Thursday 16 May 2024


Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the first Governor of the Western Region and 49th Ooni of Ife, known as The Great Atobatele, was truly a born leader and ruler. Born on November 15th, 1889, during the Yoruba civil war, he hailed from the Osinkola ruling house of Ile Ife, born to Prince Gbadebo and iyaafin Adekunbi of Ipetumodu, Ife north local government. Despite losing his father at a young age, his destiny as a future king was foretold by the Ifa Oracle, setting him on a path of royal upbringing and education at St. Phillips, Ife.

Under the mentorship of Revd Canon J Adejumo, he could have pursued a legal career abroad but stayed focused on his royal destiny. Aderemi, a wealthy man with a large family, wielded significant power during the colonial era due to the policy of indirect rule, consolidating Yoruba unity against colonial exploitation.

Ascending as the 49th Ooni of Ife on September 2nd, Oba Aderemi ushered in a transformative era marked by educational advancements, founding Oduduwa College and later influencing the establishment of the University of Ife. His reign prioritized education and modernization, evident in the construction of key institutions and infrastructure like the main Ife palace building.

Oba Aderemi’s leadership extended beyond Ife, serving as a stabilizing force in Yoruba politics and business, notably in agriculture. His peaceful reign and visionary initiatives left an indelible mark, even after his passing on July 3rd, 1980, ensuring his enduring legacy as a leader and reformer.

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