WGT: Can you share with us your background briefly?
I was born to the Ogbenuotesoro Ruling House by Prince Gabriel Fabunmi Adu Alagbado and Madam Abimbola Adu. I had my early education in Ekiti, then I had a Cadetship scholarship from the now defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line Ltd. to study Nautical Science & Navigation. I also attended The School of Navigation, University of Southampton, Warsash, John Moore University Liverpool (formerly Liverpool Polytechnics) where I obtained professional marine certificates and Master Class qualifications. I later attended Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University) for my Masters in Transport Studies and then I went on to acquire a LLM in Maritime Law from London Metropolitan University. I worked with ExxonMobil for about 18 years and retired in 2014 as a Manager in Marine Operations.
WGT: What was the motivation for your choice of career?
I wanted to be a medical doctor, but fate chose for me with the offer of the cadetship scholarship and I had to make the best of the opportunity. The desire to become the monarch Ogoga of Ikere is the type that everyone born into a ruling house would naturally have if God allows it. It is a birth right for all princes. I ventured and God Almighty said yes and approved.
WGT: What are some of your accomplishment since ascending the throne?
I think this should have been asked of our people. However, without sounding immodest, I will mention what God has been doing through us; it is not by my wisdom or power or anything I have. The new palace has been completed through the support of our industrious sons and daughters like Otunba & Otun Eyesorun Sola Adewunmi, Chief Ransome Olorunfemi just to mention a few who helped to build the administrative Hall and Chapel in the palace. Our City Hall is now completed. We were able to secure approval for location of Nigeria Police Area Command headquarters in Ikere. We are working hard to make the commander’s office and residence ready. We have set up committees for various milestones around the city. We started town hall meetings to inform our people on plans and expectations, so we can all jointly move the kingdom higher. We are in touch with the Minister of Water Resources for the resuscitation of the long abandoned Benin Owena River Basin projects like the farms and Ogbese dams. There are a few other things in the works that we cannot mention until they become manifest.
WGT: What are some of the challenges you have faced since you became Ogoga and how did you overcome them?
Just like any prized position, we have had opposition from others who contested with us. Some of them are still in court. However, after reaching out to all and I thank God, about 90% of those who vehemently opposed our ascension because of misinformation now know better and are with us with full support. The most challenging issue is the rampant poverty amongst our people. This is not limited to Ikere people. I wish I have the means to meet the financial needs of our people! I have taken on the responsibility of paying all the workers in the palace till date which normally is the duty of government either Local or State. Other challenges of unemployment and the decay of the infrastructure also plague us. Overcoming some of these have been by grace of God and the support of prominent sons and daughters of the kingdom and friends. Flooding is an issue that hurts my heart especially when the government cannot help due to the downturn in the economy.
WGT: What projections or visions do you have for Ikere city in future?
All is in the hands of God Almighty. Ikere will become the envy of her neighbors with more industries to provide jobs for our people, unity of purpose, love of one another and unshakeable faith in the power of God. With the support of our people, in particular this veritable platform of IDF and others groups, I see very bright, prosperous and great developments in Ikere.
WGT: What are your secrets to success?
The bible says the secrets of the Lord God are with those who fear Him. God Almighty is my secret. He is the source of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. If He installs He will sustain and direct the path. I rely absolutely on Him because He never fails.
WGT: What is your advice to the youth?
Fear God, have faith, believing that He has created you for a purpose. Seek His face to know why you are here on earth. Work hard and do not cut corners as that does not pay. Whatever we do is actually to ourselves. As we are brought up, we have a name and integrity to protect. Protect both jealously. As you pursue your life goals be honest to yourself and to God.