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Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by slimyem: 11:41am On Dec 11, 2012
He is a perfect symbolism of the acclaimed
‘can do’ Nigerian spirit. His life is a testimony
of the basic principle of life that with
determination, man can achieve anything.
His life story embodies the maxim that
nothing is impossible for the willing heart.
All these virtues, and many more,
cooperated together to make the life of Oba
Sunday Ajiboye, a lawyer-turned-first class
king, the Onisan of Isan Kingdom in Oye
Local Government Area of Ekiti State, sparkle
like diamond. An award winning author, the
royal father stood tall recently as President
Goodluck Jonathan bestowed him with the
national award of Member of the Federal
Republic, MFR.
A classical zero-to-hero story, Oba Ajiboye,
as a child, had a long-running battle with
poverty and a terrible sickness that stunted
his growth and almost deformed him,
threatening his future. Although many were
the childhood afflictions of the royal father,
he overcame them all. After becoming Oba,
he had to endure school life to bag his
Master’s degrees and later qualify as a
lawyer. He never allowed royalty to
jeopardize his childhood desire of becoming
a lawyer. Now, he wants to surpass his own
expectation, and raise the bar for himself. “I
want to have a PhD in Law,” he tells ICON
when asked his yet-to-be fulfilled ambition.
Born close to 60 years ago, the monarch, as
a young boy, had to stop his education after
his elementary school which he started in
Ikere-Ekiti, rounding it up at his homestead,
Isan-Ekiti, also the home town of the state’s
governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Since his poor parents could not afford the
meager fees required for his secondary
education, he dropped out and reverted to
the farm for a period of time. When the
fortunes of the family picked up a little, he
returned to school, Ajayi Memorial Modern
School, Ayede-Ekiti, near his town. He
worked for a brief period before
proceeding to Ekiti Divisional Teachers
Training College, Ikere, “which was free,
being under the Universal Primary Education
Programme (of the ruling Unity Party of
Nigeria, UPN, in the old Western Region).”
And because trainee-teachers were also
being paid N80 monthly at the time, he was
able to save enough money to enroll for his
General Certificate of Education, GCE.
After scaling that hurdle, he taught for three
years in a secondary school before
proceeding to the College of Education,
Ilorin, Kwara State, for his National
Certificate of Education, NCE, in English and
Fine Art. “I taught for a while after this
before I proceeded to the University of Ilorin
to study English Language/ Educational
Technology,” Oba Ajiboye says. “I was
already on the throne when I went to the
then Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife
for my Master’s Degree in Education
Administration and Planning.
“I put my crown in the palace, with all the
paraphernalia of office, to pursue my
Master’s Degree programme at Obafemi
Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. After my
Master’s Degree, I started pursuing my PhD
but having been faced with local politics in
the university among the lecturers, I had to
leave. Despite my chain of degrees, I had no
job satisfaction because it appears I had not
reached my destination.”
In 1999, he enrolled for Law at the
University of Ado-Ekiti, now Ekiti State
University. That initial attempt ran into a
brick wall. But after concluding all
registration procedure, he was told
pointblank that he could not continue.
“I was screened out as having not qualified
to read law,” he says. “Professor Akin
Oyebode just said ‘Kabiyesi, I’ve seen and
admire all your series of degrees. But, I’m
sorry, this faculty cannot admit you to read
law because you are deficient in
mathematics. You didn’t pass mathematics
and mathematics is a prerequisite for any
intending student who wants to read law in
this faculty.’ That was how he quietly
returned my credentials to me and said ‘bye-
bye, good luck.’
“In all, we were 12 that were turned back.
The remaining 11 decided to go to court but
I refused to go to court even though I felt
cheated because mathematics was not
advertised as a pre-requisite when the form
was being sold. Even mathematics was not
specified as a prerequisite in the JAMB
Brochure. I decided not to go to court
because since he is the Vice-Chancellor of
the University, and the founding father of
the Faculty of Law, he knows best.
“In 2000, with all degrees, I went back to
write my mathematics O/level. One funny
thing about the whole episode is that, eight
of those teachers who supervised me when
I was writing that O/Level exam were my
students at University of Nigeria, Nsukka,
Ikere Campus. I can’t forget that. They were
taken aback when they saw me. Some
wondered why, with my personality, I was
sitting with them to write O/level
mathematics while some others were saying
that ‘could this mean that this Kabiyesi (his
majesty) was not qualified to teach us, or
“In fact, one Mrs. Olayisade from WAEC,
whose husband was also working in WAEC
office in Akure, said ‘Baba why don’t you
leave the rest of the exam for your children?’
But immediately she recognized who I was,
she knelt down, right there in the exam hall.
Every candidate writing the exam started
looking at her. So, after finishing that
examination, all the teachers converged to
greet me, to extol my determination. To God
be the glory, when the result came out, I
passed brilliantly.
“So, I my mathematics and other papers
back to Professor Akin Oyebode to show
that I had passed the deficient paper. He
shook my hand and said, ‘this is the type of
person I am looking for in this University.’
So, I was offered admission to study Law. I
read Law and passed with second Class
Lower. I went to Law School and eventually I
was called to bar. Still, I wasn’t satisfied with
LLB, BL, so, I pursued LLM. Again, to God be
the glory, I have finished my LLM (laughs).”
Moral? Never say ‘never’! And when there is
a will, there is a way.
“Once you are determined in life,” the royal
father enthuses, “there is nothing you will
not be able to achieve. When there is a
strong will to achieve, the sky will not be the
limit, it will be your stating point. I believe in
honest hard work. I teach my children the
virtues of honesty and hard work. I used to
tell them that if, for instance, I want to read
medicine now, I can go back to JSS 3 and
pick-up all the sciences and still go back to
read medicine. There is no age limit. This is
what I keep telling them. Education is what
you acquire from the day you came into this
world till the day you say bye-bye to this
world. It is a continuous exercise. I am still
planning to go for PhD in Law. Now, I am a
student of the National Open University of
Nigeria, NOUN, undertaking a M.Sc.
programme in Peace Studies and Conflict
Oba Ajiboye is not done. He shares more life
experiences with this correspondent.
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by slimyem: 11:48am On Dec 11, 2012
Childhood experience
He continues by adding up all his childhood
experiences together, concluding, “I am a
child of destiny.”
“I am the fifth child of my mother,” he
recounts. “All those children that were born
before me died. My mother told me that for
four years I was unable to talk, unable to
speak, unable to crawl and unable to speak.
Neither did I walk for good four years. I was
crawling like snake when they were battling
with this problem. They didn’t even think of
having another child, especially my mother.
Although at a point, they had to abandon
me, and put me into the latrine and lock the
door so that they could have the
opportunity of having another child. But my
mother refused. They won’t do it. It was the
father our present Governor, the late Pa F.
Fayemi, that really rescued me.
“My mother also went to him at Iwo in Osun
State for help. He helped a lot. It was him
that sponsored me because as at that time,
my father insisted that he couldn’t spend a
dime on me again. So, the late Pa F. Fayemi
took me to a Catholic Hospital in Iwo then,
and told me it was one Dr. Scott that
diagnosed me and discovered what was
affecting me. I was operated perfectly and it
was this man (Pa Fayemi) that paid the
hospital bill and my mother was with me
until the operation healed up. I could
perfectly remember a day when my mother
did not have palm oil to cook soup. It was
shear butter (‘ori’ in Yoruba language) that
was used. She also boiled cow blood and
used it as meat. So, I did not enjoy life when
I was young, but God who created me knew
what I would become in life, that’s why he
preserved me. I didn’t dream of becoming
an Oba then but everything has been pre-
As an Oba, a lawyer, and a person with
degrees in others fields, how does he see
his national award? I ask the unassuming
and amiable monarch. His reply comes
automatically. “Well, I thank God,” he says.
“Some people use to say, ‘as an Oba and a
lawyer, do you want to go to court to
practise or you are just wasting your time?’
But I say, there is utility in all these things.
“When you have the intellectual power,
wherever you find yourself you will be
useful. For instance, I have not been found
wanting among my friends. I have been able
to represent the state at both national and
international levels. Because of that utility, I
have been appointed into many committees
to represent the state, the traditional council
and other groups. Therefore, the award is
the Lord’s doing. And I must thank God they
said this award was given to me due to my
contributions towards the upliftment of
Nigeria, my state and my community.”
How many are in Kaiyesi’s harem?
“I’m a traditional man as you know,” he
says. “That is one area of my private life that
I cannot discus publicly. I have Oloris and I
have children, but I can’t tell you the
What about his social life? How does he
wind down? Does he belong to any social

His words: “As I told you earlier on, I came
from a poor family. So, the idea of going to
social functions was not just there, because
I was then married to my father’s farm.
Again, the curriculum of teachers training
college would not allow these social
activities. And (on-campus) political
activities were not in the teachers training
curriculum. So, for you to bring in all these
things, you have to work extra hard to be
on the best track of teachers training. So, I
had little or no opportunity to join any social
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by slimyem: 11:57am On Dec 11, 2012
As an Oba, who was also a student, how
did he find campus life?
“After my enthronement,” he says, “I left for
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, for my
post graduate studies. And as a first class
Oba, I was anxious to attain the peak
academically. So, I decided to hide myself.
Onisan has, from ancient days, been one of
the 16 paramount rulers in Ekiti. I was not
just promoted. No. I decided to help myself. I
was given a room at the post graduate hall,
but I wouldn’t know how Baba (Oba Sijuade,
the Ooni of Ife) got to know. Anyway, the
Ooni of Ife got to know that I was there and
he sent for the Vice Chancellor, and told him
that there was an August visitor in his
school. That there was one important and
highly placed Kabiyesi. So, the VC had to look
for me.
“So, I was going to fetch water from a story
building down, lifting
buckets with my shorts, I didn’t allow
anybody to follow me because I felt this was
what I should be doing. It’s supposed to be
part of my training. So, I got to the room, the
VC knocked the door and said they were
looking for the occupant of the room. I said
‘hope there is no problem?’ And he said they
were looking for the Kabiyesi living in this
room. I pretended as if I didn’t know what
they were saying. But I couldn’t hold it for to
long. I buckled and I asked: ‘what can I do
for you?’
The VC was prostrating as he said: Ha
Kabiyesi, the Onisan! He actually prostrated,
saying: Kabiyesi. He became worried. He
said: how could Ibe doing this? I had white
singlet on, and white cap on my head. And I
said well, since I am here to read, I must
bury my pride. I must put all the
paraphernalia of the office of the first class
Oba somewhere in the palace so I could
concentrate on what I am here for: a
serious academic endeavour. That is it. So,
he said Baba wanted to see me, and he
would want to take me to Baba’s office. I
said ‘no problem’. So, we went to Baba; and
when I saw him, Baba embraced me. He was
genuinely concerned. He asked if he could
relocate me to a comfortable place. With all
respect and humility, I said I was
comfortable where I was; that I would be
coming to greet him. So, I went back to my
hostel. I kept myself seriously busy there,
reading day and night, to ensure that I
succeeded in what I went for. That’s it.
Now when I went to the University of Ado-
Ekiti, now Ekiti State University, to read Law,
the course was very, very difficult. I found
Law somewhat difficult, so I had to double
my efforts, reading round the clock. So, that
is what I was faced.
Law School was a different ball game. I have
one or two problems when I went to Law
School. Why? It is forbidden for me to open
my head. In Law School, you must open your
head. You must put on your tie. You must
wear your shirt and every other thing. When
you are called to Bar, you must put on your
wig. So, for two or three days, I was not
allowed for lectures. And when you are in
Law School you have very limited number of
days that you can be absent before you can
be allowed to write the exam. If you are
absent more than 20 days in a year, you will
not be permitted to write the exam.
Whenever you are going for lecture
8:00a.m., you will sign in. Whenever you are
coming out 4:00p.m., you sign out. And the
daily register is always kept with the
officers, and it goes on and on like that. And
you cannot beg anybody to help you sign
because they will continue to verify your
So, it was this Director-General, Chief
Abayomi, that helped me so they allowed
me. So, I was only person that was allowed
to put anything on his head. So, all my fellow
students, more than 3,000 of them,
whenever I was coming in, they got to
know me as an Oba.
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by Caracta(f): 12:06pm On Dec 11, 2012
Wow, the part about the hostel is inspiring. The first day i met him and listened to him, i was shocked. He commands respect and he has a striking personality. Didn't even know his history then. Hmmmm. There are still humble ones out there
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by slimyem: 12:34pm On Dec 11, 2012
^you met him?
His humilty is so uncommon..
Sad that lots of Nlers won't read this with the excuse that its long...
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by Caracta(f): 12:43pm On Dec 11, 2012
slimyem: ^you met him?
His humilty is so uncommon..
Sad that lots of Nlers won't read this with the excuse that its long...

Yes i met him during my service year. I read every line. I don't joke with stories like this, facts not fiction. Thanks for sharing.
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by Jaykizz(m): 1:31pm On Dec 11, 2012
Inspirin...rily inspirin.
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by Nobody: 4:07pm On Dec 11, 2012
Determination at work.
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by owobabaisabella: 11:40pm On Dec 27, 2012
wow,this is really an inspiring story that if one really determinate to achieve something good in life there is no limit to it.
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by ifihearam: 12:10am On Dec 29, 2012
What's ur email id
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by OkikiOluwa1(m): 11:31pm On Jan 10, 2013
Inspiring. The Kabiyesi was deterMINED like Kanu. What a humble man.
slimyem: Sad that lots of Nlers won't read this with the excuse that its long...
They ll read it when it get to the front page.
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by greatgod2012(f): 8:50am On Jan 11, 2013
How i wish we youths of today can emulate him, so determined and he got what he wanted.
This is to tell us that, if we are hardworking and determined, d sky will be d starting point, not d limit.
May God help us all.
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by Kslib(m): 12:27pm On Jan 11, 2013
Wow!!! Humble people alwyas go places... If this doesn't make frontpage ehn,i will be forced to tell you guys how Tonto Dike washes her pant... The type of water she uses,the type of detergent,the bucket and the colour of the pant....
Re: Story Of A First Class Royal Father Who Sat For His G.C.E As A King. by Smooyis(m): 7:43am On Jan 12, 2013
Kabiesi o. What an interesting story. I wish I can be dis determined. Am proud he is an Ekiti man. Long lives his throne!

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