In March 2016, Oba Saliu Adetunji was crowned as the Olubadan of Ibadan. Around the same time, Pastor Adediji Olusoji of Sound of Joy Prayer Outreach became the Olubadan Palace pastor, or chaplain, as it is sometimes referred to. Pastor Olusoji, in an interaction with Rita Okonoboh, shares his experience being the Olubadan Palace pastor in the past two years, his relationship with Oba Saliu Adetunji in the past 28 years, and how he addresses the seeming clash between traditional and Christian beliefs. Excerpts:
How did you find yourself as the Olubadan Palace pastor?
It’s a directive from God. This is the first time the palace will have a pastor dedicated to it. I have been the Olubadan Palace pastor since the present Olubadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, was crowned as the Olubadan of Ibadan.
Is it that the Olubadan said he wanted a pastor?
If God says ‘Yes,’ nobody can say no. I’ve known the Olubadan for 28 years now. However, when I first met him, at the time, I was a marketer, not a pastor. When I received the calling, I also became the pastor. At least, once in a month, I visit Baba and pray with him. It was a directive from God that I should be the Olubadan Palace pastor. The Olubadan is like a grandfather to me. My holding this position has been by God’s grace, not by my power. Like I said, it’s a divine assignment.
As a Christian, does your faith not clash with the traditional beliefs?
On the challenges of my faith clashing with religious beliefs, that’s another story. Let’s leave that aside now, but what I’ll say is that there is no evil attached to the traditional beliefs I’ve encountered.
What’s your relationship with the Olubadan of Ibadan land like?
We’re close. Aside being the Olubadan Palace pastor, I’m a grandson to the Olubadan. I have a rapport with the Olubadan and his family members, as well as with his chiefs. And I thank God for that.
From your experience, how would you describe the person of the Olubadan?
Oba Saliu Adetunji is a man of peace. In all his dealings, he is always interested in peace. And this nature extends to his desire for the city of Ibadan, as he also always wants Ibadan to be peaceful. In fact, when he receives visitors, it is not unusual for him to tell such persons to ensure they pray for peace in Ibadan.
Not too long ago, there were issues involving the Olubadan and the installation of new kings in Ibadan. From your unique position as a ‘middle man’ between the Olubadan and the people, what is your message to natives and residents of Ibadan at this time?
The Bible states in Luke 21:13 that “It shall be turned to testimony.” I believe that Ibadan is a land of testimony. My message to all the people of Ibadan – whether indigenes or residents – is that we should ensure that our attitude, character, countenance and actions speak peace. When there is peace, we can achieve many things.
Brief about background
I’m a typical Ibadan man. I had all my education in Ibadan. Before I became a pastor, I was into the promotion of artistes, but strictly gospel artistes. Although I don’t sing, I’m a marketer and a presenter. I’ve been involved in the marketing of artistes such as Mama Bola Are, Tope Alabi, Lady Evangelist Bisi Alawiye, Daniel Aregbesola in Akure, among others.
How did you meet the Olubadan?
I met him as a marketer, through my boss at the time. That was in 1990. I also remember in 2000, Baba featured me as the Public Relations Officer for the Label Owners group in Nigeria at that time. At some point, I also was a Sunday School Teacher. I was ordained in February 2003 as a pastor, but in 2006, I became a full-time pastor.
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