On Saturday, Governor Seyi Makinde approved the appointment of a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye as the new Soun of Ogbomoso.
This approval was given just twenty months after the unfortunate passing of Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III in December 2021 at the age of 95, leaving the throne vacant. The late monarch, who was crowned when he was 47 years old, ruled for 48 years.
This development sparked some debate, likely as a result of continuous conflict between some Muslims and traditionalists. The remark, attributed to Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, that “Governors appoint King not Ifa,” did not help matters either. Some claim that if Ifa had really played a role in selecting the monarch, it would not have chosen a pastor or Christian as the head of the town.
The crucial position of fate has been replaced by these arguments. It is not Ifa’s responsibility to select a traditionalist; rather, it is Ifa’s responsibility to select a leader whose rule would be peaceful and bring developments to the community, regardless of faith or status.
According to historical sources, the same Ifa that exalted a pastor to the throne had done so in the past for slaves, foreigners, and common people.
Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye would not be the first pastor chosen by Ifa to occupy the throne of his predecessors.
Indeed, monarchs are the keepers of traditions and the link between the people and their ancestors, but could a Christian, especially a pastor, perform the appropriate rites or rituals? The people have been really concerned about that.
Findings by WITHIN NIGERIA revealed that at least four pastors are currently sitting on their ancestors’ thrones and managing their towns’ affairs with emotional and local intelligence. In addition to taking part when necessary, they also allow the traditionalists to operate freely rather than repressing them.
Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle
One of the five Yoruba monarchs who gave up the pulpit for the throne is Oba Kehinde Gbadewole, the Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of the Yewa-Awori axis of Ogun State.
In 2012, Olugbenle, a pastor in one of the Lagos branches of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), triumphed over his fierce competitor Adedeji Olugbenle by a vote to become king.
On December 4, 1966, Oba Kehinde Gbadewole was born. In 1972, he began attending the Methodist Primary School in Oshodi, Lagos.
Later, in 1979, he and his twin brother became some of the first pupils of the Anglican Grammar School in Ilaro, Ogun State. In Lagos, Nigeria, he also went to Eko Boys’ High School in Mushin.
He studied Estate Management at the Yaba College of Technology, where he earned his degree in 1990 and was one of the top graduates in his class. In addition, he graduated with an MSc in Housing Development and Management in 2006 from the University of Ibadan.
He received a D. Litt Degree (Honoris Causa) on January 31, 2020, from Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ago Iwoye, Ogun State. He was founded in 2021 and is currently the Principal Partner of Kehinde Olugbenle & Co.
Onisan of Isan Kingdom, Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon
Another Yoruba king who gave up the pulpit for the throne is His Royal Majesty, Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon, the Onisan of the Isan kingdom.
In 2017, Adejuwon, a government employee and pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), was anointed king of Isan, the hometown of Kayode Fayemi, a former governor of the state of Ekiti.
On November 15, 1970, Oba Adejuwon was born. At St. Paul’s Anglican Primary School in Isan Ekiti, he began his primary education in the 1975–1976 academic year. He continued on to complete his secondary education in 1982, graduated in 1987, but retook my WAEC exams in 1988.
In 1990, he was accepted into the Ondo State Polytechnic, Owo, which is now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic. It was there that he earned his OND, or Ordinary National Diploma in Business Administration. He continued on to earn his HND in 1995, also in business administration. He attended Adekunle Ajasin University for his Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Management from 1999 to 2000.
He received his Masters in Business Administration with a Finance Option from Akungba Akoko’s Adekunle Ajasin University in 2002. He has professional credentials as well, and I currently hold the title of fellow at the Chartered Institute of Taxations of Nigeria (CITN). Before becoming king, he was a FIRS staff member.
Alahan of Ahan Ayegunle Ekiti, Oba Matthew Jegede
His Royal Majesty, the Alahan of Ayegunle Ekiti, Oba Matthew Jegede also gave up the pulpit for the throne.
He was crowned as the first Alahan of Ayan Ajegunle Ekiti, Ekiti East local government, Jegede after resigning as a pastor of Deeper Life Bible Church.
WITHIN NIGERIA searched the internet for the monarch’s biography, but there were no personal data available outside an interview he gave to BBC Yoruba.
The monarch discussed his challenges before to being crowned in the interview, including the opposition of his church members.
Additionally, he had misgivings about it since he believed that being a king while a Christian went against God’s will. I initially believed that becoming the King was against God’s purpose.I also believed that it would be challenging to enter heaven, he continued. He claims that the church instructed him to pray about it. But before following their advice, he disregarded it first.
As proof that he was destined to rule, Matthew claimed he frequently had nightmares in which he was the king. And despite the opposition of his church followers, he accepted the crown after eluding it for ten years.
However, he was surprised to see that the same former church members who had criticized him for choosing to become a king were present as Governor Fayemi handed him the staff of office.
Och’Idoma of Idomaland, John Elaigwu Odogbo
A Nigerian monarch who gave up the pulpit for the throne is His Royal Majesty, the supreme ruler of Idomaland, John Elaigwu Odogbo.
The Deeper Life Bible Church pastor Elaigwu was named king of the Idomaland kingdom.
He was the fifth child to be born on March 27, 1968, in Obagaji into the family of Mr. Elaigwu Ekoja. He received his degree from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. Pastor John Odogbo is from the local government of Agatu in the state of Benue.
Elaigwu reportedly received 19 votes at the conclusion of the kingmakers’ voting, defeating three other candidates for the stool, including Andrew Idakwu, John Bamaiyi, and Sunday Echono.
In addition, he holds an M.Sc. in Accounting and Finance from Nasarawa State University, Keffi, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Accounting from the same institution. He also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education from the National Teachers Institute.
After the death of the previous Ochi’ Idoma, His Royal Highness (HRM) Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, Pastor John Elaigwu was crowned.
Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye
The Soun of Ogbomoso-elect, Pastor Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye, is the most recent pastor to give up the pulpit for the kingdom after Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde approved of his appointment as king.
After the death of Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III in December 2021 at the age of 95, Olaoye, a minister with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Jesus House, Washington, DC, would be named the new Soun of Ogbomoso.
He was born on August 23rd, 1961. He received a BA Honors in English and Literary Studies from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria (previously known as the University of Ife) in 1982. He also holds a Masters degree (1987) in Industrial and Labor Relations with a focus on Human Resource Management from Nigeria’s top university, University of Ibadan.
The CEO of the management and human resources consulting firms Peculiar People Management (PPM) and Peculiar Speakers is the president-elect. He also serves as chairman of the Great Places to Work Institute in Nigeria, a leading provider of business and advisory services as well as a global research and management consultancy firm that identifies the world’s top workplaces across more than 56 nations. He also serves as the chairman of both Quest Oil and Gas and Quest Engineering Company.
Ghandi is a member of the Strategy for Mentoring Initiative & Leadership Empowerment (S.M.I.L.E.) Board of Trustees, a non-profit organization that supports young entrepreneurs working for development. He also is on the advisory board of the nonprofit A Smile on Their Faces Initiative, a focus group for people with impairments.
He also belongs to the International Third World Leaders Association (ITWLA), a global platform for the sharing of ideas across cultures, which is led by the late Dr. Myles Munroe. He is the Nigerian representative of Myles Munroe International.
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