His Imperial Majesty Oba (Dr) Lawrence Oluwole Babajide, PhD, Bamigbala I, the Oluoke and Paramount Ruler of Okeigbo Kingdom in Ondo State, has joined his ancestors.
This is coming few days after the judgment delivered by a high court in Ondo, on Thursday, 13th April 2023, by His Lordship, Justice Ademola Enikuemehin.
The case is in Suit NO. HOD/80/2018 filed by Princes Rufus Adekanye and TemitopeAdeoye Head and Secretary respectively of and on behalf of the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House against the Ondo State Government, Babajide Lawrence Oluwole and the Oke-Igbo Kingmakers.
The Claimants, through their Counsel, Chief Sola Ebiseni, had challenged the appointment of Oba Oluwole claiming he is not a member of the Aare Kugbaigbe which turn it is to present candidate to the throne which they said is still vacant.
The news of his demise which was made public this morning at the main market of the town by the Isoros led by Pakoyi (Baba Loja) of Okeigbo Kingdom, Chief Akinbobola Adedigbo announced the passage of Oluoke to the world beyond. They immediately commenced the rituals to take place to allow him to have easy passage to his ancestors.
Oba Babajide was the 17th Ruler and the 6th Oluoke of the town. He was officially presented staff of office on the soil of Okeigbo by the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON on the 14th September, 2018.
Oba Lawrence Oluwole Babajide was born on the 23rd July, 1931 to the family of Bamigbala Oloyede through Late Chief Daniel Ayinla Babajide and Late Mama Omiyeni Onidede Babajide both from Aare Traditional Ruling Quarter, Okeigbo
Kabiyesi used all his life in the service of Okeigbo right from the time he took his first Chieftaincy title as Bobajiro and later Bashorun. He was the chairman of Okeigbo Central Council (OCC) for many years.
On his ascension to the throne, his first assignment was to reconcile aggrieved parties through his reconciliation committee and bring Okeigbo people back to the town. He created “Okeigbo Tuntun” slogan to bring everybody back on track for the beauty and glory of the New Okeigbo. This really worked as many Okeigbos started constructing edifice in support of Okeigbo Tuntun.
During this his reign, he facilitated the rehabilitation and reconstruction of kilometres of Okeigbo township roads by the state government and NDDC. His intervention through the state government brought the moribund water corporation of the community back to life.
Within his short and impactful reign, he saw to the completion of a multi million naira Palace building.
For more than ten years, there was no bank in Okeigbo, this made him through his son, established a Micro Finance Bank, LOBREM MFB (the full meaning of the acronym, LOBREM is from Kabiyesi and his Olori’s name; Lawrence Olu Babajide Remi)
With his role as chief security officer of Okeigbo, he led the committee to renovate the damaged and vandalised divisional police office and quarter and also approved reconstruction of a befitting office for the new Okeigbo division for NSCDC.
Kabiyesi in one of his chats with his media team, said he had promised to build a house for God if he was successful in life. He fulfilled his seventy years promise in the year 2020 when he singlehandedly built a modern hall for Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Okeigbo Zone as Secretariat. He did not stop at that, he contributed immensely to the reconstruction and beautification of his church, St James Catholic Church, Okeigbo. To crown this, he greatly supported the Muslim community in getting a new Eid praying ground.
He brought honour and glory to his Kingdom in 2022 when he was promoted to the rank of First Class monarch in Ondo State.
The late monarch worked for Okeigbo till his last breath on Sunday, 30th April, 2023
He is survived by his beloved wife, Olori Florence Oluremi Babajide, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and lovely sons and daughters of Okeigbo.