Exit Of A Patriarch – His Imperial Majesty Oba Dr. Lawrence Oluwole Gbadewole Babajide, The Oluoke of Okeigbo


By Akindele Akinubi

Okeigbo in Ileoluji/Okeigbo local government area of Ondo State is a town rich in landscape of hills and beautiful forests from which the name was derived. It is a community that has produced prominent people. Among them is the
famous Yoruba author, J. O. Fagunwa. Okeigbo is a popular tourism destination
because of the beautiful bounty of nature surrounding it.

As the world evolves, Okeigbo Kingdom is firm in its dedication to safeguarding its cultural legacy and elevating its people. The history of the kingdom is one of tenacity, pride, and a common resolve to forge a brighter future attainable by good custodians and great leadership.

Leadership is about pushing oneself to improve in all facets of life and
encouraging those around you to do the same. His imperial majesty, Oba Dr.
Lawrence Oluwole Gbadewole Babajide, the 6th Oluoke and the 17th ruler of
Okeigbo kingdom was a brilliant example of exemplary leadership, commitment, and custodianship of culture. These legacies have been upheld by
the good people of Okeigbo Kingdom.

Oba Babajide was highly revered in Okeigbo kingdom and beyond because of
his immense wisdom and commitment to seeing a greater community. He was a
leader who valued equality and democracy in government. He passionately worked to bring his people together because he believed in the power of unity.

The moment he realized the need for reforms in the community, he put together a committee of intellectuals and professionals to bring about the much-needed community growth. The Oluoke chieftaincy review committee, the Igbo
Olodumare tourist Centre committee and security bodies are a few to mention.

Even before Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the executive governor of Ondo State,
formally presented to him the traditional staff of office as the sixth Oluoke of
Okeigbo on September 14, 2018, his contribution to the governance of Oke-igbo was well felt in his reigns as the Bobajiro and Bashorun of Oke-igbo.

Emphasis on Education
His goal in upgrading schools like Okeigbo Grammar School was to give children a comfortable learning environment. He showed his dedication to helping young people pursue their educational goals by giving out numerous scholarships.

In a statement by the principal of Okeigbo Grammar School, Pastor Adesope
Adekeye Emmanuel, “His imperial majesty was significant in many ways. He
placed high emphasis on educational development and masterminded the
renovation of various blocks at this prestigious school, the Okeigbo Grammar
School. He gave scholarships to indigenes. Noble causes he has been doing
before he became king.”

Commitment to quality healthcare Another indication of Oba Babajide’s goodness was his dedication to healthcare for the people of Okeigbo. He understood how important it was to have
affordable and quality healthcare; this was represented throughout his rule by
the remodeling and upgrading of the Okeigbo community health care facility, as he tried to improve the wellbeing of the neighborhood by ensuring residents had access to necessary medical treatment.

Improved security
The late imperial majesty took steps to strengthen security measures in Okeigbo
because he understood how important safety and protection were for his people.

He was dedicated to ensuring all citizens and residents lived in a secure
environment. This was demonstrated by the reconstruction of the damaged
police headquarters and the establishment of an Amotekun post. He invested in the community’s safety and infrastructure, such as CCTV cameras, to ensure its safety.

“He was ahead of his time”
Chief Bolu Adeboye, the Abese of Okeigbo Kingdom stated he had a personal relationship with the Imperial majesty for over 40 years and described him as a king who was ahead of his time. Since his ascension to the throne of his
forefathers in September 2018, the community has started witnessing a new
dawn of development.

The late Imperial Majesty demonstrated his dedication to the kingdom by
building the imposing Oluoke palace complex. A legacy to behold.

The LOBREM Microfinance Bank was established as a result of Oba Babajide’s
commitment to the economic empowerment of the people. The citizens of Okeigbo now have access to capital, opportunities for entrepreneurship, and
relief from having to go to Ondo City for transactions.

Oba Babajide was a fervent Christian with an unshakable commitment to God’s
work. His magnificence, wisdom, and legacy of greatness will be indelibly inscribed in the history of the Oke-Igbo kingdom as the people bid him farewell.

Oba Babajide has used his influence to pave way for major developmental projects for the community. From road networks done by the state government to NDDC projects and many more, he was fondly called the father of modern day

His Imperial Majesty Oba Babajide did not pass away; he only transmigrated to
the world of the ancestors. His memory will endure forever as a brilliant
illustration of innovative leadership and commitment to advancement of

*Akinubi sent this piece from Ondo.

Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of Precision Online Newspaper.

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