A Nigerian pastor, Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye, who quit the pulpit to become the traditional ruler of his town, has received the instrument and staff of office from the Oyo State Government, effectively commencing his kingship of his ancient town, Ogbomoso.
Governor Seyi Makinde presented him with the instrument on Tuesday December 19 at a well-attended ceremony held at the Ogbomoso Township Stadium.
Among those at the event were former Nigeria’s former Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Ademola Adeleke of the neigbouring Osun State.
Some traditional ruler in attendance were Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atunwatse, Oluwo of Iwo, Abdulrasheed Adewale, Timi of Ede, Ewi of Ado Ekiti and the Orangun of Ila.
Pastor Olaoye had been crowned as the 21st Soun of Ogbomoso in September by the kingmakers of the town.
He was the pastor in charge of the “Jesus House” Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Washington, United States before his appointment as king by the Oyo State Government on September 2.
RCCG is the largest Pentecostal church in Nigeria. It has branches (parishes) in over 100 countries.
The new king succeeded Jimoh Oyewunmi, Ajagungbade 111, who died in December 2022.
There were fears that becoming a traditional ruler could compromise Olaoye’s faith because of the rituals involved in the coronation and other rites.
“I will now hand over the instrument of office and staff of office to Oba Ghandi Olaoye, Orumogege III,” Governor Makinde said.
While congratulating Olaoye on ascending the throne of his forefathers, the governor said he was sure that the reign of the new king would usher in more developments and prosperity to the town, especially with his vast network of friends and associates.
Makinde asked those who contested the throne against Olaoye to give peace a chance, sheathe their sword and withdraw their cases in the interest of Ogbomoso town.
He warned that if those in court failed to withdraw the cases before the end of this week, he would fight them with everything within the powers of the government.
I’m now a shepherd of my people – New King
In his acceptance speech titled “My dream and my reality,” King Olaoye expressed gratitude to God and others who made the day a reality.
He stated that he accepted the new throne as a call from God to serve his people. He therefore appealed to the people of Ogbomoso to work with him to harness the potential of the town.
The king further stated that Ogbomoso’s strength does not lie in the crown he wears but in the bond that binds all indigenes of the town irrespective of their religions and gender.
Olaoye said he would engage and hold extensive consultations in the course of ruling the town.
He added, “My service is premised on a clear vision. I am very aware of the words that the wisest of Kings recorded for us in the book of Proverbs that without a vision, the people perish.
“My vision for a prosperous and peaceful Ogbomosoland rests on a detailed 25-year plan, to be unveiled in the coming months.
“I promise to serve this vision with all I have, the relationships I have built over the years here in Nigeria and abroad, the experience I have garnered from running several businesses, and the skills garnered from more than 30 years of pastoring churches and other pastors.
“As I have said on several occasions, I have stopped being a church pastor and now become a shepherd of a people.”