An octogenarian, Chief Saliu Alao Lawal has been installed as the Babaloja of Ota, Awori land.
He was installed at the palace of the Olota of Ota, HRM Oba (Prof.) Adeyemi Abdulkabir Obalanlege, Lanlege Ekun II in his palace on Tuesday.
The newly installed Babaloja of Ota was among those that founded the defunct Oja Ota market, now Oba T.T Dada market back in the 80’s.
Oba Prof. Adeyemi Obalanlege, while installing the Chief, advised him to see to the smooth running of the market. He further charged him to run an all encompassing administration of the markets in Ota.
In an interview with the new Babaloja of Ota, VOA News gathered that he had been coveting the position for the past two years. He said, “today is one of the happiest days of my life. I’m very joyous to have been finally conferred with the post of Babaloja because I’ve been pursuing it for the past two years. I was appointed the caretaker of the market by the government before becoming the Babaloja”.
He added that for anyone to be installed as Babaloja, he has to demonstrate attributes which shows that he is capable of leading.
In his words, “before one can be conferred with the title of Babaloja, he has to be a very hardworking businessman”. He lauded the Olota for finding him worthy of the coveted position. He further promised market men and women of Ota markets, a successful reign as the newly installed Babaloja.
Various witnesses to the hard work of Chief Saliu Alao Lawal which merited him being conferred with the post of Babaloja of Aworiland spoke with VOA News correspondent.
Mr Adisa, A.K.A as Baba Menomo, who represented the Iso Agbe of Oja-Ota, said, “I’m very happy today because we are celebrating the appointment of Babaloja, Otun Babaloja and others. I am representing the Iso Agbe of Oja-Ota and we are all happy for all the new title-holders. I know that following the appointment of these new officials, there would be changes in Ota Market and Aworiland as a whole”.
The newly-appointed Otun Olori Oloja Ota, Alhaja Sherifat Ashimiu while speaking with VOA News correspondent, said the most important thing is to ensure there is peace and tranquility in the market.
It will be recalled that the Oba T.T Dada market which used to open every five days has now been changed to to open daily.