The House of Oduduwa under the leadership of the Arole Oodua, Ooni Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II has concluded plans to confer the prestigious chieftaincy title of ODOLE OODUA on Sir Adebutu Adebukunola Keshington a.k.a. Dodondawa.
The first of such conferments by Ooni Ogunwusi since his ascension of the throne as the 51st Ooni in the 3rd dynasty of Ife about four years ago will take place on the 19th, October 2019 at the Ile-Oodua, the Ooni’s palace, Ile-Ife.
The Odole is a special office which works closely with the Ooni in rallying the descendants of Oduduwa wherever they are in the world for unity, peace and progress of the race. The Odole Oodua, a position once occupied by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and subsequently by Chief G.O.K Ajayi is a highly revered chieftaincy in Yorubaland pioneered by the great Oranmiyan while he was still a Prince of Ife. Oranmiyan served as a rallying point and stabilizing force among the powerful empires within the expansive Oduduwa territory before becoming the Ooni in Ife after his exploits which cut across Benin and Oyo kingdoms where he established his royal dynasties which have been in existence till date.
Historically, the office has its roots in the remarkable roles played by Oranmiyan, the great ruler of old Oyo and Benin kingdoms. Oranmiyan was virile, bold, adventurous, circumspect, dutiful and at the service of his other siblings. He stood as an effective link between them. It was his commitment to a united Oduduwa family that is referenced in the fragment of his panegyric “akantunkansi or as’otuns’osi, akinn’ile akinl’ogun” (the great link to both sides, the brave both at home and at war. Even though both Benin and Oyo kingdoms were at a point most powerful domains within the expansive Oduduwa territory, Oranmiyan ensured that they never overran each other.
Etymologically, “Odole” derives from the expression “odo ile Oodua” (the youth in the house of Oduduwa). It is a contraction of the expression adopted as a title to perpetuate the ideal of internal cohesion for which Oranmiyan stood in the Oodua family of the ancient days.
The traditional title of the Odole of Ife has been retained as part of Ife’s social and political system and specially conferred on distinguished Oodua descendant who in present times can replicate the roles played by Oranmiyan.
In the contemporary history of the Oodua people, the late sage, Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, who later held the title of Asiwaju Ile-Oodua which has since been left unfilled till date, was the first to be honoured with the title after Oranmiyan. The second holder of the title was the late Chief G.O.K. Ajayi (SAN). Sir Adebutu Adebukunola Kensington is the third in the line.
Like his predecessor, Sir Adebutu’s exemplary life achievements and awesome potentials for positive social transformation were a crucial factor in his consideration for the prestigious position.
From a very humble background to a life of a successful businessman of national and international repute, a philanthropist of rare breed and a social reformer of distinction, Sir Adebutu has emerged as the most suitable candidate for the position. He hails from Iperu Remo in Ikene local government area of Ogun state, Nigeria.
The choice of Adebutu as the Odole Oodua is also in recognition of his philanthropy, positive contributions to human development, and promotion of our prestigious cultural values and traditions as descendants of Oduduwa. The Kensington Adebukunola Adebutu Foundation(KAAF) and the medical laboratory and Maternity Centre established in 2005 among other commitments to the service of the poor and other vulnerable people in the society attest to this.
In line with the established process of filling such an important position, both the political and spiritual wings of Ile-Oodua have sought Sir Adebutu’s consent in this regard on behalf of the Ooni and he has presented his acceptance of the offer to the Arole Oodua’Olofin Adimula, the Ooni of Ife for final ratification.
All the necessary rites attached to the installation are being observed ahead of the installation ceremony slated. The kings, the high chiefs (AGBA IFE) and chief priests (THE ISOROS) are atop of the coronation rites which will reach the climax on the eve of the event in October 2109.
Comrade Moses Olafare,
Director, Media & Public Affairs,