History was again made amidst pomp and pageantry last weekend, in Igbekebo, Ese Odo local government area of Ondo state as the Odogun of Igbekebo kingdom His Royal Highness, Oba Bamidele Simeon Dabo received his instrument of appointment and staff of office.
Oba Dabo had earlier been coronated as the new Odogun of Igbekebo kingdom.
The stool became vacant in 2016 following the death of the former traditional ruler, Oba Emmanuel Omotumilara Eginkunyomi who ruled for 23 years.
The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, who represented Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, presented the instrument of appointment and staff of office to the new monarch.
The ceremony, which was also attended by the Commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Hon. Lola Fagbemi, Senator Nicholas Tofowomo and various traditional rulers from across the state and beyond, was held at the Community Comprehensive High School Sports’ Complex, Igbekebo in Ese-Odo local government.
The selection process of the new monarch which took place at the Igbekebo Civic Center, Igbekebo earlier in May was keenly contested among five other princes from the Maga Okotun ruling house and others in Igbekebo before Prince Dabo of Maga ruling house was selected through voting.
After his selection, Dabo was taken to the palace of the kalasuwe of Apoi land, Oba (Prof) Sunday Amuseghan for traditional rites and blessing. Oba Ademiluga prayed for the new monarch to live long, stressing that his reign will bring rapid development, not only to Igbekebo, but the entire Apoi land.
The chairman of the kingmakers, Chief Alex Mehin hailed the new Monarch on his selection and appealed to him to work with other contestants and seek their advice when necessary in the overall interest of the community.
In his message, the Obateru of Apoi land,High Chief Folarin Dabo hailed the new monarch and prayed for God’s protection on him to lift Igbekebo higher.
According to Apoi history, The Apoi took their name from Apoi (Opoi) the son of Kala-Okun, who accompanied his grandfather Ujo on their way back to Otu-Ife or Ile-Ife.
In a group of nine they got lost in trying to trace the route back without the aid of a navigator.
So they decided to settle within the vicinity of the Nun river (Apoi creek), where the present village of Apoi is situated. Ujo who bore the title Kalasuo (KALA-SUO or KALUSO i.e. small god,), died here and his grandson inherited the title.
The Western Apoi call Kalasuo, Kalashuwe or Kalasuwe and Oborowi, Oborowe, and they no longer speak Ijaw language, but a dialect made up of the fusion of Ijaw and Yoruba.
Of late they have moved on to adopting the general Yoruba which most of them now speak. As children of Ujo, at Ile-Ife the ancestral traditions name them as one of the sub-tribes that sprung from King Adumu-Ala (alias Oduduwa).
The Apoi are pre-14th century.
The general Apoi king is called Oba and the title is Kalasuwe and the seat of the throne is in Shabomi and Oboro respectively.
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