How Pastor Ghandi Olaoye Emerged the King of Ogbomoso

Since the former Soun of Ogbomoso, the late Oba Jimoh Oyewunmi, joined his ancestors on December 12 last year, all eyes have been on the Laoye family, which is to produce his successor, according to the 1953 Soun Chieftaincy Declaration.

As expected of contests for good positions, the family had a tough time screening the 25 interested applicants to a manageable number of three, for kingmakers to make the final selection. Successful sons in the Laoye family globally showed interest in mounting the throne of their forefathers. They include businessmen, top civil servants, other professionals and military officers. But one of them, who is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Jesus House Washington DC, United States (US), Afolabi Ghandi Laoye, eventually got the nod of the kingmakers to be enthroned as the next Soun of Ogbomoso.

The family heads had difficulty screening the candidates for fear of being accused of bias. The Laoye family has 10 sub-units; hence, it was difficult to talk any candidate to stepping down for others since it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The declaration recognises five ruling houses – Aboru-Maku, Gbagun, Laoye, Bolanta and Odunaro – with the throne rotating among the five in that order. Oba Oyewunmi hailed from Gbagun family.

Due to their inability to pick a consensus candidate from the contestants, they referred all of them to kingmakers for selection. The Nation learnt that about 18 of the candidates were shortlisted and invited for interview by the kingmakers to Ogunlola Hall, but others who were not invited joined them. Besides, it was learnt that the town’s development association – the Ogbomoso Parapo – advised the kingmakers to avoid any approach capable of attracting legal action from among contenders or other interested persons. This made the kingmakers to interview all of them. The only contender that could not attend the interview, having gone on a business trip, was said to have been interviewed on the phone. A representative of Ogbomoso North Local Government under whose purview the throne operates attended the interview as an observer.

At the end of the interview, the contenders were screened to two. They are Lt. Col. Sirajdeen Laoye and US-based Pastor Afolabi Olaoye.

Then, the four kingmakers were said to have been divided over the two candidates. They opted for voting and each candidate was supported by two kingmakers each, meaning a tie. The head of kingmakers resorted to using his Casting Vote Right (power to have an additional vote) to resolve the tie. His vote went for the pastor; hence he scored three, while the military officer scored two.

Although the chieftaincy declaration stipulates that six members shall constitute the kingmakers council, one kingmaker passed on about six weeks ago according to The Nation’s investigation, while another one is still in the process of having his installation as a kingmaker officially confirmed, thereby leaving the number at four. He was said to have been installed a kingmaker by the late Oba Oyewunmi, but formalisation of his papers is not yet completed.

The declaration also stipulates that four members of the council shall form quorum for decision-making, but that the head of the council shall have an extra vote in case of a tie.

Pastor Laoye’s name has since been forwarded to the local government for onward recommendation to the governor for approval.

Those who contended for the throne were Princes Gbolahan Idowu Oyegoke, Sirajdeen Lawal Olaoye, Tirimisiyu Gbolagade Bello, Abayomi Isaac Jacob Oyewusi, Gbadamosi Taofeek Lawal Olaoye, Mohammed Gazali Jamiu Oyetunde, Isiaka Oluwasegun Lasisi, Ismail Kayode Olaoye and Olabode Akeem Olayide Olaoye.

There were also Musibau Adeniran Alimi, Amusa Felix Bello, Peter Olatunde Olaoye, Abubakar Abduganiyu Akano, Johnson Olusola Olaoye, Taofeek Adeyemi Akorode Olaoye and Olalekan Olaoye.

Others were Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye, Badmus Babatunde Olaoye, Abdulrahman Hamzat Adebayo, Sirajdeen Akorode Olaoye and Muhammed Nurudeen Bello Olaoye.


Ghandi Olaoye is a visionary leader, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur. He is known for his immense commitment to excellence and leadership skills, Ghandi is the CEO of Peculiar People Management (PPM) and GihonRiv Limited, which are Management and Human Resource Consulting Companies based in Lagos, Nigeria and Dallas, USA.

He is the Chairman and Cofounder of Great Places to Work Institute, Nigeria, a global research and management consultancy company that recognizes the best workplaces in over 56 countries worldwide and provides premier business and advisory services.

In addition, he is the Chairman of both Quest Oil & Gas (ASCON Oil) an independent marketer of petroleum products (storage, distribution and sales) in Nigeria, and Quest Engineering Company a value-driven energy company providing eco-friendly and innovative services in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.

Ghandi served on the Board of National Council on Privatization (NCP) which is also the Board of Bureau of Public Enterprise (B.P.E) (2017-2021)

Ghandi is a member of the Board of Trustees of Strategy for Mentoring Initiative & Leadership Empowerment (S.M.I.L.E), a young entrepreneurship for development and a non-profit organization.

He serves on the board of A Smile on Their Faces Initiative (a non-profit initiative focus group for people living with disabilities).

He was a Co-Founder and Member of the Board of Directors at Adams Smith Investment & Financial Company, Ikoyi, Lagos between 1990-1994.

Ghandi was a member of the Board of Directors and Co-Founder at Touchmark Saving & Loan Lagos (1992-1995)

He was also a Co-Founder and Member of the Board of Directors at Dunamis Finance Company (1991-1995)

In January 2009, Ghandi was invited to serve as an Advisor and Council Member on the Council for New Americans by the Maryland State Governor of the United States of America, Governor Martin OMalley. While he served a four-year tenure on the council, he assisted the Governor to form policies on immigrant integration into the state of Maryland.

Ghandi served as the Chairman over a real estate development project in Floyd, Texas USA, where he oversaw the development of over 700 acres of a campus which comprised of a college, housing estate, and a 20,000 Seater Auditorium.

An Associate of the International Third World Leaders Association (ITWLA) chaired by the late Dr Myles Munroe, a forum created for the exchange of cross-cultural ideas globally. He represented Myles Munroe international in Nigeria for over 10 years.

Mr. Olaoye is an influential community leader recognized both in Nigeria by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2001 and in the United States of America by President Barack Obama in 2011.

He is the recipient of various awards which include the Youth Empowerment and Positive Mentoring of Africans in the Diaspora Award which was conferred by the African Business Roundtable in December 2008.

He has been featured in many newspapers and electronic media.

He graduated in 1982 from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria (formerly known as University of Ife) with a BA Honors in English and Literary Studies; he holds a Masters degree (MILR) in Industrial and Labor Relations with emphasis on Human Resource Management from Nigerias premiere University, University of Ibadan (1987).

Ghandi was born on August 23rd 1961, he enjoys traveling and has been to over 65 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, North and South America, the Pacific Islands and Africa. His other interests include: swimming and playing scrabble.

Ghandi Olaoye is married with two children.


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