Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Friday described late Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, who was the Olowo of Owo, as a true patriot, revered monarch and an illustrious son of the state who would be missed by all.
Akeredolu spoke at a special court session held at the State High Court, Akure, in honour of the late monarch, who joined his ancestors on April 17, 2019 at the age of 77.
While explaining that the session was not to mourn but to celebrate the life and times of the first class Oba, the governor congratulated the people of Owo Kingdom for “the gift of the rare gem to humanity”.
Akeredolu said it was regrettable and painful that the traditional ruler quietly joined his ancestors at a time when the task of nation-building called for men of deep intellect, broad knowledge and experience, such as the late monarch.
He said the late Olowo of Owo devoted his life to the service of humanity and served in several capacities before and during his reign.
He said: “As the Chairman of Council of Obas, he promoted peace throughout the state and stood for truth and justice throughout his tenure, while successive governments in the state, including the present administration, benefited a lot from his wealth of experience and knowledge.”
In her speech, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, Chief Judge of the state, said the late Olowo had a gift with words and a knack for making complicated issues appear easy and comprehensible.
She said that the monarch was friendly throughout his lifetime, “had a way of putting his guests and audience at ease, and guided the affairs of his community as a just counsel and arbiter”.
According to her, the late traditional ruler brought peace on and to his community because his watchword was justice and fairness.
She said: “Though our departed learned friend joined his ancestors at a relatively young age, he was a man of good ideas worthy of emulation. His ideas will live long after him.
“We commiserate with the very good and loving people of Owo on the loss of their leader and pathfinder.
“He has acquitted himself of leadership, parental, professional, communal, national, spiritual, filial, conjugal and social requisites for posterity to celebrate him.
“It is important that those of us, who are still available, should identify adoptable examples in his life history, for our own purpose.”
Dignitaries at the event include Justice Amina Augie of the Supreme Court, who represented Justice Tanko Muhammed; Eyitayo Jegede, former Attorney General and Justice Commissioner, Ondo State; Justice Ayodeji Daramola, Chief Judge, Ekiti State, among others.