In what looks like a birthday gift, the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Okukenu IV, has announced Chief Suara Alani Olayiwola Bankole as the new Apena Egba.
Bankole, the Oluwo Iporo and the father of former speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole was born on September 17, 1941.
On his part, Oba Gbadebo was born on September 14, 1943
It was gathered that the emergence of Chief Bankole, currently the Oluwo Iporo was guided by the Egba tradition following the unanimous election by kingmakers, six most senior chiefs from the Ognoni side and four most senior Chiefs from the Olorogun side.
The development came following the demise of the immediate past Apena as well as extensive consultations among kingmakers and other opinion leaders from both Itoku and Iporo.
Chief Bankole brings to his new position, a wealth of traditional knowledge and political acumen spanning over fifty years.
However, the final confirmation and approval of the new Apena Egba lies with the Ogun State government given the statutory nature of the position.
According to Alake, the Apena title holds great significance, as it falls under the category of statutory part 2 chiefs.
With responsibilities akin to that of part 2 Obas in the region, Alake said it
represents a vital link in the cultural and administrative fabric of Egbaland.
Among the past Apena Egba were the erudite late lawyer, Chief Toye Coker and Chief Dosunmu.
“The Apena-Elect of Egbaland is a statutory chief, commonly referred to as "Ajoba Ma dade", sharing the same status as part 2 Obas.
"Though they do not wear crowns, they each possess an umbrella symbolizing their authority.
"However, they are not permitted to use it when the Alake is present. Similar to Obas, they receive salaries and allowances befitting their role", Alake said
Meanwhile, the Apena-elect has vowed to enrich both the tradition of the Egba people as well as governance in the state.