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EXCLUSIVE: Why we produced the Multi-Million Naira documentary for ‘World’s Longest Reigning’ Monarch, HRM Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland – Otunba Osibogun

Not many are familiar with the historical facts of the Monarchical system in Yoruba land (South West Nigeria) and Nigeria at large, thus paving way for distorted accounts of the nation’s revered traditional Institutions.

The death of British Monarch, HRM Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, September 8 at 96 years; whose record breaking 70-year-reign made her one of the most popular Monarchs in history, has further brought to fore the need to have a documented system of ascension and deaths of Monarchs anywhere in the world.

According to Wikipedia, the current longest-reigning Monarch after the demise of HRM, Queen Elizabeth II is Hassan Bolkiah having been Sultan of Brunei Darussalam since October 5, 1967. However, checks by NewsClick Nigeria revealed otherwise, as the Awujale, HRM Oba Sikiru Adetona fits more as the longest reigning monarch in Nigeria and indeed the world after Queen Elizabeth II demise.

Born on May 10, 1934 and installed King on April 2, 1960, Oba Adetona has spent a total of 88 years on earth and 62 years on the throne as Awujale of Ijebuland (in Ogun State); eight years each short of the late Queen Elizabeth II in age (96 years) and reign (70 years).

It is to further set the record straight that the trio of Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun (who conceptualized and sold the idea of the documentary to the Ijebu Renaissance Group, IRG, a group to which he also belongs), Dr ‘Biodun Sobanjo, Chairman of Troyka Group (who worked on the project as Supervisory Producer) and Olufela Yomi-Layinka (Producer) set out to produce the Multi-Million Maira documentary on the Awujale.

Speaking exclusively in an interview with NewsClick Nigeria on the motive behind the documentary, the Production Manager of the documentary and Otunba Awujale (Oba Loja) of Ijebu land, ‘Deji Osibogun said: “It became imperative that historical documentation of the life and times of a notable leadership icon such as Oba Dr. Sikiru Kayode Adetona, CFR, JP, Ogbagaba Agbotewole II, The Awujale & Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland was necessary as an educational and informational point of reference. Awujale Adetona: the King, the Legend, and the Myth details never been heard before stories and anecdotes by the Awujale himself and such authoritatively distinctive personalities as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (former Nigerian President and Head of State), Chief Segun Osoba (former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Subomi Balogun (Chairman, FCMB) and much more. Good governance and most specifically impactful traditional governance has been a passionate calling for the Ijebu Monarch throughout his long reign”.

Asked what IRG intends to achieve with the documentary on the highly respected Monarch, Osibogun who spoke with this Medium in Abuja explained that it was necessary to document the Awujale’s life history because of the impact he has made for generations unborn to learn from.

“This documentary is meant to serve as an inspired call for the need for quality leadership at all levels of the Yoruba and Nigerian Governance systems. Oba Adetona’s reign has seen him epitomize a unique leadership style over the evolution of the Nigerian state. Having overcome most generally insurmountable challenges, pioneer many developmental initiatives, and mentor many remarkable personalities. With this in view, it became apparent that his life story became a documented lesson in what quality leadership entails as a reference to future generations of Ijebus, Yorubas, Nigerians, and anyone saddled with the responsibility of leadership in any capacity,” he explained.

On the approval and involvement of the Awujale for the documentary, Osibogun disclosed: “Soon as the idea for this documentary came about, the Ijebu Renaissance Group (IRG) concluded plans for its production, the Awujale was formally informed and he gave his concurrence and indeed specifically gave directives as to the personalities to be interviewed based on their first-hand witness at pivotal points of his life story, and also his expectation of candour from each of the respondents as they give their individual perspectives to the personality that makes up the Kng, Legend, and Myth that is AWUJALE ADETONA”.

Otunba Osibogun further explained that the Multi-Million Naira documentary was solely and fully funded by the Ijebu Renaissance Group, IRG.

Shedding light on Awujale’s new status as the longest serving living Monarch in the world after the demise of Queen Elizabeth II, Otunba Osibogun said: “With the recent demise of the English Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, it is arguable that Oba Dr. S. K. Adetona is the longest reigning (living) monarch. Queen Elizabeth was on the throne of the UK for 70 years, Awujale Adetona has been on the throne of Ijebu Kingdom for 62 years. Further research might come up with contrary data, however, we wait to be proved wrong”.

Meanwhile, the production team of the Awujale documentary is still in discussions with potential sponsors and media platforms for the eventual release to the public. The outcome of the discussions according to Otunba Osibogun, will determine the release date and platforms.



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