Olota Stool: A Time Out With Dr. Yemi Obalanlege, Candidate For The Stool Of Olota Of Ota
Our Guest today is Prince (Dr.) Yemi Obalanlege whose parents were both from Ijemo-Isoloshi ruling house. Dr. Yemi is a UK based Journalist and a Senior lecturer at the Crescent University Abeokuta. He is widely traveled and he is a member of different professional bodies both in Nigeria and in Diaspora. Sit back and relax while we expose you to the lifestyle of Dr. Yemi Obalanlege and his plans for the people of Ota and Awori land when he mounts the stool of his fore-fathers.
Can we meet you?
Prince Adeyemi Obalanlege (Ph.D., MCIPR, FHEA) was born in Mushin, Lagos State on 28 of August, 1966. His parents were Prince Hassan Taiwo Obalanlege of Ijemo Compound and Mrs Mutiat Afolake Obalanlege (Nee Anjorin) of Isoloshi Compound, Ota.
Prince Adeyemi attended Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School, Isolo, Lagos State for his first school leaving certificate and Iganmode Grammar School, Ota for his secondary school education.
He proceeded to the Ogun State Polytechnic (now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic) from where he obtained his National and Higher National Diplomas in Mass Communication respectively. During his spell at the Polytechnic, he was an active member of the Students Union Government and served in the capacity of the Public Relations Officer.
At the successful completion of his studies at the Ogun State Polytechnic, he was called up for his National Youth Service in 1992.
After his service year, Prince Yemi joined Lagos State Polytechnic as Public Relations Officer, and later moved to ThisDay newspapers as Travel Editor. Dr. Obalanlege decided to further his studies abroad thus jetting out to the United Kingdom. While in the UK, Prince Obalanlege attended University of Leicester where he bagged the degree of Master of Art (M.A) in Mass Communications in October, 2002.
Prince Adeyemi also attended the University of Greenwich, London. United Kingdom where he cornered a Post Graduate Diploma in Food Safety and Quality Management in 2005.
Having met the professional requirements and standards laid down by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, London. Prince Obalanlege was admitted to membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, London (CIPR). In May, 2004.
A member of National Union of Journalist, United Kingdom, Dr Adeyemi is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK, a status he attained in 2010.
Yemi Obalanlege joined University of East London, England in October, 2008 as Lecturer in Journalism and moved on to University of Lincoln, England in the same capacity in January 2009 till August, 2012, when he decided to focus more on his PhD programme.
In order to further excel academically, Prince Yemi Obalanlege enrolled at the University of Antwerp for a Doctor of Social Sciences in Communications Studies (PhD) in February, 2010.
Finally, Prince Obalanlege successfully defended his thesis and was awarded a PhD in Communications Studies in May, 2014, after which he packed bags and baggage and returned to Nigeria.
He is at the moment employed by (Crescent University Abeokuta) where he serves as a Senior Lecturer in charge of Post Graduate Studies at the Department of Mass Communication.
A widely traveled and distinguished communication professional, Prince Yemi Obalanlege has visited virtually all continents of the world.
After meeting the stipulated criteria, Prince Obalanlege was registered into the membership of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria in September, 1995.
In 1995, he happily married his heartthrob of several years. Prince Yemi’s pleasant and delectable wife is Toyin Obalanlege (Nee Gbobaniyi), a senior manager with US based pharmaceutical company, Abbott Laboratories.
A past president of Rotaract Club of Isolo, Prince Obalanlege is presently a member of Rotary Club of Ota Metropolitan. An ardent listener to Sakara music as rendered by Oseni Ejire and Kamoru Dada, his hobbies include football and table tennis playing.
What do you do at your leisure?
I love playing table tennis, listening to news and most especially I love talking to the youths. They tend to tell you their problems, unlike the aged, who tend to hide a lot of things. Our youth is our biggest asset and we should rock it to our advantage. Honestly, I detest a situation where our youths are not given enough opportunities. We should network for then; rather we take up political appointments that we could have used to make for them great and in turn be more useful to our community. The simple answer is that whoever becomes Olota must turn our youths into our strengths. Make no mistake, young people have the fresh ability to learn new skills quickly and retain a tonne of information at a time.
Our late monarch Oba Moshood Alani Oyede, of blessed memory left a big vacuum which can only be filled by a big fish in our community. Now that you have put yourself forward as a candidate, what should the people of Ota expect from you?
If chosen, I would strive to win the trust and respect of my people by proving my ability to protect them and their interests. I will be just and fair in all my dealings and enforcement of traditional law and order in the realm. I will be articulate and communicate my plans and programmes clearly for the progress of Ota.
Above all, as a wise Oba with fear of Almighty Allah I will be decisive. In my duties, I will listen to counsel of trusted advisers and also rely on my personal experience when actions and decisions are required. For me, Oba must not waver and must lead from the front, while setting example for honesty and integrity as well as keeping my word and taking responsibility for my actions.
Upon your installation as the next Olota of Ota, how do you intend to reconcile culture, tradition, religion, and politics so that they all go pari-pasu?
I am a Muslim by faith but at the same time, once you become an Oba, you must adapt to so many things. Our culture and traditions are vital and it is one of my plans to attract tourism. Look at Ilo Awela, the second story building in Nigeria, Ijamido waterfall. All these things need to be developed because it makes it easier to invest.
We cannot but discuss the issue of unemployment among our graduates and artisans. What will you do assist Ota graduates and artisans In terms of employment?
The graduates and Artisans will be given opportunities, but when they get it and they fail to make us proud at their place of work, they are on their own. The palace will be computerized and placed on World Wide Web. I am ready to follow and network for my subjects at any level of government, already I have friends starting from ministerial level, I also have access to Aso Rock and will only use it when it is necessary and in the interest of my people, ( I don’t go about asking for wetin you carry). We also want the palace to be a rally point, because it belongs to the people and people must see the palace as their home.
Iganmode day celebration, are you going to call for its outright cancellation or a total overhaul?
Ojude-Oba should be a carnival where people are empowered economically; they should be able to sell their locally made items. I think we have to set up a committee, pick people from different backgrounds and see their opinions on issues too.
Is there anything aside from prayers you are doing to make you assume the throne of your fore-fathers?
I have been making consultations and if God says I am the one, so be it.