Odionwele Pa. Osobaye stephen isele

Odionwele Pa. Osobaye stephen isele

Pa. Osobaye Isele ascended the throne of the Odionwele of Ebudin in 1998 after the death of his immediate predecessor, Pa. Abuede. Both were relations and in fact were first cousins. Pa. Osobaye was one of the foremost Christians in Ebudin and also abhorred the worship of idles and man made gods in any form.

 Pa. Osobaye Isele is notably a great farmer. He was the greatest farmer of cash-crops in Ebudin till his death and records has it that in some years he could harvest twelve tons of cocoa in one harvest season. In his hay days, all the wives and children of his larger family would join to harvest yams, plantain, bananas and peer for sale in the market. This easily made people to fondly call him ‘Jemeka’. Even as Odionwele of Ebudin, Pa. Osobaye was still going to the farm and doing all he knows how best to do, till he was begged by his children and relations to stop going to the farm. What must also be mentioned here is that Pa. Osobaye Isele embraced adult education which was introduced for all elderly people to enable them re-embrace western education and record has it that Pa. Osobaye took first in the various tests and examinations conducted during the programme. Though Pa. Osobaye Isele was not educated, he proud himself that he ensured that all his children were educated. He encouraged every indigene of Ebudin to educate their children if they themselves feel they can no longer go to school.

Pa. Osobaye Isele had always struggled for the freedom of the ordinary Ebudin person. Hence during his reign, the struggle to be freed from the over bearing attitude of the Onogie of Ugbegun, as was widely acknowledged by the Ebudin people, commenced. He ensured that the people of Ebudin were freed from the payment of wrongly imposed dues by the Onogie of Ugbegun.

This matter was subsequently taken, by the Onogie of Ugbegun, to the local council where the matter was eventually resolved, even though the relationship was already strained. Added to this was the seeming high-handedness of the Onogie who would demand for payment of contribution, irrespective of how capable the Ebudin indigene was, before matters brought before him can be attended to. This did not also go down well with the Ebudin people who were now feeling discriminated against by the Onogie. This was the beginning of the lost of diplomatic relationship between the Onogie of Ugbegun and the Ebudin people.

Pa. Osobaye Isele embraced Christianity in his early days and when he became the Odionwele of Ebudin it was easy for him to encourage all others to radiate love and peaceful co-existence. More churches came into existence in Ebudin during his time as he believed in the freedom of worship by the indigene.

Another major achievement of Pa. Osobaye Isele was the reduction in the cost of celebrating the ‘Iruen Ceremony’ in Ebudin. Before the decision to reduce to N23,000.00 (Twenty three thousand Naira only) the price money to be paid by any celebrant before being allowed to celebrate the Iruen ceremony, it was pretty expensive to celebrate Iruen in Ebudin. It requires the celebrant to perform various ceremonies involving cooking and marrying for about seven day stretch. Hence not many people could afford this ceremony and this prevented indigenes from taking the Iruen title. This informed the decision of the Odionwele and the Elders to reduce the entire cost to just N23,000.00 price money. This money is usually shared amongst the rank and file in the administration of Ebudin community comprising of the Elders, Igene and the Egbonughele. He died in 2005.

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  • Pa Osobaye was my anointed guidian and a great uncle. I admire him for so many reasons. 1. He was one of the great farmers in Ebudin that trained his children in schools from the proceeds of his farm work. He was a great farmer. 2. I can still remember that, during the adult education which took place in Ebudin years ago, Pa. Osobaye took first in the examination that they did. This shows he was a brilliant person. 3. Pa Osobaye was well loved by his people for his straightforwardness in his dealings with people.

    Truly there is so much that can be said about this great man and I can only now pray that his soul rest in peace.

    from Benin
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