The Co-founder of EKO Hospital, Olor’oogun Sonny Kuku, has been installed as the 4th Ogbeni Oja of Ijebuland by the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona on Saturday
According to The PUNCH, the ceremony was also marked alongside Kuku’s 80th birthday.
The Pro-Chancellor, University of Benin, succeeded his late uncle and lawyer, Bayo Kuku, the 3rd Ogbeni Oja of Ijebuland who died in 2015.
The venue of the event, the Ojude Pavilion was flooded with well-wishers, relatives, friends and associates of the new Ogbeni Oja who came from walks of life grace the occasion
Prominent among the attendees include the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by his Deputy, Noimot Salako-Oyedele.
Others were the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; former governors of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, Ibikunle Amosun and Gbenga Daniel who currently represents Ogun East in the Senate, among others.
Also, royal fathers, include the Akarigbo and Chairman, Ogun State Council of Traditional Rulers, Adewale Ajayi, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Kehinde Olugbenle, the Osile of Oke Ona Egba, Adedapo Tejuoso, amongst others were in attendance.
While speaking at the programme, Abiodun represented by his deputy, pointed out that Kuku’s accomplishments in medicine and the business world coupled with his love and commitment to the development of Ijebuland were more than enough to qualify him for the title.
Congratulating the new Ogbeni Oja on this achievement, Abiodun said, “I, however, challenge you to use your good office to foster unity, economic development and educational advancement in Ijebuland.
“Your accomplishments in the medical world and philanthropic gestures are indicating the positive impacts you are capable of bringing to Ijebuland and Ogun State at large, and we urge you to use your new office to pursue the benefit of all.”
The Governor disclosed that his administration would continue to collaborate with the monarchs and other stakeholders to enhance the prosperity of the residents of the state.
Meanwhile, the Awujale of Ijebuland stated that the selection of Kuku as the 4th Ogbeni Oja was purely based on merit and his loyalty to the throne of the Awujale from time immemorial.
Oba Adetona said, “Let no one think that that the choice of Olor’oogun Sonny Kuku was influenced by anyone, I did not pick him as the new Ogbeni Oja for any reason other than for being worthy of this highly coveted seat.
“He has proven to be so loyal to the Awujale throne and demonstrated capability for leadership. I urge him to continue in that trajectory and continue to use his networks worldwide to uplift the socio-economic development of Ijebuland and Ogun State as a whole.”
The monarch also used the medium to call on the governors in the southwest to follow the footsteps of the state governor who has assented to the law which now allows for traditional rulers to be installed and buried according to their religious beliefs “either as Christian or Muslim” and not compulsory traditional way.
He added that he has been “championing for this shift for some years now so that we won’t be discouraging people who have good intentions to serve the people to be running away from Obaship. It is something we need to do that will add value to Obaship institutions.”
Addressing newsmen, the new Ogbeni Oja, stressed that he was honoured to be so chosen by the Awujale for the exalted office, adding that he was ready to intensify his commitment towards further development of Ijebuland.
He said, “I am highly elated with this honour and I am grateful to Awujale for considering me for this highly exalted office of Ogbeni Oja. I receive the honour with a great sense of humility and it is really a call to serve and God helping me, I will do my best to seek for further growth and development of Ijebuland and Ogun State as a whole.”
Speaking in an interview, the Baagbimo of Ijebuland who also doubles as the Chairman of the Installation Committee, Fassy Yusuf, noted that the conferment of Ogbeni Oja title on Kuku also coincided with marking the 80th birthday of the accomplished physician.
Yusuf said, “The choice of Olor’oogun Dr. Sonny Kuku as the new Ogbeni Oja is like putting the square peg in a square hole. It is acknowledged by many people given his towering achievements in life and commitment to the development of Ijebuland.
“What is left for all is to cooperate with him and support him to achieve success in his newfound role as the Ogbeni Oja of Ijebuland.”.