By Adetola A. Kehinde
As our royal father, Oloro of Oro Kingdom HRM Oba AbdulRafiu Olaniyi Ajiboye Oyelaran 1 celebrates 20 years on the royal stool of his forebears on January 14, 2023, the Oro Traditional Council and Oro Descendants’ Union will be playing host to the homecoming of their highly enterprising, industrious, cosmopolitan, cerebral, prominent and educated sons and daughters from far and near who will be coming home to celebrate the 20th Coronation Anniversary of our royal father, Oloro of Oro Kingdom HRM Oba AbdulRafiu Olaniyi Ajiboye Oyelaran 1.
I am excited about returning to Okerimi-Oro to witness the 20th Coronation Anniversary of “Babami” Oloro of Oro as he celebrates 20 years on the royal stool of his forebears, which he ascended in February 2002. Okerimi-Oro is the monarchical seat of power of the people of Oro Kingdom. Oro Kingdom is traditionally made up of nine generic towns. Ancestrally, these towns are Ijomu Oro, Okerimi Oro, Iludun Oro, Okeola Oro, Otun Oro, Iddo Oro, Affin Oro, Agbeola Oro and Irebode Oro. Recently, Sie Oro and Olorunsogo Oro were recognized as additional Oro Kingdom generic towns, bringing the total number of Oro Kingdom generic towns to 11. The highly educated and industrious people of Oro Kingdom are Yoruba of Igbomina extraction.
Returning to Okerimi Oro gives me nostalgia because as a secondary student in Iludun-Oro Comprehensive High School, I joined my uncle late Awoyale (Baba Ibeji) and other drummers from my ancestral home, Arowomole compound, Iludun-Oro to drum on the occasion of the coronation of the newly installed Oloro of Oro, HRM Oba AbdulRafiu Olaniyi Ajiboye Oyelaran 1. Twenty years later, I won’t just be celebrating the coronation anniversary of Oloro of Oro, I will also be joining my brother, mentor and friend, Mr. Anthony Oyeyiola, fondly called Tony Giggs amongst his friends on the conferment of honourary chieftaincy title Aremo Odo of Oro Kingdom by the Oloro-in-Council.
Permit me to appreciate the Oloro-in-Council led by our royal father, Oloro of Oro Kingdom HRM Oba AbdulRafiu Olaniyi Ajiboye Oyelaran 1 for finding one of his illustrious sons, Anthony Oyeyiola worthy of being conferred with the chieftaincy title Aremo Odo of Oro Kingdom. I am happy and excited about this development. Over the years, I have known Tony Giggs as someone who has demonstrated the highest level of passion, dedication and commitment to issues that revolve around youth and community development. This gives credence to the fact that Anthony Oyeyiola is a true son of Oro Kingdom. Tony Giggs is passionate about and committed to the development of Oro Kingdom and this is evident in his responsiveness to the yearning of his community. It is very rare to see a true son or daughter of Oro Kingdom who is not passionate about community development. This explains why most of the basic amenities and infrastructures in the kingdom are through communal efforts.
A glimpse into Tony Giggs’ selfless effort shows that Tony Giggs belongs to every old student association, where he has served/serving in one capacity or another. He’s a dedicated member of St Peters Primary School Old Students Association, Mount Carmel College Ilorin Old Students Association and the University of Jos Alumni Association. How he does this still marvels me and it best explains that Tony Giggs is a man who believes that he has so much to offer his sources.
As a well-balanced man, Tony loves to serve, and he has done and continues to do this in different capacities. He was the President of the National Association of Kwara State Students (NAKSS), University of Jos, 2005/2006, he is currently serving as the Secretary-General of University of Jos Alumni, Lagos Chapter and Interim Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mount Carmel College Old Boys Association.
My role model, “Egbon” Tony Giggs is an epitome of selflessness and discipline, coupled with being an embodiment of “whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report.” His personality oozes godliness and humanity. Tony Giggs embodies all that is of good virtue that qualifies him as the Aremo Odo of Oro Kingdom.
Tony Giggs is a homeboy having attended St Peters Primary School in Okerimi-Oro for his primary education before proceeding to Mount Carmel College in Ilorin for his secondary education. Against all odds (he once shared his post-secondary and pre-university education experience with me, which was a touching experience), Tony Giggs got admitted to the University of Jos, where he earned a BSc. in Political Science with a specialisation in International Relations. His quest for knowledge led him to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, where he acquired a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resources Management.
Tony Giggs has more than two decades of experience as an HR expert. He currently holds the post of Senior People Adviser (West Africa) overseeing Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, and Sierra Leone at the British Council (Nigeria). Prior to joining the British Council (Nigeria) as Human Resources Business Partner in 2016, Tony Giggs had worked with Project Alert on Violence Against Women as Assistant Program Officer (Research and Documentation); moved to Beneva Nigeria Ltd. as a Human Resources Advisor; Teclab Management Services Ltd. as Human Resources Coordinator; CMB Building Ltd. as a Human Resources Officer where he rose geometrically to the position of Assistant Manager, Human Resources and; served as the Head of Human Resources at PrimeWaterView Ltd, a real estate firm. Tony Giggs is a professional and associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and; Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Training and Development (NITAD). He has had training both locally and internationally, thereby exposing him to global workplace dynamics.
Tony Giggs is the author of the best-selling book, O to ge: How Kwara people took their destiny in their hands. His first book titled ‘Letter To My Fathers: A Celebration of Womanhood’ was published in 2016 and the sequel, ‘Letter To Our Youths: Not Too Young To Make Impact’ was released in 2018.
To my father, Oloro of Oro Kingdom, HRM Oba AbdulRafiu Olaniyi Ajiboye Oyelaran 1, I wish you many more years of good health, wisdom and prosperity as you continue to reign on the throne of your forebears. During your reign in Oro Kingdom, Oro sons and daughters will continue to experience elevations and achieve greater success in their endeavours. The land will continue to be peaceful and prosperous. Oloro! Kabiesi o! Kade pelori, kibata o pelese. Igba odun, odun kan ni o. Long live the King!
Adetola A. Kehinde hails from Arowomole Compound, Iludun-Oro.