Prince Olusola Alao is a true son of Olugbon family. Born over five decades ago, the international business tycoon is well-travelled and has various businesses across the world. He is from the Ajayi Orisafayo ruling house of Orile-Igbon and one of the contestants to the throne of Olugbon of Orile-Igbon in Surulere Local Government Area of Oyo State. The highly-educated and most-influential business magnate, who can be best regarded and described as the people’s choice, will definitely take Olugbon to the world state if he becomes the traditional ruler of Orile-Igbon. When he met with AKIN ALADE, he spoke about some of his plans for the town alongside others.
Why do you want to become the Olugbon?
What the late Olugbon achieved inspired me. He did well by recording very glorious achievements at Orile-Igbon as a first class Oba and Vice-Chairman of Oyo State Council of Obas. He united the entire Igbon communities. In his time, the police headquarters was established, I’m aware that the state high court that was built in Orile-Igbon was through his effort and he also built staff quarters for the court staff, the establishment of trailer park was also another area of his achievements among so many others. He had fought a lot of legal battles in the course of recording these achievements. But with my influence and affluence in the society today, I can build up from where he stopped.
What are your plans for the community if you emerge the next Olugbon?
I will not be an Oba that will stay away from his people. I will make sure that I identify with them at the grassroots and I’m going to use my wealth of experience to transform Orile-Igbon and turn the community around to a small London. The Lord has prepared me as a successful businessman; a contractor for Federal Government in the area of defence and as an activist. I am well prepared in order to impact and develop the town with the wealth of my experience and it is sure that it will be of great joy and the Almighty God will help me. I will like to copy the likes of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and other Obas in the neighborhood. I shall see how I can draw the youth closer to me. First, our cultural heritage has to be reckoned with. We came from somewhere and our culture and tradition must be well valued and cherished by us. We need to prioritize our needs, let’s say in the area of employment and education, these are what our youths need mostly. The moment we see and know those things that need correction, they will be worked on immediately. For those in the agriculture sector, I will talk to the government on how they can help them in terms of cash and agricultural materials in order to boost food production. For those in the area of entrepreneurship, I will assist them to elevate and promote their businesses. For those who are geniuses academically, I will assist them to go to school and get education up to the university level. I will also plan on how I can work out scholarship schemes for the exceptionally brilliant students as well as those who are academically sound but come from poor homes. Generally, I will ensure that every child in Orile-Igbon goes to school because education is one of the major keys to success in life. It will be my joy to see the citizens of Orile-Igbon becoming doctors, lawyers, pilots, engineers, architects and pharmacists among others. Also, technology is the future of this country and I have already got a very strong IT company that is willing to come and establish a cyber training company at
This will allow us as a country to educate and encourage our youths to take advantage of the positive aspects of technology and entrench those positive values into other communities because it will be open to every Nigerian.
So, all these things are what I intend to do. I will also open up my environment for businesses to thrive. I’m going to invite a lot of big businessmen from both within Nigeria and outside. I will try to reach out to large corporations as well as a lot of my friends who are very good in business. And my wife with her experience as a former Managing Director of a Bank will go a long way in helping my regime as the Olugbon. So, I’m going to work together with my wife to see that we add values into the lives of the people of Orile-Igbon.
Is there any tie between Orile-Igbon and Ogbomoso?
In fact, there is no difference between Orile-Igbon and Ogbomoso in the sense that you cannot talk about Orile-Igbon without Ogbomoso and vice-versa. The two communities are inter-related one way or the other. So, we are one and I’m ready to work with everybody within the community to develop the place and make it a successful business zone. Orile-Igbon used to be a successful business community during the old Oyo Empire.
How do you want to bring back the old glory of Orile-Igbon?
I have the plan of bringing back the lost glory of Orile-Igbon as the next Oba. In fact, I have an investment team already lined up as I have surveyed the environment very well. There are foreign investors that are willing to come and invest over hundreds of millions of dollars. I will also go round the globe to make sure that the people of Orile-Igbon in the diaspora come together to do something at Orile-Igbon. Our doors will be opened to other neighbouring towns like Ilorin, Ogbomoso and others that can come and join us in developing Orile-Igbon. One of my prayer points is that when I become the monarch, I will ensure that our zone gets state headquarters whenever Oyo State is divided into two by God’s grace. These are my intentions and so many other plans for my people which I pledge to execute as soon as I become the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon. In fact, I always say it to my family that called me that it is only God that makes kings. So, nobody can do anything without God.
Won’t there be rivalry between you as the Olugbon and the Soun of Ogbomoso?
There can’t be any fight between us. Soun is a foremost monarch in Yorubaland and I respect him so much. We have one common goal which is to bring development to both towns. It is only where there is rancor that there won’t be peace.
Like I told you before, my aim and I think that of Soun is to bring about even development among our subjects and that is exactly what we are going to do.
Kindly let us into your background
I am Prince Olusola Alao, a native of Orile-Igbon via Ogbomoso, a community in Surulere Local Government Area of Oyo State. I hail from Akinbola compound; specifically the Ajayi Orisafayo ruling house. I had my primary and secondary school education in the Northern part of Nigeria before I proceeded to University of Liberia where I graduated with a B.Sc degree in Accountancy.
I worked with a firm of Chartered Accountants immediately after my university education after I which I went into private business and that’s what I’m involved in till now. I am a member of the Board of Directors in about seven reputable companies while I am conversant with telecommunication infrastructure; I established Oyo Towers, a Telecommunications Infrastructure Company which Oyo State government has about 20 percent shares in. Oyo Tower engages in collation so that the government can have direct billing system for telecommunication companies instead of multiple taxations. It is a kind of revenue collection company and it also ensures that the telecommunication companies adhere to the rules of building their infrastructures which will in turn give comfort to the people of Oyo State. It was established during the regime of Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and when Governor Abiola Ajimobi came, he tried his best to ensure that the company remains operational.
I am the chairman of the company and we are still in talks in order to fast-track it. So, I am a businessman and I am married and blessed with children.
How do you unwind?
I love to be around my people. Even before my aspiration as the Olugbon, I have always been around my people. I always derive joy and satisfaction when I am at home. Some of them hardly recognise me when I am with them because I have mingled and mixed with them. This is what I will definitely continue as a king.
What is your philosophy about life?
My philosophy about life is to impact others, especially the less-privileged. I also crave to make a meaningful impact in life.
What’s your take on the present administration in Oyo State?
I want to commend the efforts of the present governor, Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi. The man has done well, most especially in the area of creation of more local councils which has assisted greatly in bringing the government closer to the people.