Former Daily Times editor, Oyebola mourns Ooni
RENOWNED author, editor, economist and publisher, Chief Areoye Oyebola, has joined notable Nigerians to morn the demise of Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
In his tribute to the late monarch, Chief Oyebola, who expressed deep sense of great loss by Ooni’s transition, described him as the “Greatest Highness’.
Recollecting how their long-standing and highly cherished friendship started in 1973, during his visit to Ilorin as then Editor, Daily Times, on the invitation of the Governor of Kwara State, Oyebola extolled the late monarch for his generosity.
He said; “I also recollect how you brought very expensive lace material for me anytime you visited Nigeria from London. Remarkably too, the gold-like dress I wore during the funeral ceremony of my father in 1975, a church ceremony which the late Papa Obafemi Awolowo, personally attended, was bought for me from England by your good and great self.
I sometimes looked at the pictures taken at the ceremony with happiness and deep appreciation of your love. “Interestingly too, when eminent traditional rulers from different parts of the country came to felicitate with you in your big Ile-Ife estate and I distributed posters printed by my press to eminent Royal Fathers, a few days before your coronation, you magnanimously introduced me to all of them as “A great and talented Nigerian they must meet.” “Your demonstration of great love for me was also manifested in 1987, when I published and publicly presented the autobiography of my close senior friend, the legendary Dr. Tai Solarin – ‘To Mother with Love’.
You brought a large entourage of High Chiefs to the launching ceremony held at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan, and you also donated generously.
You once told me happily that the photograph of the two of us taken at Tai Solarin’s book launch has been conspicuously displayed in your sitting room. “Rest in perfect peace, ‘The Greatest Highness’ – the title which I fondly called you throughout your reign. May your deep love, care and faithfulness become a legacy you will leave for other eminent Nigerians,” he added.