Olubadan-Designate, Olakulehin Attends Church Service at Aremo

THE Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, on Sunday, joined other congregants to worship at St. Peter’s Cathedral Church, Aremo, in the Ibadan North East Local Government Area of the state.

It was his first church service attendance after he was nominated as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland following the demise of Oba Lekan Balogun on March 14, 2024.

The 89-year-old monarch, who walked in during the Sunday service amid jubilation by the congregants, was making his second public appearance after his nomination.

He attended the service with members of his immediate family, friends, and associates.

Following his official nomination at a meeting of the Olubadan-in Council in Ibadan on April 16, Olakulehin’s name has been forwarded to the state government for possible confirmation as the next Olubadan.

Prior to his nomination, the state of health of the octogenarian monarch became a subject of debate, with the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, contending that Olakulehin was not physically fit to mount the revered ancient stool.

Ajibola was, however, countered by the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, who insisted that Oba Olakulehin was fit to reign.

As Oba Ajibola shunned the April 16 meeting of the Olubadan-in Council, the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Lateef Adebimpe, was chosen to take his place to nominate Oba Olakulehin for the Olubadan stool.

Confirming the receipt of the nomination, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Segun Olayiwola, told The PUNCH that Olakulehin’s name had been transmitted to and received by the state government.

“We have received the letter. We are working on it,” Olayiwola told our correspondent on the phone.

In a bid to prove his fitness for the throne, Oba Olakulehin was in the church on Sunday, to the admiration of other congregants.

When contacted on Sunday, the eldest son of the Olubadan-designate, Prince Sumbo Owolabi, said, “Baba was in the church today. Baba attended the service at St Peter’s Cathedral Church, Aremo, Ibadan.”

A church member, preferring anonymity, said, “It is a normal church service. Nothing special, but the slant is that Baba is getting better and making public appearances.

“We were all happy as he stepped in. People were shouting Kabiyesi o! Some were saying thank You Lord; thank You God; because everybody was happy to see him worshipping with us again.”

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