When on 11th April 1951, a new bouncing baby boy was born into the family of the late Chief Aro Aringbede Salami and Madam Omorinoye Deborah Dada of Itako Compound Aiyetoro in Oro-Ago community, little did they know that little Olarewaju Tafa Dada, as he was named at birth, would one day be a member of Ifelodun Traditional Council.
Yoruba adage says ‘Ori toba madade koni salaidade’ meaning, the head that will wear crown, will surely wear it, no matter how turbulent the situation and the opposition.
This is what is applicable to a retired civil servant from Kwara State and a popular water merchant the producer of Oluseyi Water in Ilorin and its environs, Evangelist Johnson Tafa Olarewaju Dada, whose announcement as the new Oloro of Oro-Ago last Monday by the Kwara State Government spread like harmattan fire and threw the people of the community and friends of Dada into wild jubilation.
Oro-Ago Community in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, where education is the main profession, had been without an Oba for some time, precisely since the death of Oba James Adeniyi who died on January 29, 2012.
Oba Johnson Dada, a product of Kaduna Polytechnic and Kwara State Polytechnic, where he had his National and Higher National Diploma in Purchasing and Supply Management in 1970-1974 and 1979-1981, respectively, was between 1970 to 1974 at Igbaja ECWA College for his secondary education.
He attended ECWA LGEA Primary School, Oro-Ago and Omu-Aran within 1960 – 1966.
The new Oba was a student of ECWA Theological Seminary, where he obtained a diploma in Theology, having thought it wise to devout certain time for his creator. This, he has held tightly to till now, as he is religiously known at ECWA Church, Gaa-Akanbi in particular and ECWA Kwara in general, no wonder he is called Evangelists.
As the leader of Egbe Oke Sioni at ECWA Church Gaa-Akanbi, where this writer belongs, he had on many occasions demonstrated leadership qualities which should not be mentioned on pages of newspaper. Oba Dada is never tired of God’s work; and who knows why God Himself has compensated him with bigger responsibilities.
To crown his luck, Oba Dada, who is now undergoing traditional rites, will only come out to meet his promotion as a second class monarch.
He had a brief stay at the Federal Office of Statistics after the completion of his secondary education in 1974 and left the office in 1975 when he secured an employment at the Kwara State Water Corporation. By dint of hard work, efficiency and faithfulness, he rose to Chief Purchasing Officer before he retired in 2006.
Since his retirement, he has been managing his own business, Ebolad Nigeria Enterprises which deals with packaging of table water, Oluseyi Table Water and manufacturing of plastic bottles among other products.
Chatting with this writer recently, the new Oloro of Oro-Ago, said his main priority is to reconcile the aggrieved sides, saying they should forget the past and join hands with him in moving Oro forward.
He appealed to them to join him, and allow peace to reign so as to bring back the lost glory.
According to him, when a position of Obaship is open, it is normal to have many contestants and the moment a candidate is picked, others should be magnanimous by joining hands in moving the community forward. He joined other contestants to bury their hatchets and join him to work as a family.
“Oro-Ago is a peaceful community, we should all bury our differences and see each other as of one family to move the community forward.
Oba Dada used the occasion to thank the Kwara State Government, the Kwara State Traditional Council under the chairmanship of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, the Ifelodun Traditional Council and the Oro-Ago Community for their roles in making the appointment a reality.
He expressed appreciation to the Kwara State Government for embarking on the repair of Oko Bridge and appealed to the government to expedite action on the work, saying the collapsed bridge had made it difficult for the visitors and even members of the community to move freely to the area.
Meanwhile, the residences of Oba Johnson Tafa Olarewaju Dada, at Idofin Odo Ashe Close, has become a beehive of activities as people from far and near are trooping in and out on daily basis to pay homage and congratulate the new monarch.
The new Oba is a member of many societies and organizations including Rotary Club Ilorin GRA, Chapter; Premier Club Oro-Ago; Ilorin Club; ITC Club, Ilorin; and many others.
Oba Dada is happily married to Mrs. Abigail Ebun Dada (nee Ayanda) from Isanlu Isin, in Isin Local Government Area of Kwara State and blessed with children and grand children.