The news of the death of Olu Elect, His Royal Highness, High Chief Anthony Adetunji Olukayode Akinrinade, Olu of Agbado in March 2022, was like a tornado which struck the entire community and its environs. It was difficult to believe as people gathered in small groups talking to themselves in low and hushed voices.
On Saturday, 14th May 2022, the reality of the passage of the Olu of Agbado Elect became real to most members of the communities. It was therefore not surprising when market women abandoned their wares in the ever-busy Agbado market to join the children, who had already lined up the streets as early as 7.30 a.m. to have a glimpse of the casket bearing the remains of the late Olu, whose corpse was being conveyed to the African Church, St. Paul’s Parish, Agbado, situated along the Agbado Railway Station Road.
Also waiting for the remains of His Royal Highness were the Church officiating priests made up of the Curate, Rev. E.T. Adenuga, Vicar/Archdeaconry Chairman, The Ven. M.A. Aaron and Bishop of Ifako Diocese of the Church, The Right Rev. I. A Falana.
At exactly 9.30 am on citing the vehicle bearing the corpse of the late Olu, the whole area erupted in one big grief, as women and children wailed uncontrollably. Strangers and residents of the community made up of Igbo, Nupe, Efik, Takpa, and large Hausa indigenes, who now speak the Yoruba dialect fluently. One after the other without any form of prompting, they testified to the goodness of the late Olu of Agbo Elect. Everyone has one good thing or another to say about him. So many agreed that he was a detribalized man because of his long service in the Nigerian Police Force. Others said he was also a great emancipator of the masses.
The enormous goodwill, encomium, and grief expressed by both natives and strangers over his death made Palace Watch dig a little deeper into the possible legacy of the late Olu of Agbado Elect.
Ifo Local Government is a local government area of Ogun State with its administrative headquarters in Ifo town.
The Council area is made up of several towns and villages, which include Akute, Agbado, Ifo, Ojoolu, Abeloju, Jagunna, Lerin, and Pakoto.
The unique and interesting thing about Agbado is that it is a commercial and the epicentre of the new railway line that connects the South West to other parts of the country.
Olori Faith Akinrinade, his wife, in her tribute said “Kabiyesi Anthony Akinrinade, although we can’t see you anymore, we know that you are near, smiling down watching us. You are forever in our hearts until we meet again on resurrection morning, continue to rest in peace.”
When President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration invoked the 2017 policy to revive rail transportation to link some parts of the country through a railway network, most communities sited along the old rail network corridor in the country were not too pleased with the plan. Even though the plan will enable more people to embrace rail transportation, which will further engender rapid development of these areas.
In the South West region, towns and villages like Agbado, Itoki, Abule, Ijoko, Ogba Ayo and Sango all in Ogun State never really welcomed the idea.
Some residents were seen complaining about the destruction of their houses along the rail corridors while others complained about the problem of being relocated to new areas of the state, which they were not happy about.
Immediately the Chinese contractors mobilized to the site, miscreants in these areas popularly known as ‘Area Boys’ whose parents and relatives were not too happy with the project, deliberately made it very difficult for the contractors to perform.
A close Palace source said, as the dig-dong between the Chinese contractors and the Area boys in Agbado continued unabated, His Highness, High Chief Anthony Adetunji Olukayode Akinrinade, who had not yet been made the Olu of Agbado elect, as one of the elites in the town, stepped into the matter and used his influence as a retired Senior Police Officer, to make sure the foreign contractors were provided with adequate police security for them to continue with their work.
Another reason why the late Olu elect was so loved and cherished by all according to Baale of Paara Community, is that “The late Kabiyesi was installed Baale of Agbado Station on the 27th of December, 1996 by the Late Oba Oyebade Lipede, the immediate past Alake of Egbaland. Immediately after his installation as Baale, he facilitated a Police post in the Ayinla area of Agbado, The police post was later upgraded to Agbado Divisional Headquarters. The late Olu of Agbado Elect again assisted through the help of the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland in the upgrading of the railway project to a full-fledged Agbado Train Station.
The residents, who initially gave the Chinese contractors problems, complained that so many people have left Agbado and relocated to all the adjoining places. Some of them have gone bankrupt as there were no longer buyers for their wares. They said they used to make about #20 to #25,000.00 in their various businesses a day in October 2013, but when the rail project began; some of them could no longer make up to #15,000.00 a week.
The residents were further incensed that, the regime of the former Governor of Ogun State, Ibinkunle Amosun, demolished buildings along Sango-Ijoko-Agbado-Akute-Alagbole Road to pave way for a 32-kilometre highway project that was designed to open up the boundaries of Ogun/Lagos State economic opportunities.
Just less than a year after the commencement of the project, the Chinese contractors made a considerable effort in the reconstruction of terminals at Agbado and Sango. The icing on the cake came, when the Federal Government announced that it has made more progress with the establishment of a partnership with a railway wagon assembly, which is now being built at Kasumu, Ifo area of Ogun State.
The bustling nature of present-day Agbado and the economic transformation of the entire areas and communities along that corridor are now beginning to excite the people, who live in these areas, especially Agbado which has been in existence for well over 60 years now.
According to Oluwakemi Agboola, “It is now very easy for us as market women to go into the inter lands in Abeokuta and Ifo, to buy and transport goods to Agbado, where we sell such goods and make quick returns. Furthermore, most of the few houses left in the areas have been remodelled and are now attracting better prices as rents.
If not for the way the late Olu of Agbado Elect stood his ground, when we were causing unnecessary trouble then, we would have missed this particular opportunity to develop Agbado town, which we are now beginning to enjoy. This is among other reasons why we will not forget him in a hurry.
Mr Akinrinade Akintoye Olusola, one of the sons of the late Olu elect, in his tribute said, “Despite the hurdles and hotshots fired at you when you were doing well to our communities, the fearless persons that you were and your continued prayers kept you going. Now that you are gone, our people and communities have begun to appreciate your good deeds.”
Princess Yetunde Osoba in her tribute wrote, “I never imagined that I would be writing this so soon, you have fought a good fight, you have finished your race and I know you kept the faith. Your favourite saying whenever you saw me was, ‘I am running my race.’ If tears could build a stairway and memory lane, I would walk right up to heaven and bring you back to finish the running race you started, especially in the Agbado community.”
The late Akinrinade was born in Agbado Railway Station into the families of Akinrinade – Somoye paternally and Adetokun – Adekanbi maternally of Egba land. His father was from Akodu compound of Egba Alake section. His grandfather was the Jaguno Ijaiye Obirinti (War Chief) during the Ijaiye war with Ibadan and Oyo in the olden days. His grandfather was part of the Exodus movement of the Egbas from homestead to present Abeokuta during the reign of Alaafin Atiba of Oyo.
His father. Late Chief Gilbert Ige Akinpelu Akinrinade, was the Baba Ijo of St. Paul’s Anglican Church till his death in 2005. He was among the first governing board members of the Agbado District Comprehensive High School. He was the Chairman of the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Primary School. It was the late Oba elect father, who brought the Agbado Community Bank and was the bank’s first Chairman.
The father to the late Olu of Agbado elect, began his career as a pioneer Clerk, in the Agbado Post Office. He was the first Dispenser of the Agbado Dispensary now known as the Agbado Health Center. He was traditionally the Agbado Town Secretary for many years and was later installed as the Osi Balogun of Agbado station in 1978. He was thereafter promoted to the position of Otun Baale of Agbado Station until his death in the year 2005.
The late Olu Elect began his education in St. Paul’s Anglican Church School, Agbado, and later moved to St. Augustine R.M. School, Itesi, Abeokuta. He finally completed his primary school education at Ansaru-Deen Primary School, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, where he lived with his senior Aunty, Late Mrs Alugbin.
He later proceeded to Gaskiya College, Sabo, Yaba and later joined the Nigerian Police Force. While in the service of the Nigerian Police Force, he enrolled in private studies with the School of Career and International Correspondence. He attended so many in-service courses such as Criminal Prevention and Criminal Jurisprudence.
While still in service, he served and held various positions as the Nigerian Police Administrative Officer, Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Officer in Charge of Pay and other Charges, the Falomo office of the Nigerian Police Force, Obalende. He served in the Nigerian Police Mobile Unit and later in his career became the Officer in Charge of Command, CID, Ebute Meta before his voluntary retirement.
During the Nigerian Civil War, he served under the 3rd Marine Commando when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was the GOC of that Division. General Alani Akinrinade, who was then a Lt-Col, was the Divisional Staff Officer while the late Military Head of State, late General Sani Abacha, was then the C.O, 17 Brigade of the Nigerian Army.
The late Oba Elect retired from the Nigerian Police as a C.S.P.