50 Years After Awolowo, Akintola Rivalry, Arigidi Gets New Palace
Fifty years after the Arigidi palace was burnt down by supporters of Obafemi Awolowo and Akintola, the National leaders of Oodua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani Adams today donated a newly built palace to the community.
In 1967, the palace of Arigidi was demolished by some Awolowo’s loyalists in the town, inciting other community members against the then Oba Mohammadu Olanipekun, who was then an allied of the slained premier of the Western region, Ladoke Akintola.
Zaki of Arigidi, Oba Yissau Abu Olanipekun, while narrating the incident to journalists, said efforts to rebuild the palace since then have been abortive.
The monarch maintained that Gani Adam’s gesture will add value to his reign as a king and open doors for more developments in the community.
“I have many houses in this town and other places but there is no place like palace. And with this palace, Arigidi has assume a new status and we are happy,” he said.
Also, Edibo of Arigidi, Chief Francis Rotimi corroborated the monarch’s position on the new palace, ”We are all happy that this is coming at this time and we will forever be grateful to him.”
Chief Abiodun Ilesanmi, Chairman, Arigidi Development Union, also commended Gani Adams for his patriotic move and urge others to emulate him in contributing to the development of the community.
”Fifty years ago, Arigidi was burning, people were in pool of their blood, no peace, no harmony, nor development but today, we are happy that normalcy has returned to the town. I thank God for giving us the like of Otunba Gani Adams, who built the edifice for Arigidi,” Chief Komolafe said.
Arigidi leaders, in appreciation and congratulatory message presented to Otunba Gani Adams, said, ”Otunba Gani Adams has played a significant role in making another new palace spring out from where the old palace was destroyed. No wonder, they saying Ile Oba to jo, Ewa lo bukun.
”You said it and it happened, the ancestral fathers, who left Arigidi since the unfortunate burning of the palace have returned. Joy, peace, fortune, progress, harmony and lost glories are back in Arigidi. Today you are the Nehemiah of Arigidi, the great builder”.
In his short speech, Otunba Gani Adams, said the gesture was part of his contribution to the advancement of Arigidi-Akoko and was using it to challenge other privileged people and great personalities from this community to also play their parts in making Arigidi great.
“Let us stop the blame game, stop blaming Gani Adams or Kabiesi for anything. Do your own, I have started with the palace, others should take up other responsibilities, like civic centre, hall and others amenities that will make our community to be enlisted among one of the prominent communities in the world.”
The official dedication of the new palace also featured special prayers and entertainment by Arigidi traditional troupe.