THE LIFE AND TIME OF HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, OBA DAVID OYEWOLE AROWOLO, ODUMINRINKANLE II, THE LATE ALOFA OF ILOFFA LAND (1938 – 1992)
HRM, Oba David Oyewole Arowolo was born to the royal family of Oba Sanni Oduminrin I the 15th Alofa of Iloffa land in the year 1919. The mother, Princess Ige Adubi Arowolo was from Idofin Odo Ase also in Oke Ero Local Government Area.
Oba Oyewole Arowolo like every child of his time started out as a kid, farming with his family members and he was known for diligence and tenacity in all assignments given to him. A trait that endeared him to family members and neighbors alike.
As a royal Prince, in the year 1932, Oba Oyewole Arowolo was released against the norms then to go out and pursue Western education, a gesture then seen as a great sacrifice by the father way back then. Consequently therefore, he got enrolled in the famous Native Authority School (NA) Omu Aran, now Government Secondary School, Omu Aran.
Given his prominence among his peers in the school, Oba Oyewole Arowolo was appointed the House Prefect over the then Abule Iloffa (Iloffa House): this is a testimony to the fact that the young Oyewole Arowolo has been demonstrating leadership traits even from childhood, he was nicknamed Oba Iloffa by his school mates while in the college, a trait that eventually justified his later calling as an Oba who was of exemplary service to Iloffa, Kwara State and humanity in general. He was also actively involved in football and athletics while in the school.
However, fate played a fast one on the young Oyewole Arowolo when at a tender age of 19, his father and predecessor Oba Oduminrin I joined his ancestors precisely on 4th of May, 1938. This truncated his quest for further educational pursuit as he was called to take over the mantle of leadership as the 16th Alofa of Iloffa land.
Given his resilience as a young man, Oyewole Arowolo wouldn’t allow the demands of royalty derail his goal of educational ambition for too long. He therefore proceeded to the Institute of Administration, (now Ahmadu Bello University) Zaria. There he took a course in Local Government Administration and Judiciary in the year 1950. He wouldn’t relent at this humble attainment yet as he again put royalty on hold in 1952 to attend the Man ‘O’ War Bay in Southern Cameroun where he obtained another certificate.
In 1957, he was appointed as a member of the Northern Region Council of Emirs and Chiefs.
In the pre independent Nigeria, Oba Oyewole Arowolo was one of the few selected traditional rulers by the then Northern Nigeria Regional Government for a tour of the United Kingdom on the invitation of the British Government.
He was Chairman of the Public Enlightenment Committee of Ilorin Province in 1952, he was also a member of the Northern Nigeria Marketing Board in the year 1954. He was a Member of Iloffa/Odo Owa on the Ilorin Provincial Loans Board.
As a true leader with a progressive mean, Oba Oyewole Arowolo strove tirelessly for the economic and infrastructural development of Iloffa land; among the numerous achievements witnessed under his reign as an erudite Alofa of Iloffa land were the following:
1) Network of roads within the township and the ones connecting Iloffa to other neighbouring towns and villages.
2) Establishment of the first primary school (St. Peters’ School) in Iloffa way back in 1917 Subsequently, many more primary schools were later added to the number and they all served to expand the knowledge base of Iloffa children and other beneficiaries of the facilities, the additions are: Adult Education Center Iloffa, Jamaa’t Primary School Iloffa and St. John’s Primary School Iloffa.
3) Establishment of Iloffa Grammar School in 1971 and Iloffa Comprehensive High School in 1983. Both schools have brought laurels to Kwara State and Nigeria in various sport and academic competitions.
4) By his carriage as an Oba and his wide acceptance by the people and Government of then Kwara State coupled with the rich historical antecedents of Iloffa, her leadership position especially within the committee of royalties in the old Northern Region of Nigeria, the stool of Alofa was elevated to 3rd Class grade in 1981, the only such in the whole Ekiti Kwara, (now comprising of Ekiti and Oke Ero Local Government Areas) and so it remained for eleven years before others were privileged to be so honoured.5) Oba Oyewole Arowolo was an ardent farmer and he demonstrated his vast knowledge of the profession by cultivating large expanse of land for food and cash crops and as he was doing this, members of the community were being mobilised and encouraged to farm in the modern way; he was giving them seeds, implements and machinery to expand their agricultural business. He was actively involved in mobilising Iloffa people for the Federal Government Green Revolution programes between 1976 and 1979.
He participated in Federal Government Agricultural show in 1978 and he won an award with a brand new Peugeot 404 presented to him as a prize.
This singular effort in the area of agricultural development ranked Iloffa as a leading farming community within Kwara State during and after his reigns.
In addition to cash and food cropping, Oba Oyewole Arowolo was also involved in animal husbandry with a large ranch for cattle breeding second to none within our locality and among the largest you can find in the entire Kwara State at the time.
With all these giant strides by Oba Oyewole Arowolo during his reigns, he was deliberately laying the strong foundation for the continuous development of Iloffa years after he had left the throne for his successor, Oba Samuel Niyi Dada whom he mentored while still alive and Oba Samuel Niyi Dada has not disappointed in the delivery of developmental facilities in Iloffa since he took over the reigns from Oba Oyewole Arowolo, it is our belief that Oba Oyewole Arowolo will be proud of the legacy he left behind and the continuous progress of Iloffa in accordance with his vision while alive.
Oba Oyewole Arowolo was a good Christian of the Anglican stock while alive, he was fully involved in church activities and an ardent pursuer of kingdom treasures, strong in faith with a very large heart that accommodate people with their shortcomings. He is not materialistic in nature, he loves his community limitlessly and he was a family man to the core. Every sons and daughters of Iloffa was accepted and treated like his biological children. He maintained peace always with God and humanity.
Oba Oyewole Arowolo was blessed with a very large family comprising eleven wives, many children, grand children and great grand children.
He joined his ancestors on 2nd October, 1992 after a meritorious and glorious reign – to God be the glory.
We pray that God Almighty will bless and sustain all he left behind and grow the Oduminrin family in bounds. Iloffa will continue to advance according to his goals and vision.
Kabiesi, Edu Isalu, Oduminrinkanle II, abere mu t’ oju, t’imu Oko Bojuwola, igbin t’enu m’ogi, ogun Oba Uloffa, sun’re o.
PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
Friday, 30th September, 2022:
Prayers at the Central Mosque, Iloffa
Saturday, 1st October, 2022:
(i) Medical Outreach
(ii) Entertainment with Musical interlude at his residence, Ile-Oba Isalu, Iloffa.
Sunday, 2nd October, 2022:
Prayers and Thanksgiving at St. Peter Cathedral Church, Iloffa.
FONDLY REMEMBERED BY THE ODUMIRIN ROYAL FAMILY