectitude, that is me and nothing can change that. I am making a bold statement today that my unalloyed support for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidential ambition is 100% and I can assure you that he is going to emerge as President Buhari’s successor in 2023 through the merit and strength of the ballot.

“The former Lagos Governor brought innovations into governance of the State during his eight years in power, I can assure anyone who cares to listen that he will replicate similar feats when he eventually becomes Nigeria’s President. I have not denied him of my support and I have not pretended about my open support for him either.

“My father-son’s relationship with Tinubu is not in contention and is something I never pretended about and even several of those who are contesting from the South-West also have their own relationships with him as well.

“This is because he had been there for a lot of us in the past and he is still there. He has the clouth, mien, the charisma, velvety and suave dispositions that the number one office deserve. Asiwaju is simply the best man for the job.

“ I believe both on moral ground as well as out of the conviction that he has got what it takes to provide the kind of quality leadership this country needs at a precarious moment like this.”

He continued, “You will recall that Tinubu declared his intention to run for president on the APC ticket in January 2022. Subsequently other aspirants in the party including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Yahaya Bello, the Kogi State Governor; Rochas Okorocha, a Senator and former Imo State Governor; Rotimi Amaechi former Rivers Governor; Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and Governor Kayode Fayemi, among others are no match with Asiwaju at all, and I didn’t mean to disparage or treat them with disdain and don’t quote me out of context please.”

Arisekola added, “In supporting Asiwaju Tinubu, of course we cannot use that as a parameter not to respect the rights of others who want to aspire, and in fairness to them its good to be ambitious as a politician. But one thing is certain that office is for competent hands with requisite experience and qualifications, it is not meant for a neophyte. But I believe that part of the essence of democracy is that there will be constructive engagement.

“I’m sure everybody is talking to somebody and before the date of this election, there will be some realignment of forces. But the right of everyone to contest is inalienable, and it has to be respected.”

While referencing one of Asiwaju’s gestures of kindness he said:

“Gentlemen of the press, without sounding immodest and I wouldn’t also want to embarrass anyone, but for the prize we owe posterity permit me to add that, one of my former editors who is now a serving Governor in South West once had a challenge to cater to his child’s naming ceremonies, he had no money to foot the bills, Asiwaju stood for him and sent N6 million through Kemi Nelson to support him, the rest is now history. Asiwaju’s benevolence knows no bounds. There is no region in Nigeria that his gesture of kindness and benevolence have not reached. He is a pan Nigerian, a patriot with class, humility and forgiving spirit, this is rare in our political clime” Arisekola disclosed.

Speaking on how CPC and ACN alignment became fruitful and successful Mogaji said;

“The first meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu in Kaduna was facilitated by me. Saliu Mustapha, then National Chairman of defunct CPC called me that the General want to meet with Asiwaju and some CPC officials, that I should please talk to Asiwaju. I asked him to come to Lagos, I lodged him at Marple hotel, Lekki phase 1 and drove him to Asiwaju the following day. That’s how they started CPC/ACN alignment. You can ask Alhaji Buba Galadima and Mustapha, they are all alive. I don’t book appointments to see Asiwaju, I have unfettered access to him. If I go to his house and he is free, he definitely will see me and that is Asiwaju for you.”

Arisekola added that Tinubu is not a greenhorn in politics and that he is a committed and patriotic party man, a consummate professional, a respected nationalist, a trailblazer, a committed philanthropist and a true family man who can proactively restore the fortunes of Nigeria socio-economically without bias or lapses.

When asked about his political ambition Wole Arisekola quickly cut in and said:

“My Parents were never political officeholders. They died as businessman and businesswoman. Meanwhile, they warned me never to play active politics or accept any political office, but that I could support my friends who are aspiring to get to the pinnacle of their career as long as it is lawful.

“To my people asking me to contest elections in this country, I’m so sorry, I will never hold any political office in my life. The former Czech President and public intellectual, Dr Vaclav Havel said people are driven into politics and I quote, “by ideas about a better way to organize society, by faith in certain values or ideals, be they impeccable or dubious, and the irresistible desire to fight for those ideas and turn them into reality” end of quote. From what we are witnessing, that may not be true of our country. I can humbly say that is my feedback to those asking me, Mogaji Wole Arisekola to contest election in 2027.”

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CBA FOUNDATION ADVOCATES AGAINST MAN’S INHUMANITY TO MAN IN IN-LAWS’ DEALINGS WITH WIDOWS 

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AUTHOR: Ony Kachi

 

After Mrs kumbaya (name changed to protect her identity) lost her husband at work in 2005, she was accused of killing him. The accusation did not come from her husband’s brothers but from his sister, who had earlier lost her own husband. It took the combined hard work of the brothers to get their sister off the back of her fellow widow. They told their sister pointedly that she too could face the same accusation she was leveling against their sister-in-law since her husband was deceased too.

 

This real incident underlines one of the greatest puzzles of the twenty-first century: How people who themselves or their mother or children or relatives are victims or could be victims of the dehumanising treatment of widows condone, live with, encourage and perpetuate the horrendous denigration inflicted on widows by their in-laws. The continued existence of this kind of situation of dog eat dog, or rather man’s inhumanity to man, makes one wonder if Aristotle also considered (Nigerian) in-laws when he asserted that man is a rational animal. There is absolutely nothing rational about the dehumanisation widows are subjected to by their in-laws in this clime.

 

A man, who through marriage has become one with the woman he marries, dies, leaving behind his wife and five children (three boys and two girls – this fact is only being added to show that the gender of the children may not even be a factor in how the widow is treated). Almost immediately his siblings and other blood relatives swoop on whatever assets of his they can lay their hands on. If a family meeting is convened, it is not to discuss the welfare of their late brother’s wife and children, who all bear the family name as part of their extended family. No, that is an agenda item for meetings convened by angels, not in-laws of widows. What in-laws of widows convene family meetings for is to make sure they have not missed out any of the assets their late brother could have had. That is how kind in-laws are to a widow.

 

If Mrs Kumbaya thought her case was going to be different because her brothers-in-law defended and protected her from their sister, then she apparently may have ascribed angelic virtues to her husband’s brothers. For, as it turned out, that act of defence and protection from their sister was the only kindness the brothers of Mrs Kumbaya’s late husband extended to her. They never helped or asked after her and her children’s welfare after that. Not even when things became so difficult that she could no longer pay her house rent and ended up on the street.

 

Maybe Mrs Kumbaya should even count herself lucky. Stories abound of widows who had been abused, molested, raped or “shared” by in-laws as part of the property left behind by their late brother. There are stories of widows, falsely accused of killing their husbands, being locked up by in-laws in police cells and the keys thrown into the sea, as it were. What about widows forced to drink the water used to wash the corpse of their husband as proof that they had no hand in their husband’s death. Or the ones forced to spend days and nights in the same room with the corpse of their husband.

 

Nigeria is not exactly a safe haven for women. What with the prevalence of harmful cultural orientations and practices against the female gender, such as preference of the male child to the female child, female circumcision, FGM (female genital mutilation), forced marriage and denial of inheritance, succession and other rights the male gender takes for granted. Generally, Nigeria is not a friendly environment for women, least of all widows considered to be a highly vulnerable group. In fact, Nigeria is said to be one of the least safe places for women in the world with a survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation conducted in 2018 ranking Nigeria as the ninth most dangerous country in the world for women.

 

The dehumanising treatment of widows is part of what the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, passed in 2015, was intended to stop. The Act, more commonly referred to as the VAPP Act or law, 

categorises emotional, verbal and psychological abuse as offences and is considered by many legal experts and advocacy groups to be a comprehensive tool for addressing all forms of violence and abuse against all persons. The law seeks to do so by providing maximum protection from violence of various forms against all persons irrespective of tribe, socio-economic class, religion and gender and offering effective remedies (financial compensation) for victims of violence and appropriate punishment (globally acceptable deterrents) for offenders.

It is not known how much of the general population, including in-laws who routinely dehumanise widows, is aware of the VAPP law. While ignorance of the law offers no excuse in a court of law, it is imperative that more enlightenment be created on the existence of the VAPP Act and all its provisions against many of the inimical practices that in-laws perpetrate against widows in the name of culture. Maybe, just maybe, some in-laws, who are themselves uncomfortable with those practices but take part because of family and community pressure, could be emboldened by knowledge of the Act to become advocates and campaigners against such practices.

Back to Mrs Kumbaya, for those concerned about her and what must have happened to her after she ended up on the street. They can heave a sigh of relief that the good Lord sent his angel in the form of the Chinwe Bode-Akinwande Foundation (CBA Foundation) and they took her off the street. Mrs Kumbaya now lives in an apartment rented for her by the Foundation, which also supplied her a mattress, other household items and food stuff.

 

The CBA Foundation, founded in 2015, the same year the VAPP Act was enacted, is a strong advocate for the enforcement of the Act. Along other civil society groups, it is pushing for the domestication of the Act in states of the federation that are yet to enact a similar act. Rigorous enforcement of the VAPP law across the federation will undoubtedly accelerate the mission of the Foundation, which is to promote “the protection of [underprivileged] widows and their vulnerable children in Nigeria, to promote immediate and lasting hope, confidence and courage in their lives.” The Foundation pursues its mission under its 5-point agenda of women empowerment/capacity building, health intervention, nutrition, quality basic education and a self-employment scheme.

 

This piece is not intended to demonise in-laws. The writer is himself an in-law by multiples. It is to call for a change of heart and attitude in society, particularly among in-laws, towards widows, knowing that we, our mothers, daughters, neighbours, friends are or could become widows. In-laws should join public-spirited people across the country in supporting the CBA Foundation in its advocacy for enforcement of the VAPP law and in providing succour for underprivileged widows and their vulnerable children. 

 

There are many Mrs Kumbayas out there but the resources and reach of angels such as CBA Foundation are limited. Men and women of goodwill, including in-laws who have now seen the light, can extend the Foundation’s resources and reach by supporting it in its mission. Contact the Foundation today by sending an email to them at: [email protected].

 

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