Chairman, Oyo Metropolitan Development Association (Oyo Metro), Archbishop Emeritus Ayo Ladigbolu, has disclosed plans to rename the Oyo Royal Archives, established by him, in honour of late Otun of Oyo and former Nigerian Ambassador to Zambia and Malawi, Chief Moses Ogunmola.
The late Ogunmola died on Sunday, aged 95.
He was also a former chairman of the old Oyo local government and the Western Nigeria Development Commission, WNDC (now known as Odu’a Investment Company Limited).
He also founded the famous Ladigbolu Grammar School, Oyo, in 1965 and administered it till 1976 when it was taken over by the government.
Archbishop Ladigbolu made this known, on Monday, while hosting the management of the National Museum Oyo, led by the Curator, Funke Afolayan at his Forikori Villa residence in Oyo town.
Ladigbolu described the renowned historian and culture enthusiast as an icon, a colossus, a giant and an embodiment of tradition and culture, who deserves to be immortalised.
He said he was inspired by God to name the royal archives after the late Ogunmola to reciprocate his good gesture of naming a grammar school after Alaafin Siyanbola Ladigbolu I.
He said, “Oyo empire lost an icon. We lost a colossus. We lost a giant. We lost a man of letters. We lost a master of history. We lost an embodiment of tradition and culture. Yes, we lost the Otun of Oyoland. The first Oyo son to be an ambassador, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary. This is Chief (Dr.) Moses Oyedele Ogunmola.
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“This is a man who is history himself. I did a book, a copy of which I am going to give you today. Baba wrote two of the chapters for me in the book. And so he is my co-author and my consultant. He was indeed my inspiration in matters of history of Oyo.
“So, I am going to be showing you a little later the Oyo Royal Archives, which I have started and which I am now planning to rename Ambassador Moses Oyedele Ogunmola Archives. I have not discussed with his family, I have not talked to his children. But God has told me that this man honoured Alaafin Ladigbolu by naming a grammar school after him and so it is our turn to return that good gesture by naming something of history after him. And I believe I have the honour of doing so.”
Responding to the request by the curator for the community support for her efforts to upgrade and reposition the museum, Ladigbolu promised to mobilise the support of all stakeholders for the purpose.
He said Oyo Metro would also work with various sociocultural groups and the zonal education authorities towards promoting a better understanding and appreciation of the significance of the museum, especially among young people.
Ladigbolu, who had, last week, paid a working visit to the museum, alongside some members of Oyo Metro, said he was impressed by the management’s efforts in preserving some of the archival materials, especially one of the vehicles used by Alaafin Siyanbola Ladigbolu I , who reigned from 1911-1944.
“National Museum Oyo is part of our efforts to promote development in Oyo, because a river that forgets its source will dry up. And we in Oyo and the entire metropolitan community don’t want to dry up, rather we want to become fatter, mightier and more robust by paying attention to the things that concern our origin; things that concern our ancestry; things that preserve who and what we are before the entire global community. And that is what your office is doing. That is why you’re here,” he added.
Some of those who joined Ladigbolu to receive the visitors are his wife, Matilda; representatives of the Agunloye and Alowolodu ruling houses, Prince Moshood Ladigbolu and Prince Titilayo Salami Olukitibi respectively.