Mogaji Moshood Gbolagade Akere is one of the young and successful entrepreneurs from Ibadan land. A socialite and businessman, he hails from Akere compound, Orita Merin, Ibadan and over the years has been dedicating his life to youth’s empowerment and development of the metropolitan city. In this chat with BABS-OLURIBIGBE ADEOYE, Alhaji Akere, among other issues, spoke about his passion for the creation of Ibadan State and what has made him tick in life.
Describe your life as Mogaji
Actually, when you are born into a chieftaincy or a royal house, the blood is in your gene. My being a Mogaji has never changed anything in my life because I have been living the same life before I came into this position, so it has become the part of me, and nothing has really changed in my life. All I know is that there are some responsibilities I need to carry out as Mogaji of Akere Compound, which I have capacity to do I pray that God Almighty will give me the power to continue doing exactly.
Let’s talk about the Ibadan traditional issue, the lineage..
(Cut in) We don’t have any problem, this is a system that has been in existence for long even the white people then were amazed and asked where we (Ibadan people) got that kind of a system. It’s a very good system, a unique one for that matter, that doesn’t cause any problem in the Empire because whoever is coming to the throne has been known before he gets to the throne, so you will know your time. It’s not something you start fighting over. With the way lineage is structured, you will know your time before you get to the throne.
There was a time when the agitation for the creation of Ibadan state was so intense but suddenly it died down, did you think the dream will come into reality some day?
How did you know the issue had died down? No, though the agitation may not be as loud as it used to be but nobody can say the agitation for the creation of Ibadan state has died down.
So what’s happening now?
Of course, we are still clamouring for Ibadan state. We all know that if we are able to get Ibadan State, a lot of development will happen to the city. You may not be hearing about it again but underneath, the stakeholders are doing something about it.
I want to take you back to the issue of lineage in Ibadan. One of the reasons some people are criticising the current system is that it takes a long period of years, especially for young Mogajis like you to mount the throne, what’s your view on this?
You see there is an adage in Ibadan, which says “Mogaji Ibadan, ju Oba ibomi lo” (a Mogaji in Ibadan is bigger than another town’s king). As a Mogaji in Ibadan, you a potential king. With several large areas of lands to control, aren’t you a king already? And all these things are based on a system, so the difference about it is that you are not been called a King but you are in control, you are in charge but the mistake is that people don’t see it that way. In this Ibadan, we have had someone who became king, that didn’t even spent up to one 1 year on the throne. I am speaking about Obas Kobiowu. You know, I believe in destiny, because an old man on the throne can even spend years more than your expectation. What people don’t realise is the experience garnered from the level of Mogaji to the High Chief, from high chief level to Olubadan will be very advantageous and produces good sense of judgement in solving problems on the throne. So for me, I see nothing wrong about the lineage.
Of late, The Ibadan has been experiencing some certain criminal activities. Is there anything stakeholders like you and other Mogajis are doing to assist the state government in tackling the menace?
We are trying our best because we are the closest person to the grassroot, we have met with the government and have been talking to our people in our respective quarters on the need to maintain peace and tranquility. We make them realise they are part of us, and giving them sense of belonging that they are part of us.
As a potential Olubadan, do you share the recent view that Ibadan is not as peaceful, compare to three years ago?
I don’t agree with a view like that, anything can happen at a particular time, all we need to do is to find solutions, it has happened before, even so if there is problem there should be solution.
Who is Mogaji Akere from?
I’m a bonafide indigene of Ibadan land, from a royal family of Akere compound of Orita-Merin Ibadan and if I eventually I become the Olubadan of Ibadan, I will be called Akere the third.
What advice can you give to young ones in this morally decline society of today?
All they need in life is just patience, what God ordained for you will definitely come to you, without any hassle. Patience helped me to be successful and there is always destiny, whatsoever you destined to be in life, you will definitely become and nobody can stop it.