By Alaba-Olusola Oke
Muslims on Friday held a Jumat service for the repose of the soul of the late Olowo of Owo kingdom, Oba Victor Olagbegi-Olateru, at the Central mosque, Owo, Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Oba Olateru- Olagbegi’s death was announced officially on April 18 and he was aged 77.
Leading the service, the Chief Imam of Owo Kingdom, Sheikh Ahmed Aladesawe, described the late king as a man of honour, amiable, gentle and accommodating with deep respect for Islamic programmes inspite of the fact that he was a devout Christian.
“The late king is a king of honour who was blessed with glorious children. He accepted the two major religions.
“Though he was a Christian to the core, he never degraded Islam. In fact some of his children are Muslims,” he said.
Aladesawe said that the ancient town witnessed tremendous development during the late monarch’s reign, adding that the entire state would miss his generosity and immense roles.
The Chief Imam prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased.
Speaking with newsmen, Olori Adenike Rilwan-Akinolu, a younger sister to the late monarch, described him as a kind brother loved by everybody.
Rilwan-Akinolu, a wife of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akinolu, recalled that she was shocked when the news of the king’s death filtered in.
“We just celebrated his 20th anniversary on the throne and not too long after that we heard of his death.
“He and my husband, Oba of Lagos, had good rapport, always communicating because my brother taught my husband in Law School and they are both kings,” she said.
Similarly, Chief Ajayi Akinlaja, the leader of the delegation from the Oba of Lagos, stated that what he heard about the late king was highly commendable.
“I knew him as our brother-in-law and I heard about his generosity to Owo Kingdom, the state and the southwest in general.
“I know that Owo people will miss him a lot though traditionally a king does not die but changes abode,” he stated.
In his remarks, one of the foremost chiefs in the town, Chief Jamiu Ekungba, said that the late monarch never allowed fame and popularity to weigh him down.
Ekungba added that the king was very humble and accommodating, saying that he would be missed by not only Owo people, but Nigeria.
He noted that Owo town had astonishing and rapid development during the reign of the king.
Ekungba described Olagbegi as a devout Christian in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, adding though he never discriminated against adherents of the three major religions.
“He would stand with Muslims, donate and contribute toward their development and as well respected the value of culture and traditions of Owo,” Ekungba said.
According to him, the fear that is permeating in the ancient town, especially among the kingmakers is how to present somebody that will not be too low in quality to the departed king.
He prayed that God would give the ancient town another king that would be like the late Olagbegi.
Mr Adebayo Oke, the Caretaker Chairman of Owo Local Government Council, said the late Olagbegi was a fatherly and intelligent man of honour.
Oke prayed God to give the monarch’s family and Owo kingdom the fortitude to bear the loss.