The Olowu of Own Kingdom, Oba Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu, has revealed that he refused to passed through any ritual or initiation before and after being crowned as a king in Ogun State .
Oba Dosunmu, who had served as a chairman of Abeokuta local government in 1976, was appointed Olowu in July 2015, during ex-governor Gbenga Daniel’s regime.
The Own monarch in an interview with Punch Newspaper said: “I refused to go through any ritual because that would have been anti-progressive.”
According to him:
I have seen it all. My uncle was an Olowu after my father died. My elder brother was an Olowu after my father died. My cousins at one point had become Olowu. The closer they got, the more understanding I had about the responsibilities and duties of being the head of a community. I have become educated and enlightened. My exposure had been in the performing arts. I didn’t read Economics or Accountancy. I read something that could link me up with our culture; the traditional practices of my people. I have been born into this royal family. I have seen some of these practices you are talking about and I have had the opportunity of examining them critically as an enlightened person to see that this concoction which they put inside the crown may be a hindrance to my proper thinking. I just made a decision that I would not have such inside the cap I would wear. I asked them (kingmakers) what the concoction in the cap was supposed to do for me. Shouldn’t I have asked them?
“Fortunately for me, I was older than the people in the traditional setup that were supposed to be performing this traditional whatever on me. I spent a whole night, nearly 10 hours, talking with them. I told them I wanted to do what they asked me to do but they would need to explain to my why I should do it. After the discussion, we came to agreement that I could do it another way and it would work. There was a time I had a little wound on my leg and a medical doctor came to treat me. Three days after, he said I should take the bandage off my leg. I agreed. He gave me a small powder and said I should be putting it on the wound. I asked him what the powder was for. He said it would protect the wound from being contaminated. So I took the powder and I was putting it on the wound. That was a ritual. A ritual is a practice you do from time to time so that something bad will not happen to you. Of course, if my chiefs gathered and I started insulting them and told them to get out, I would have deprived myself of getting their advice. But if my chiefs tell me that it was because I didn’t perform a ritual that made me to have cough, why would I take them seriously?
He talked about the pressure on him to perform ritual during his installation:
When the government had approved my candidacy, Chief Gbenga Daniel who was the governor then asked me if I would go to the palace to perform the ritual of staying in the palace for 90 days in seclusion. I said I would. He said he thought I was a pastor. I asked him what that had got to do with my being in the palace under seclusion for 90 days. He said it was because of the rituals they would need to perform. I asked him what rituals meant. Ritual is something you do regularly so that something does not happen to you. It is ritualistic to go to bed in the night and wake up the next morning. Look at your dictionary and check the meaning of ritual. He said that wasn’t the kind of rituals he meant. He said he was talking about the one they would need to put marks on my head and do this and that. I said it wasn’t a problem but I would still need to ask them why they would need to perform such on me. If you are going to dress me up, I would need to look at what you are wearing. If you are wearing rags, I wouldn’t allow you to dress me up. If somebody wanted me to do a ritual, I would need to ask questions and ask why they would want me to do it that particular way they are talking about. So I told him I would go to the palace and I wasn’t going to throw anybody away. I had a few things going for me. I didn’t do the rituals and not because I was a Christian, no. Christianity has its own rituals. In my house, between the hours of 1am and 3am, I and my wife would get up and pray. Is it not ritual?
The kingmakers came to my house around 1am one night. They knocked and they said they were the ritual kingmakers. I invited them in. I didn’t have to condemn them, that was what they knew. What I know is different from theirs; my exposure is different. I believed they could benefit from my exposure and that was why I went and said I would be in the seclusion of the palace for three months, alone from 8pm to 8am the next day. Nobody was supposed to come there. I even saw it as a good time for me to pray. I had been praying from 1am to 3am long before I became an Oba. Then I would read my bible. There should really be a time you detach yourself and stay on your own.
He discussed on challenges that come with being an Oba
There are so many challenges. I have endless challenges. People are hungry. There is no day I don’t spend between an average of N1, 000 to N100, 000 every day. When people are sick, before they go to the hospital, they come to Oba’s palace. But God will always keep His promise to anybody who follows Him. I am a pastor and I try to follow His ways.