By Dayo Johnson
IT could best be described as a royal rumble. The two royal gladiators are from the same Osupa ruling house in the Akure Chieftaincy stool. Observers of happenings in Akure, the Ondo state capital as regards the stool of the paramount traditional ruler of the ancient town ( Deji of Akureland) would agree that it’s an understatement to say that the junt through the metropolis recently by the deposed and banished Oba, Prince Adepoju Adesina barely five years after his banishment by the state government caused anxiety and sent cold jitters down the spines of indigenes and non- indigenes of the ancient town.
Prince Adesina first public appearance since he went out of circulation in year 2010 to serve his punishment’ caught many unaware including the new Deji Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi and the Akure Council of Chiefs.
Tension rose to a feverish level as the deposed Oba appeared in public five years after he went underground following his sack and banishment to a remote village in Owo area of the state capital after he publicly assaulted one of his wives who incidentally is now late, Olori Bolanle.
Installation of the new Deji
After his banishment for one year, the deposed Prince relocated abroad in 2011 only to resurface and this in no small measure unsettled the serene Akure community. His appearance according to findings, was at the instance of a matter he instituted against the new traditional Oba Aladelusi and the state government challenging his removal by government and the installation of the new Deji.
But after the case was adjourned by the trial Judge at the State high Court, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi till December 8, the deposed Prince decided to stir the hornets nets by walking through the street giving the impression that the case in court had been decided in his favour.
While walking the streets with his supporters, ”convoy of vehicles trailed him to his family house situated at Odo- Ijoka street in Akure metropolis. Prince Adepoju was adorned in the paraphernalia of a king with the exception of wearing a crown.
So his sudden “resurrection” and street walk through the Akure metropolis raised some serious fears across the community that he may be on his way back to the throne. He has dragged the state government to court challenging his alleged wrongful removal from his ancestral throne.
Timely intervention of detectives from the state Police Command saved the situation as youths sympathetic to the new Oba were poised for a showdown with the Prince and his co- street walkers. Sensing a possible breakdown of law and order and disruption of peace in the state capital, the “ street walking” prince was invited for questioning and warned against re-occurrence.
Tempers as speculation was rife that the deposed Oba had been arrested by the Police. But this was denied by the state Police authorities.
Ironically, while the deposed Prince was walking the street to announce his second coming, the new Deji together with his Council of Akure Chiefs and some Clergymen converged on St David’s Cathedral, Ijomu in Akure for their yearly prayer session tagged “ Akure Prays 2015”. The yearly prayer session was to thank God for the peace in the town and to solicit for its sustenance in subsequent years. This meeting was almost marred by the action of the deposed Oba.
News of the pubic appearance of the deposed Deji created apprehension, coupled with the rumour from his camp that he has won the case at the Court challenging his sack and was marching to the palace. However, the action of Prince Adepoju has earned him several punches and kicks from his former subjects and stake holders across the state capital.
Infact, the Akure Council of Chiefs led by the Lisa of Akureland, traditional Prime Minister of the town, High Chief James Olusoga has warned him against such a “shameful walk” again. In what looked like a combination of forces to deal decisively with him, leaders in Akure Community and the council of Chief have insisted that he remains deposed and his reign thus consigned to history.
They described the street walk of Prince Adepoju as “ a show of shame”. Addressing a Press Conference on the stir caused by the deposed Oba they however warned of dire consequences if he repeats his “ shameful action on Dec 8 when his case was adjourned to.”
Spokesman of the Community who is a former Ambassador to Greece, Prof Olu Agbi warned that if the deposed Prince” does it again we will show him that we cannot only bark but also bite. “ We will not tolerate any action that will bring Akure to disrepute once again. We hereby warned Prince Adepoju to conduct himself properly if he has to continue to prosecute his case.
“ Presenting his case does not include coming into the heart of the town in order to foment crisis and trouble. “ If he does so again, we might be unable to restrain our people in showing him and his never do well backers that Akure people cannot only bark but they can also bite.
“ We state here with all sense of responsibility that Akure Community will not only bark but bite harder against anyone who tries to stifle our progress and truncate the peace. We currently enjoy. What Prince Adepoju did on that day is tantamount to saying that Akure has two kings. Never, never and never. Adepoju has been deposed and it will remain so.”
The leaders said it took the personal intervention of the reigning Deji of Akureland Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi to prevent breakdown of law and order that day the deposed Oba staged a street walk across the metropolis. Prof Agbi recalled that “ it will be an understatement to state here and now that the reign of the deposed Deji brought untold and unprecedented embarrassment to the entire Akure Community.”
They listed many of the” sins” of Prince Adesina which according to them consigned his reign to the “ dustbin of history” and prayed against such re -occurrence. They called on the state government and security operatives in the state to prevail on him to stop “ stirring the hornets nets and conduct himself properly as he continues his case on December 8 .
Prof Agbi said: “ We cherish and wish to maintain the age long peace that had been reigning in Akure Kingdom. Indeed Akure deserves the current peace for its development and progress.
Reacting, the deposed monarch’s elder brother, Prince Ibukun Adesina said his brother did not break any law by coming to Akure, adding that permission was obtained from security operatives within the state before the Prince made the public appearance.
According to him, “he is challenging his illegal removal by the state government in court and he has served out the banishment placed on him by the government and therefore has every right to come to Akure. “After serving out his banishment, he went abroad to receive medical attention. He came home to attend to his case, meet his lawyers and his family members.
“Those making allegations against him are those who supported his illegal removal and they have no interest of the Akure people at heart. “The relevant authorities were aware that Adesina Adepoju is free to come to Akure and we are determined to ensure that he returns to his forefathers’ throne.”
The members of the Akure Council of Chiefs who attending the briefing include the traditional Prime Minister of the town-Lisa of Akureland , High Chief James Olusoga, the Odopetu of Akureland High Chief Micheal Falade, the Asamo of Akureland, High Chief Rotimi Olusanya, the Olu of Ijigba High chief Luyi Rotimi and other prominent sons and daughters of Akure Community.
Others include Prince Ademola Adegoroye, Dr Laoye Adegoke, Dr Dare Bada and other prominent sons and daughters of the town.