Why I Designed A Proposed New Palace Of Alaafin, Prince siyanbola oladigbolu


A frontline contender and biological grandson of the former Alaafin, Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu, tells our correspondent why he chose to design a 21st-century standard palace for the new awaiting Alaafin of Oyo.

*Why do you have so much belief in yourself?*

Anyone with a brighter future must have a master plan. It is called a master plan, not necessarily because of what you want to achieve but how you want
to achieve it.

Even in politics, any candidate without an illustrative manifesto should not be voted for. No good leader gets to the office and starts thinking of what to do after convincing people to get their vote.

*But you are not the only contestant. Why are you championing this gigantic project ?*

Of course, I’m not the only contestant. However, when there’s a massive celebration in a very big family like mine (Ladigbolus ), the major celebrants know themselves.

I am a grandson of Alaafin Ladigbolu, and it is the turn of our family to produce the next Alaafin. Being a blueblood and crown prince, I see nothing bad taking full charge of my grandfather’s legacies.

Recently, I saw a video clip and also in newspapers that some sections of the palaces got burnt due to negligence and lack of proper vigilance.

A couple of days ago, I was told that some parts of the perimeter fencing sharing boundaries with lagbodoko
area also fell. I consider that as an insult. That’s why I made the bold step.

*Is it a section of the palace you intend to renovate, if eventually you become the new Alaafin of Oyo?*

Look, the last occupant (oba adeyemi) reigned for a good fifty-three years on the throne. When he became Alaafin in 1970, those buildings you see in the palace were built by him, and they were very in vogue at that time. But with the new available architecture nowadays, most of them are going down and will be replaced by magnificent ones.

The section you see is just one of, and that alone will cost close to half a billion naira. If you look closely at the drawing, it is decorated with Australian bricks and Italian stainles marbles, and they are not cheap to import. There are about seven more buildings that will be renovated, e.g., agbala kooko ( the first Supreme Court in Yoruba land). Ita okoto, ile koto , Kobi asiri, Ita aro, Aganju and so on. Oju-abata will not be different from Camp David (American President Recreation Gardens) when we are done. Undoubtedly, all this will cost several billions of naira. However, no amount of money can be quantified with the institution of the Alaafin.

*Who designed the drawing, and what is the cost?*

Well, I’m a well-known real estate developer. All those beautiful designs are in my custody. My company (ROYAL COLONY HOMES LIMITED) we are into
designs, buildings, and construction. All the tools are at my fingertips. that doesn’t mean it was done free of charge. It cost three million naira to get the job done.

*How do you intend to source for funding for all those projects?*

No one asks sekere (grouds), the source of its wealth. Alaafin is money, and money is alaafin. The daily expenses of alaafin are some people’s breakthroughs. So when you hear the name “alowolodu,” that’s alaafin for you.

*What happens if you are not chosen by the stakeholders?*

If the normal procedure is followed, I believe I should be next Alaafin. And if I am chanced by power mongers, life goes on. Late chief MKO Abiola won the 1993 presidential election in every local government across the federation, and he was betrayed. Now, those behind his annulment are painful, regretting their actions. So, shall Oyo regret if they eventually select the new Alaafin based on the highest bidding? We will be laughing and lounging from far away when they start complaining.

If the procedure is free and fair and another person happens to be selected, I will be the first to joyfully send him a congratulatory episode in national newspapers. And I will support him forever. If it happens to be one no further ambition with an embarrassing bad reputation of reliability, I won’t.

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Iyawo Ramoni
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