The chairman of Honeywell Group of Companies, Oba Otudeko has said that the current peace and unity enjoyed by the Ijebus are mainly the handiwork of some of the traditional rulers in the land. He further spoke on the good work done by the Awujale as he marked his 80th year birthday and other sundry issues. Excerpts…
The paramount ruler of Ijebuland is 80 years, you are here to celebrate with him, what are your comments on this visional traditional ruler?
I like the term visional… to be candid, he is a true visional leader who believes in reaping the fruits of one’s labour either positive or negative. What I mean is that, he looks into the future. When he was crowned as the Awujale, his vision then was to see a successful Ijebuland. Today, it has manifested to what people are talking about. So, obas like the Awujale have really had a legacy that children yet unborn will meet and benefit from.
Are you saying he has contributed to the existence of Ijebuland?
Even more, if you have to flashback, how many of us were what we are today when he was installed 54years ago, that is to say Ijebuland has got to the greater height within this time he was installed and now, so in one way or the other, he influenced the success today in Ijebuland.
Honeywell has created a niche for itself, what was your vision when you started Honeywell?
Yes, every big thing started in a small way, I am telling you that when we started Honeywell Group, it was a small company but today, God has been on our side and we are now recognized both home and abroad, it is only God!
You must be very close to Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi because we noticed you were walking hand-in-hand?
Yes, he is also a royal father with great intelligence, I have been with him for long because he is a leader with passion for his followers. He is my landlord, I won’t fool you, Alaafin is a role model to this modern generation and as the Yoruba will say “Igba Keji Orisa”, he is truly a father and leader, that is why I can identify with him any day any time.
There is this talk that the Yorubas lack succession plan, what is your view?
Baba will be more than 100years by God’s grace but I don’t believe that this exists. I believe the Yorubas have such plans because we used to have a royal family that will present the next leader if the need arises, so I don’t think the Yorubas lack succession plan.