By Ola Ajayi, Ibadan
A controversial traditional ruler in the South West, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwoland, who recently pronounced himself as Emir of Iwo which caused a stir among Yoruba leaders, has faulted an apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere and Yoruba Council of Elders on their stance against creation of cattle ranches for Fulani herders in the South West. He said the comments would only further fan ember of discord and disunity in the country.
Oba Akanbi gave this warning at the ‘N2 billon Community Development Fund Raising’ organised by Mr Temitope Olatoye Sugar, a member of the House of Representatives representing Akinyele/Lagelu Federal Constituency in Oyo State.
At the programme that held at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan, weekend, the monarch argued that land anywhere in the country belongs to all Nigerians and it is wrong to say Fulani herders should not be allowed to create cattle ranches in Yorubaland.
Oluwo wondered why those saying land should not be allocated for the creation of cattle ranches in Yorubaland did not oppose the establishment of other business interests by some northerners in the South West zone of the country.
“More than half of the land mass of this country belongs to the North. The remaining is shared by the Southerners. We should look for unity. We should not discriminate. The land together is called Nigerian land, and it belongs to all of us. There should be no discrimination. That is why I call myself the Alaafin of Iwo, Ooni of Iwo, Alake of Iwo. We traditional rulers should be fathers to all”, the monarch said.
Those present at the occasion included the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, who was represented by Mr Wole Oke; Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state represented by the state’s Commissioner for Education, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela; Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ifedayo Abegunde; and Oladipupo Adebutu Keshington from Ogun State, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan, represented by Oba Adekunle Adebowale, the Agbolu of Agbaye Ife; Oba Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Senator Ayoade Adeseun and parents of the lawmaker, who all contributed financially to the fundraising aimed at alleviating poverty especially among the jobless youths.
In his speech, Olatoye Sugar noted that “the rich will never sleep as long as the poor are hungry. I therefore call on all men and women of goodwill, who have the determination like me to give succor to the less privileged, the voiceless and thousands of jobless youths who require vocational skills and entrepreneurship training in our society, to lend support through the launching of this N2 billon OSF Community Development fund-raising”.