Adesanya Otubusin

Adesanya Otubusin was born in 1888 and ascended the throne of Ijebu in September 1933. Before his coronation, he was a respected member of the St. Saviour’s Anglican Church. Daniel Adesanya was a difficult man to appraise, given his sometimes progressive tendencies but he was believed by his antagonists, a group constituting a great majority of Ijebu population, to be hypocritical. A memorandum by his people on 21 December 1942 claims him to be a man of unlikable character, against general British assessment of him. Some three years earlier, he had been provided with the British King’s Medal for African Chiefs.

The reason for Otubusin’s unpopularity, asides his modernization ideas interpreted as pro-British, was the manner with which he emerged as Awujale. To the people’s chagrin, they realized how he had schemed his way up, stealthily lain in wait for his ascension to the throne long before 1933, eventhough he was not of royal blood. From the second year of his reign he had been a target of assassination from one Yesufu Idumota which resulted in the amputation of his right arm. He had taught himself to use his left arm barely a month after the amputation. Believing himself to be unjustly persecuted, Otubusin had remained steadfast all through his 27 year reign which managed to be relatively prosperous.

In his latter years as Awujale, Otubusin had began to see democracy in action under the government headed by Obafemi Awolowo in the 1950s. Apart from his resignation from full authority in 1949, he had been relieved of his primacy in Ijebu through a popular vote which favored Joel Adeboye I, the Orimolusi as the President of the Ijebu Divisional Council.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer