In conversation with Prince Adeshina – Chairman 2012 Owu Day Planning Committee.

The annual Owu Day Festival tagged ‘Odun Omo Olowu’ is no mean feat. Its implementation takes several months of gruelsome planning and mind-boggling expences for it to record a success. It is a week-long affair which this year will span from Monday 1st of October through Sunday the 7th. The highlight of the whole week as usual shall be at the Ita-Iyalode venue where variety shows and the Yam-cuttting festival shall be staged in the presence of the Who is Whos of Owu, Nigeria and the International Diplomatic services on Saturday 6th of October, starting by 10am.

The burden of ensuring a successful outing shall once again fall on the shoulders of Prince Adekunle Adeshina. Last year, he took over the planning of the annual festival from the ever-vibrant work-a-holic General Ekundayo Opaleye, the Balogun Erunmu who had successfully staged the event for many years and was literally screaming for relief in the form of a successor. Well, he got it – in the form of Prince A.A. Adeshina.

But…who is this Prince Adeshina? went to town to unravel this myth! Below are excerpts of the respondent’s utterances during a fact-finding conversation between the Owu Peoples’ website, and Prince A.A. Adeshina in his tastily adorned Okelewo office on Lalubu Street, Abeokuta:

(Note: The statements reproduced below are not necessarily rendered verbatim, but represent the approximate intended thoughts and objectives of the respondent, as best as we can determine).

Prince Adeshina speaks:

“Yes I am aware that there was a lot of confusion in staging last year’s event. We had lofty objectives, we spent a lot of time at the planning stage, but i guess we measured below expectation in controlling and coordinating. Our team was new at the job, and we were all green and did not fully understand the intricacies involved, but at any rate we learnt our lessons the hard way and we are doing everything possible to block all loop-holes and dramatically improve on last year’s performance.”

“Oh! Mistakes in the programme brochure. I am personally spending more time with the printers this year and ensuring correct pagination, proof reading, and content layout. Suggestions are welcomed. You will see the improvements.”

“We are also going to make a more effective use of space and likely include some historical accounts similar to what was incorporated in the 2002 Owu calendar. The Olowu is currently on vacation, and I expect he will furnish us with some vital historical materials when he returns next week”.

“So far we have released posters, fliers and letters of the occassion, and all other areas of preparation are in top gear. The final stages of preparation will ensue when Kabiyesi returns from his annual leave soon.”

“This year we have even gone extra miles in mobilizing the people. We have visited all the Obas and Baales of the kingdom in their respective domains, inviting their opinions and suggestions, letting them know our intensions and how they can fit in and mobilize their populace for a combined effort in staging expectedly the most successful festival we’ve ever had so far.”

“We also held meetings with all the Alakosos in Abeokuta at the palace where we similarly let them into the broad picture of our plans, spelling out their expected involvements for successful management”.

“While we were on tour of the rural areas to meet the Chieftains, I hired the services of a proffessional photographer with his digital cameras to take photographs of the Obas and Baales in group with their chiefs. I did the same with the Alakosos at the palace. In fact the photographer is on a retainership to do photographic sessions at the palace. The object of this exercise is to build up a database of well-taken photographs which we can use at any time to improve the quality of our presentations at anytime we have a special event to stage in the kingdom. Any of our chiefs can just walk-in to the palace to have his picture updated, digitally.”

“We’ve had a few drawbacks in manpower, some vital members of the planning committee haven assumed new professional appointments which has compromised their available time, but nevertheless, we have not allowed that to get in our way as we have redoubled our efforts to compensate”.

Profile of Prince Adeshina:

His name in full is Adekunle Akanbi Adeshina. Male, tall, light complexioned with good looks. In fact to the trained eye, there’s an intricate aura of dignified royalty that emanates from him in gentle oozes! He is a sibling of the Otileta Ruling house of Owu, which qualifies him as a bonafide Prince of the Kingdom, in fact…he is the President of the ‘Koruwa’, the Council of Princes and Princesses of Owu Kingdom, which is represented by 5 members from each of the 6 Ruling Houses in the kingdom. In this capacity, he also deputizes for the Olori-Omoba in the Cabinet and Olowu-in-Council. The Olori-Omoba (currently Prince Bola Ajibola) is the overall leader of all the Princes and Princesses. In addition, Prince Adekunle Adeshina was installed with the princely chieftain title of ‘OMOLEEFON’ of Owu Kingdom in the year 2008 by Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, a title that had previously been proposed to him 13 years ago by the late Olowu Adisa Odeleye, but which he had artfully side-stepped because he “wasn’t prepared for chieftaincy affairs then”. At that time, Oba Odeleye had scheduled 2 chieftaincy titles per Ruling House. The lot that befell the Otileta house were ‘Omoleefon’ and ‘Omoniinu’ titles.

He grew up in the commercial buzzling Lagos where he attended the St. Paul Breadfruit school on the Lagos Island, from where he proceeded to the Eko Boys High School for his secondary education. He then crossed the seas to England for tertiary education at the Polytechnic of North London on Holloway Rd, after which he proceeded to the University of Surrey in Guildford. He is a Mathematics graduate.

He had started early in his preparations for political, traditional and commercial leaderships: He was the Chairman of the Nigerian Students Union of London from 1967-70, President, Nigerian Students Union of U.K. & Ireland in 1971 to 1974, and also a representative of the West African Students Union (WASU).

His first employment was in London with the International Business Machines (IBM) with duties in Computer Programming.

He returned to Nigeria to join IBM (Nigeria) at Western House, Broad St Lagos, before they later moved to Lapal House on Igbosere Rd, Lagos. On quitting IBM, he went straight into his own private business. During the 3rd Republic experiment of General Babangida (IBB), he started making waves in politics as the Federal House of Representatives member for Abeokuta North between 1991 and 1993 “before we were all thrown out when Abacha seized control” (he retorted).

He was the founding PRO of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), which later synthesized to AC, in Ogun State, an office he held from 1998 to 2000.

In 1999, Prince Adeshina was appointed as the Chairman of Ogun State Teaching Service Commission. He was so favoured in the position that he was highly prevailed upon to take up the job again by Principals and Headmasters in the present dispensation, but tactfully declined “due to advancing age and the rigours of that office” (he added).

He is the current Chairman of OPIC (Ogun State Planning & Investments Corporation), an appointment he took up in March 2012. His responsibilities over the board of the corporation include Town Planning, Survey, Estate Management, building affordable houses to complement efforts of the ministry of housing, and managing the Agbara Estate Free-Trade Zone among others.

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5 comments on “In conversation with Prince Adeshina – Chairman 2012 Owu Day Planning Committee.

  1. Congratulations on your election as the Youth Leader of RUOOP, and a big thank you for keeping me updated about developments at the National level.
    That is a niche where you surely are better informed than me…being in the executive body.
    That is the more reason why I shall insist that you join me in providing details of what is going on at that level, including all efforts at unification. No doubt it is a laudable task…and no doubt also that a total historical integration amongst all the Owu settlements is a dream which may never be completely achieved, given our very unfortunate reliance on oral dissemination of history for the most part of our historical past! Every custodian of a part of our history do believe that his own version is the gospel truth…and there lies the major obstacle, but with genuine logical and deductive research, we may perhaps painstakingly be able to achieve some reasonable level of harmonization. Its not going to be an easy task, and it is going to require an adoption of a new line of attitude and approach altogether, but then we have to take the first steps in order to achieve the seeming elusive ultimate objective.

    However in the meantime, your information about what prevails at the center shall be invaluable contribution for dissemination to Owu people, especially the youths who have been proved demographically to be the more concentrated users of this website…so your executive assignment begins here and i hope you will not relent as we shall be looking forward to your continuous updates and contributions.
    You may even want to raise the issue of integrating the efforts of this website into your overall executive plan at your future National Executive meeting. This platform is yours to use, for as long as it is to promotes and inform Owu people!

    I opened a subscription for you at the discussion forum yesterday, which you should have been automatically notified of by email. Please reproduce your discussions at the forum. It is designed for every interested persons to air their own views and opinions…and if more non Abeokuta Owus were to use it actively both for comments and presentation of their articles and topics, it will automatically dissolve the concentration of topics away from Abeokuta!
    So my brother, Bolaji Lawal…I shall meet you at the Discussion Forum where already quite a few interesting discusses are emerging despite its newness.
    I wish you strength and focus in your socio-cultural assignment.


    • Thanks chief i saw the box you opened for me and i am working on those suggestion you raised.In actual fact among those things we discussed with our Grand Patron Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was the issue of website for OWU and he was in support of it ,but since this site have been doing a great work we may adopt it as our national official site after serious consultations.But as you may be aware, it is unfortunate that most of our past leaders are not well disposed to the noble idea you are propagating,i mean using a site like this for information diseminations.


  2. Cheif i like all your efforts since this site was created ,but my concern is that is there no way you can merged these write up with all other Owu activities because your focus is mainly on Owu Abeokuta whereas all other Owu Settlements have been making efforts to integrate with each others through ROYAL UNION OF OWU PEOPLE by organizing annual festival of all Owu settlements and the 2012 own is taking place in December this year and fortunate enough Abeokuta is hosting the event.My worries is that do you not think is not going to be a duplication of event. At private and larger gathering we have discussed this but it seems nobody is listening.
    Secondly we would like you to provide some historical sites or events of great Owu cities or settlement for us.,like Omu Eleni own [is known for mat weaving].


    • Hi Bolaji.
      I gather that you are the National Youth Leader of the Royal Union of Owu People, or am I mistaken, for i see Prince Deji Adejobi on my list?
      Which ever way, I wish ‘more grease to your elbows’.

      On your comments. Yes there will surely be some kind of overlap in the 2 festivals following one another in such a short time and at the same venue as is scheduled for October and December this year at Abeokuta…but wait a minute; if we can festival and be festive and merry all year round, who’s complaining? (definitely not me)!

      The annual Odun Omo Olowu held on the Owu Day in Abeokuta is a yearly institution that must go on. It is expected, it is demanded, and it has been institutionalized as tradition in Owu Abeokuta, so it is immovable. Thus, it should and must/will go on!
      Similarly, the annual National Convention staged by the Royal Union of Owu People is also an institution which was initiated by Balogun Akin-Olugbade and escalated by Balogun Obasanjo some 21 years ago to be rotated among Owu settlements…so it too must go on and is uncompromisable! (NOTE both names are of Owu Abeokuta; to counterpose your assertion that “your focus is mainly on Owu Abeokuta whereas all other Owu Settlements have been making efforts to integrate with each others through ROYAL UNION OF OWU PEOPLE by organizing annual festival of all Owu settlements”
      The challenge or coincidence here is that both will rapidly trail one another at the same venue this year…but then I see this development as an added blessing (and not a ‘double jeopardy’), quite apart from the huge financial and organisational demands and stress the double will undoubtedly necessitate. It will however afford the Owu Kingdoms a serial publicity opportunity which can only further enhance our quest to be visible and reckoned with for what and who we truly are…unique and great in the Yoruba nation, and indeed in the totality of the African diaspora!
      Such is my disposition, my brother.

      Secondly, started from Owu Abeokuta basically because I as its sole webmaster is an extraction and chieftain from that part of the world, and thereby am more familiar with its history and structure than those of other Owu settlements…but the website is by no means limited to Owu Abeokuta by objective or aspiration.
      In fact, the ultimate objective of the site is to provide a common unified umbrella for all Owu settlements, and it shall then be organized more efficiently to have separate category/pages for each settlement. So far it operates a 3-tier system of a BLOG, an online MAGAZINE, and a DISCUSSION FORUM!
      The limiting factor for this aspiration however is that all these can hardly be done successfully by one lone-ranger, self-sponsored, part-timer webmaster like me. I need more hands on-board to provide subsidy, historical data, information and news about the various communities…and we shall have a more vibrant, wider embracing website that may truly be the online digital encyclopedia of everything Owu! Meanwhile, i limit myself only to what i can handle, but you and other well disposed Owu patriots are welcomed on board! thank you.

      PS: This discussion has been reproduced at the Discussion Forum where readers may join in for further debates. Click HERE to go there.


      • My chief, thanks for this reply, but for your information there have been change of executives since March this fact the elections took place at the palace of Kangunere on the 7th March this year and in the presence of about 10 Owu Royal fathers including HRH Oba DOSUNMU where Otunba T A T SAMAYE BECAME NATIONAL PRESIDENT AND GEN EKUNDAYO OPALEYE WAS UNANIMOUSLY ELECTED AS VICE PRESIDENT and i was duly elected.Meanwhile Dr Deji Adejobi is now the national secretary of the RUOOP .On the issue of duplicating our festivals, am not against us having festivals even if its possible every week like you rightly suggested it will boost our popularity, but it was at the meeting we had with our Grand patron. Chief[ Balogun] OLUSEGUN OBASANJO on 20th May when the new executives went to present our programme for our tenure where he suggested that he might discussed the issue with HRH Oba DOSUNMU to tuned down the ODUN omo OWU Abeokuta since they are holding the national convention this year and it was even collaborated by our Kabiyesi Himself at the meeting we had with him on the 13th May,this year,these are fact to let you know i know what am saying.Anyway, all is well Karo idi mon aso karo aso mon idi kidi saa ti ma gbe ofo ni. ON the issue of integration and your focus on Owu Abeokuta alone its not that am against doing the work and i know the cost involved but do you know that when you said you are an Owu man the next question is are from Abeokuta whereas Owu Abeokuta even Migrated from somewhere.,At national level we have been making efforts to see how we can streamline our history in term of presenting genuine and aunhenticated history of different owu settlements across Nigeria because we have witness different stories being said by different people and our KABIYES[S] are working on the genuine History of GREAT OWU PEOPLE.Finally,your efforts is been appreciated ,but you can liase with our national president how other sibblings can log in into this noble cause you have undertaken for genuine presentations..Thanks and remain blessed.


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