Scores of hunters marched the streets and roads in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, in solidarity with new Oba-elect for Orile Ilawo community in Odeda Local Government Area of the state, Alexander Olusegun MacGregor.
The Canada returnee, who is a professor of Clinical Pharmacology, was selected and nominated to ascend the Olu of Orile Ilawo stool by the town’s Warrant Chiefs appointed by the state government.
He picked among the contestants for the traditional stool barely two weeks ago at Elegunmefa, the exact location their ancestors resided when they made the area a place of habitation.
Prof. MacGregor succeeds the town’s pioneer monarch, Oba Adedapo Aina, who joined his ancestors many years ago.
The solidary and ‘Thank You’ rally which took off at MacGregor Heritage Foundation House in Abeokuta in Abeokuta North saw the Youths, hunters in Orile-Ilawo, Alagbagba and its environs, chanting songs of appreciation to the people and sectional monarchs for their laudable roles in the emergence of the new monarch.
The elated hunters pledged their loyalty and support for the new monarch. Others members of the community – sons and daughters, also joined along the way to swell up the rank of the happy procession as they marched to the Palaces of Agura of Gbagura, Oba, the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Saka Matemilola, the Osile of Oke Ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso before terminating it at the palace of Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Michael Adedotun Gbadebo, Okukeni IV.
The head, Orile Ilawo hunters, Chief Idowu Tajudeen, told newsmen that they were happy over the selection of MacGregor as their monarch.
Idowu recalled that in the last five years, the Clinical Pharmacologist had uplifted many of indigenes through empowerment programmes, provided borehole and solar light facilities in their areas and granted scholarship to the indigent to enhance their access to education.
He said the solidarity walk was meant to thank the sectional monarchs for their support towards the emergence of MacGregor and to also tell the Oba – elect that the town’s folks were solidly behind him.
It was earlier reported that youths from Orile Ilawo, Alagbagba and its environs in hundreds had also stormed the palace of the Oba-elect in solidarity with his emergence as the new Olu of Orile Ilawo.
The enthusiastic youths led by their leader, Fatai Balogun and Muyideen Omotosho, who are the Olori Odo of Ilawo town and Alagbagba respectively, chanted “Kabiyesi o; Kabiyesi o; Kabiyesi o” in praises of Macgregor and to demonstrate acceptance of his personality and emergence.
The visiting youths of the ancient Oke Ona Egba settlement boasting of 63 communities and over 143 villages, were however, received by the Oba-elect, who commended them for their support and show of love.
The youths lamented that the community had been suffering for long because of the Obaship interregnum, recalling that the community’s lands that were part of the collective patrimony of Ilawo descendants had been sold out even to expatriates for self – driven motives.
They said those behind the bazaar over community lands were cashing in on the absence of a monarch, expressing the hope that with MacGregor’s emergence now, he would use his clout and pedigree to put a stop to it.
The youths further alleged that the atrocities committed by those they described as “living without conscience,” would even go to the extent of using charms and other voodoos to harm whichever youth that challenged their actions, stressing that those unpatriotic actions were actually carried out between the period when the immediate past traditional ruler of the town, Oba Adedapo Aina transited.
Balogun, who disclosed that the youths were already fed up with the situation and we’re posed for communal uprising, however, pleaded with MacGregor to assist them correcting the injustices which he said almost chase some of them out of existence.
The duo of Balogun and Omotosho further appealed to the Oba-elect to assist them at rewriting the story of Orile Ilawo town for better and future prosperity.
Responding to the youths’ lamentations, Oba-elect Macgregor solicited for more cooperation from the youths towards ensuring that their plights are properly addressed in manners that do not jeopardize the progress of Orile Ilawo town and all the adjourning communities and villages.
Macgregor, who emphasized that no community world over, can achieve any meaningful any progress without empowering its youths for self sufficiency, promised that he would not renege in his efforts at attracting meaningful developmental projects to the town, which he explained that he has been doing for the past 35 years in Canada and India among other developed countries where he is still doing businesses.
Speaking against the backdrop of community elders accused of selling family and other township landed properties for personal aggrandizement in Ilawo town, MacGregor emphasized that establishment of viable and enduring business ventures remains the proven panacea for taking youths off criminal activities and other social vices that are inimical to societal developments.
Macgregor also emphasized that wealthy individual in the Nigerian society, particularly in Ogun State will be securing future peace of minds for themselves if they can see youths empowerment as necessary investment in their respective areas.
While charging them to abstain from any conspiracy that can jeopardize the progress of Ilawo town, MacGregor, who admonished the agitated youths to be at peace with everyone in the community, further solicited the cooperation of the Ilawo youths towards ensuring that peace reign supreme in the community.