The historical city of Ogbomoso was on Thursday, agog as the newly installed Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Afolabi Ghandi Laoye Orumogege III, moved to the main palace to receive members of the community and dignitaries who converged to rejoice with him on his coronation.
Ghandi was born in Nigeria. He obtained a BA Honours in English and Literary Studies at the University of Ife, and a Master’s degree in Industrial and Labour Relations from University of Ibadan in 1987. He went into private business.
In 1992, he became a pastor in the Redeemed Church. Over time, he pastored a few Churches in Nigeria, before moving to Bonn. From Germany, he moved to Washington DC USA to pastor and grow the RCCG Jesus House, in Maryland. His Church became one of the biggest Redeemed Churches in America.
The news has been in the air in the past few weeks that the Kingmakers of the ancient town of Ogbomoso have chosen a pastor of the Redeemed Church as their new King.
The choice of Pastor Ghandi Olaoye, fondly called ‘Pastor G’ by his adoring flock, has been approved by the authority of the governor of Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde.
The choice has also been validated by the Ifa Oracle.
The authority underpinning the selection of Ghandi Olaoye does not end there. His ascendancy to the throne of his fathers, according to his own account, became a going proposition only when his initial reluctance was overcome by a direct encounter with the God that he has served faithfully, and with great distinction, for the past thirty years of his life.
While receiving dignitaries from different walks of life, the newly installed Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Olaoye, said he is not interested in making money or name on the throne.
The ceremony was attended by hundreds of residents of the ancient city.
In his inaugural speech, the Soun said his aim was to put Ogbomoso in its rightful place.
Oba Olaoye was installed as the new Soun of Ogbomoso by kingmakers, led by the Are Ago of Ogbomoso, High Chief Solalaje Otolorin, in the early hours of Friday September, 8, 2023.
The monarch urged the aggrieved people to unite with him for the development of the town. He added that it was God that sent him to rebuild the city and to work for its progress.
The General Overseer Of the Redeemed Christian Church Of God, Pastor Adeboye was also present to anoint the king.
While anointing the king at Beulah Baptist Centre in Ogbomoso, the venue of the interdenominational thanksgiving service for the coronation of the new Soun, Pastor Adeboye said: he knew Olaoye was born to be king. He, therefore, anointed the king and his wife, praying for a peaceful and prosperous reign as Soun.
Ghandi is a quaint name for a Yoruba man. There is probably a story behind it. This Ghandi is spelt different from that other Gandhi, so where is it from? Whatever may be the etymology, it is the name by which the new traditional ruler of Ogbomoso has always been known to the world.
If Ghandi by his knowledge, wealth and influence, brings Primary Health care and improved nutrition and childcare, including care for Sicklers, to the most deprived areas of Ogbomosho, so that children are no longer dying early, he may go down in mythology as having eliminated abiku from the land. He may bring enlightenment without patronizing or condemning his people.
He may discover that they love change, the change that lifts them up without renouncing their ontology. This is the value that relative youth, good education, and a cosmopolitan enlightenment can bring to the traditional institution in Yorubaland, and in Nigeria.