Prince Mumuni Rufai is the Past President of Rotary Club International (Gowon Estate, Alimosho Chapter), a businessman and the younger brother of the king. In this interview with ABAYOMI ASANMO, the prince explains why the inaugural Ojude Oba was held in his town – Owo. Enjoy the excerpts below:
What can you say about your state, town and the Ojude Oba?
This is an inaugural Ojude Oba and the first of its kind. Historically, Ojude has never held in this community and this is as a result of the coronation of the king. It was also done to respect the unity of the community, and to honour sons and daughters of the soil both at home and in the diaspora.
What are the challenges facing Owo that you would like the government to help look into?
The major problems we have in Owo are the lack of infrastructure, poor security, water and sanitation, poor road networks and electricity, absence of all of these has negatively impacted economic and social activities within Owo and suburbs.
It has also come to my knowledge that when there is an emergency in the community, people have to get to Oke-Odan before they can get competent hands to attend to them. Oke-Odan is a very far distance from Owo and it can be very dangerous to have to travel that long to get basic treatment.
I am using this opportunity to plead with the government to come to our aid. However, I also know that the government alone can’t do it. As the Past President of Rotary Club International, we know what we have been doing in the area of welfare to people all over the world. As a son of the soil, we can also do something in conjunction with the government.
What is your advice to the indigenes at home and in the diaspora?
I am the coordinator of the youth in Owo community. Immediately after the coronation of the king, I formulated an agenda that can fit into the community’s development plan as envisioned by the King. A lot of programmes have been drawn; some in the short-term and others in the medium and long-term. We are well aware that anyone who fails to plan, plans to fail, this is the same advice I will like to offer the people of Owo community.
Do you have NGO groups that are also working in line with people like you? Where do you get finance to support all these plans?
A tree cannot make a forest; somebody has to take the lead. We try to develop leaders, who will be able to replicate what we are doing in a few years from now. We are far from development but we have many sons of the soil in the diaspora who have gathered knowledge in different human endeavours. It is when we meet, reason and live together that we can easily get to the Promised Land.
In terms of finance, God has blessed lots of indigenes. When they see a good leader, they are always inspired to do many things for the community. Like I rightly said about the Rotary Club International, which I am the past president of the Alimosho chapter, I will use the power in my hands to make positive impacts in my community.
What advice do you have for the youths?
During my last forum with the youth, I told them love is a great tool that can move the community forward. God created heaven and earth based on love.
Our youth have to discard a lot of beliefs and channel their energy in productive activities if we will make any form of progress as a community.