Otunba Francis Meshioye is the Supreme Leader of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity (ROF). He holds the title of the Olori Oluwo of the fraternity. Eminent Nigerians who have occupied this position in the past include Sir Adeyemo Alakija, and Sir Adetokunbo Ademola. 2014 marked 100 years that the ROF was formed and the society had series of activities to mark the centenary celebrations.
2 weeks back, the Olori Oluwo of the ROF, Otunba Francis Meshioye (who holds other chieftaincy titles), an acomplished administrator and businessman, spoke with TOPE AILERU on the activities of the society. He dwelt on many issues, shedding light on some of the perceptions the public has about ROF, which many people regarded as a secret society.
Looking back at the activities of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity in the last 100 years, how has the society impacted on humanity and what has the experience been like for you, as the head?
The Reformed Ogboni Confraternity Incorporated was established in December 18, 1914. So, 2014 makes it a 100 years since it was formed. Since its establishment, the fraternity has gone through diffrent experiences. The ROF was started by less than 10 people. It was a message that was sent through a servant of God, in the person of Archdeacon T.A Ogunbiyi, a devout christian and Member of Parliament, who is late now. After the fraternity was established, notable and influential people joined as members and till date, we have maintained that tradition.
The first person to occupy the seat I am occupying today is Sir Adeyemo Alakija, who was the founder of the Nigeria Government Press and the Pioneer General Manager of the Daily Times of Nigeria. The next person who took over after him was sir Adetokunbo Ademola. We have also have people who have led the fraternity too like Chief Oladehinde Lawson, and others. We also have leaders in the Christian world too, who have been leaders in the ROF. People like Archbishop Vining of blessed memory and others. So, like I said earlier, we have gone through so many experiences. However, we have grown in many ways.