Oba Abodunrin Kofoworola, the Aare of Ago-Are in Oyo State has revealed how he is missing his suits and ties.
In an interview, the monarch, who was a director of administration in the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC), Abuja, explained that he is not facing any challenge relating with his chiefs as “they are my people.”
“We understand ourselves. We have a common goal to improve the town. So, we are all doing well in our responsibilities to the town. I run a transparent and all-inclusive administration. I listen to them a lot. The Abuja years are in the past. Today is the reality. And I am very happy for their understanding. I am in another era now and must do what it requires.
“I recall my friend in Ibadan protesting when I appeared casual in his residence. He is also a prince. He saw me and said ‘Kabiyesi, this is not right. You are no longer an ordinary person. You must live your status.’ I appreciated him. There is no doubting the fact that I miss my suits because before the government came up with the policy on dress code on Fridays, I was a suit and tie person. I was more comfortable in it. But that era has gone now. It won’t look good for a traditional ruler appearing in suit. Don’t forget he is the custodian of customs and traditions. He is the model so to say for his subjects. I am okay in my new attire.”
Oba Kofoworola, who is a Ph.D holder, disclosed that he does not miss the upscale life in the federal capital territory, adding that “I am not missing anything because I am no longer the person who worked there. If I go to Abuja today, I go as the Are of Ago-Are, not the former Dr Kofoworola. This life is in phases. I am in a new phase now and there is no reason to look back again. What should be my business is how to move the town and my people forward using all resources, all contacts I have to achieve the vision.”
Speaking about his emergence as king, he explained that ”it is not true that every prince eyes the throne. “Of course, by right, every prince is entitled to the throne. Mind you, only one person eventually occupies the throne and the person must have been destined by God. It is not about power or influence or wealth. It is divine. That is how I see it. In my case, I did not eye the throne. I was just doing my things in my own way, concentrating on my career as a public servant, studying up to PhD level. I think I was happy with what I was doing than being engrossed with the ambition of becoming the Aare. But I was making myself available to the service of my town.”
On what actually gave him the edge over other contestants, he said “All I can say is that it was destined that I would be the next Aare after my predecessor had reigned for 39 years and nine months. I told you I was persuaded by my family at a family meeting headed by the Oloriebi. We held five meetings. It is destiny and nothing more. The more reason it is destiny is that my father contested against my predecessor and could not make it. After my predecessor emerged, my father served as his first secretary to show you the kind of love we have for the town. If you can deduce that nature promoted me to the throne, you may be right.”
Speaking on the historical connection between Ago-Are and Oyo, he said the people of the town still have a good relationship with the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Olayiwola Adeyemi. “There is no basis for doubting our cordial relationship with Oyo. The Alaafin is a father whom we respect as custom and tradition demand from us.”