On Thursday, March 5, 2015, legendary lawyer and mogul, Ogbeni Oja Bayo Kuku passed on in Lagos, and by the next day (Friday, March 6, 2015), he was buried in his palatial Ijebu Ode, Ogun State home.
Here are details of the funeral…
THE AMAZING MOTORCADE – There was heavy traffic right from the entrance of Ijebu Ode, the acclaimed heartbeat of Ijebuland, as thousands of sympathizers comprising family members, artisans, government functionaries, politicians and well-wishers gathered early to welcome the body of late Chief Bayo Kuku to his hometown. The array of exotic vehicles which accompanied the body in a convoy from Lagos where the deceased breathed his last to Ijebu left tongues wagging. The body arrived Oyingbo roundabout in Ijebu where some horse-riders from the Kuku Dynasty had a great display at exactly11.20 am.
THE BRIEF PRAYER @ IJEBU ODE CENTRAL MOSQUE – Shortly after the body arrived Ijebu Ode, the convoy headed to Ijebu Ode Central Mosque where a brief prayer was offered for the repose of the soul of the deceased. The Chief Imam of the Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdulrasak Salaudeen who anchored the prayer session described death as an inevitable end for every human being while enjoining those at the session to emulate the sterling lifestyle of Chief Bayo Kuku.
Some key personalities at the mosque included Ogun state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, former governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Ogun PDP governorship candidate, Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka and Senator Dapo Abiodun.
THE LYING IN STATE AT KUKU’S FAMILY HOUSE –Late Chief Bayo Kuku was a man of many parts. So, the burial also had several activities. Another interesting scenario was the brief lying in state at the Kuku’s family house at Ita-Ntebo area of the town. The house was the rallying point of the entire Kuku Dynasty.
The Mogaji of the family, who is often regarded as Kabiyesi of the family, played host to the personalities. Some Muslim clerics also anchored the prayer session. All of the five children – Tokunbo Kuku, Barr. Femi Kuku, Ojuolape Adebayo, Titi Ogunbanjo and Abiodun Kuku were at the family house.
THE BOND BETWEEN THE CHILDREN & DAPO ABIODUN – Prince Dapo Abiodun is reported to be close to the family. This manifested as he was seen at all the places the body was taken to before it was committed to mother earth. He not only sat among the children, but was also sighted consoling them. He was one of the few who spent hours at the late Chief Bayo Kuku’s residence long after the body had been buried.
KOLA ABIOLA ALSO BREEZED IN – Scion of the late Chief MKO Abiola Dynasty, Mr Kola Abiola was one of the early callers at the funeral. He was also sighted at the Kuku’s residence. He stayed back while the event lasted.
FCMB FOUNDER, OTUNBA SUBOMI BALOGUN WAS THERE –The Olori Omooba of Ijebuland and the founder of First City Monument Bank, Chief Subomi Balogun was at the residence of late Chief Bayo Kuku to condole with the family. He was one of the key Ijebu high chiefs to do so. Interestingly, Otunba Balogun’s magnificent country-home shares same fence with that of Ogbeni Oja. They have been both neighbours for many years.
ONLY FOUR STAFFS OF OFFICE OF IJEBU TRADITIONAL RULERS WERE VISIBLE AT THE EVENT – Ijebuland has one of the high presence of traditional rulers in the country. The six local governments within Ijebuland have over 50 obas. But, unfortunately, only four staffs of office of traditional rulers were seen at the event. It included that of Ajalorun of Ijebu-Ife, Aladeken of Oke-Ako, Oligun of Ilugun North and Ogirimadagbo of Ilodo. The action further fuelled the report of alleged strained relationship between the Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona and the deceased, late Chief Bayo Kuku.
PDP, APC POWER SHOW AT THE BURIAL – Despite the heavy presence of security operatives who stopped faithful of political parties from gaining access to the venue of the burial, some power show were still noticed. While the incumbent governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun and Otunba Gbenga Daniel stylishly avoided each other at the Ijebu Ode Central Mosque, the supporters of the two camps, however, traded words openly at the venue.
It took the early intervention of some elderly people before they could sheathe their swords as the ugly show also reared its head at the burial site.
LATE TUNJI OKUSANYA’S MIC WAS IN CHARGE – Famous Nigeria undertakers, MIC Casket owned by late Mr Tunji Okusanya was in charge of the burial. They brought the body of the deceased from Lagos to the final resting place.
THE UNTOLD DRAMA AT THE BURIAL GROUND – The burial ceremony was going on smoothly until the final stage when the body of late Chief Bayo Kuku was about to be committed to mother earth. The Muslim clerics, after offering prayers, removed the body from the MIC Casket in accordance with Islamic rites when the wife of the deceased, Erelu Abiodun Kuku protested that the body must be buried with the casket. She was, however, prevailed upon by key family members before the Muslim clerics could have their way. The body was lowered into the ground despite the short delay.
THE UNIQUE THING ABOUT THE FINAL RESTING PLACE – The final resting place of Chief Bayo Kuku has a unique appearance. It is a two-step affair. It was gathered that the ground was for two corpses. The interpretation of this was, however, sketchy.
ROLL CALL – Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Kola Abiola, Otunba Subomi Balogun, Otunba Funlola Okunowo, Sen. Tokunbo Ogunbanjo, Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, Alhaji Suleiman Adegunwa, Oloroogun Sonny Kuku, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Otunba Lateef Owoyemi, Chief Bisi Rodipe, Mr. Segun Odubela…