…Protesters flay Oluwo’s action
…Protest an attempt to silence me —Monarch
…Fight unfortunate — Osun govt
By Shina Abubakar
OSOGBO—Fifteen members of Iwo Traditional Council, yesterday, demanded the suspension of the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale over what they described as an “unbecoming attitude of a monarch.”
This came on a day some residents of Ayedire, Olaoluwa and Iwo communities in Osun State, stormed the streets of Osogbo, to protest the alleged assault on the Agbowu of Ogbaagba, Dhikrulahi Akinropo, by the Oluwo of Iwo.
The state government also described the fisticuff between the two monarchs as unfortunate.
Also, the embattled traditional ruler faulted the protest against him, describing it as an attempt to silence him.
It was, however, gathered that the monarch had left the country in a bid to reduce attacks on his person.
But when contacted, his Media Aide, Alli Ibrahim, said Oluwo is in the country but travelled to Lagos to attend to some salient issues.
15 Osun monarchs demand Oluwo’s suspension
The monarchs, who were from communities in Ola-Oluwa and Ayedire Local Government Areas of the state, also accused the monarch of creating problems for the area rather than resolving disputes.
The angry protesters called for the monarch’s suspension as both Oluwo and Chairman Iwo Traditional Council.
A communiqué dated February 16 issued at the end of their meeting, addressed to the State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola and copies made available to journalists in Osogbo, demanded that the Oluwo’s conduct should be investigated by police and be prosecuted accordingly for attacking another monarch before government officials.
The monarchs that signed the communiqué are Oba Dirkrullahi Akinropo, Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Abibu Adetoyese, Olu of Ile-Ogbo, Oba Adekunle Oyelude, Olowu of Kuta, Oba Oyeleso Oyebamiji, Olupo of Oluponna, Oba Abioye Oyewale, Olubode of Bode-Osi, Oba Ismaila Gbadamosi, Ola of Ajagunlase.
Others are; Oba Abdul Kadiri Olatunji, Oluwo of Iwo-Oke, Oba Kaseem Orioye, Onigege of Igege, Oba Sikirulahi Ogunleye, Olowu of Ilemowu, Oba Tajudeen Adewale, Oloke of Obamoro, Oba Hafeez Adigun, Onikoyi of Ikoyi, Oba Asimiyu Sodiq, Ologburo of Ogburo, Oba Oye Alajide, Oloja of Agberire, Oba Alamu Oparonke, Onisara of Feesu and Oba Solomon Oyewo, Onifin of Ikonifin.
The document was also sent to the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone XI, the Director, Department of State Security, the state Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Ooni of Ife.
It, therefore, called for the creation of a separate traditional rulers’ council in Ayedire and Ola-Oluwa local governments, in the interest of peace in the communities and the state.
The communiqué reads: “We call upon Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State to immediately suspend Oba Adewale Akanbi from office as the Oluwo of Iwo and Chairman Iwo Traditional Council for engaging in physical assault in public place, more so against a fellow Oba, an act unbecoming of the exalted office of an Oba.
“That the Police should be encouraged to conclude their investigation and arraign Oba Adewale Akanbi in the appropriate Court immediately
“That Government should create separate Traditional Councils for Ayedire Local Government Council and Ola-Oluwa Local Government.”
Protesters flay Oluwo’s action
But expressing displeasure over the monarch’s action, the Asiwaju of Ile-Ogbo, Chief Akanmu Nafiu, while presenting the position of the protesting residents of the communities to the representative of the state government, Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Rasak Adeosun; the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode, the communities berated the Oluwo for asking other monarchs in the area to get a receipt from him before they can sell lands in their domain.
He said: “It was an abomination for a king to beat or punch the other king, not to talk of raising his hand to beat his fellow king.
“It is a very shameful act for Oluwo to have done that, and that is why he and his fellow chiefs rose to protest.
How can Oba Akanbi say whenever other monarchs want to sell any land in their domain, they should report to him with the receipt. But I told him that no such has been requested by other kings, after all, they were only bounded by government administration.”
Also speaking, an angry protester, Mr. Sikiru Araoye demanded a separate traditional council to avoid regular breakdown of law and order in the area.
Meanwhile, youths, chiefs and residents of Ayedire and Ola-Oluwa local governments stormed the state secretariat to protest the Oba’s regular public harassment of their monarchs, with Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, being the latest victim.
The protesters displayed placards with different inscriptions, such as “Justice must prevail”, “Oluwo is calling for communal war”, “Oluwo has bastardised Yoruba culture”, “Suspend Oluwo Now”, among many others.
Oluwo, Agbowu fight unfortunate—Osun govt
Reacting to the crisis, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, described the Oluwo, Agbowu fight as unfortunate
The government, in a statement, said it is aware that the State Traditional Council is looking into the matter.
Egbemode said: “We believe in the dignity of traditional stools and sacredness of royalty. We will continue to preach peace among all our citizens and harmonious relationship among our traditional rulers.
“Government is aware that the State Council of Traditional Rulers has stepped into the matter and we are confident that the council will take appropriate steps to preserve peaceful coexistence among the Obas in the state. We do not want any crisis in any part of the State.”
Protest, an attempt to silence me —Oluwo
Meanwhile, the embattled Iwo monarch has described public outcry against him as an attempt to incapacitate his resolve to defend peasants in Iwoland and its environs.
The monarch, in a statement, disclosed that his frosty relationship with monarchs within his domain was borne out of his refusal to allow them to continue to torment their subjects.
Oba Adewale said: “Critics should leave him to God and stop judging him on the social media. Nigerians, outside Iwoland, are ignorant of the true situation things and the hardship some monarchs in their domains are inflicting on their subjects.
“For those, who care to know the background to Ologbagba’s arrogant attitude at the AIG zone 11 peace meeting, I have decided to break my silence. What played out at peace meeting was a gang up to twist my hands backward and prevent me from defending these poor people they have continued to oppress with impunity. It was a case of the oppressor fighting back against the defender of the oppressed, their victims.
“In the course of the meeting, the Ologbagba tried to play out their orchestrated plan when he tried to poke his walking stick in my eyes and I quickly responded to prevent him from achieving their plan, to turn me to a blind king.
“These monarchs are lording themselves over their subjects, taking their family lands and selling their inheritance with impunity.
“They have gone as far as arresting and imprisoning anyone in these families, who tried to obstruct them from selling their heritage.
“My palace is inundated by complaints of how their innocent subjects are sent to prison because these monarchs do influence cases against their people through their accomplices.
“I found the complaints and protests of these people to be true after I had carried out my investigation. I am disappointed when most Nigerians allow sentiments to override their sense of reasoning and hail bad leaders. But I have vowed to continuously fight corruption in the traditional system just like president Buhari is fighting political corruption by turning deaf ear to critics.
“I feel bad about the strong oppressing the weak and the vulnerable in the society because I always feel the pains of the people that why would something like this happen in Iwoland Traditional Council. Most disgusting is that these monarchs have employed thugs to protect illegally acquired land sold to speculators. The thugs are paid with proceeds from the land.
“Of my greatest worry is the amount they sell the land, imagine a standard acre of eight plots sold for N60, 000.
“Many family lands with ancient cash crop trees such as cocoa, palm kernel tree, oranges, plantain, etc are sold and uprooted without the consent of the family owning the land. They went as far as selling land for about six people. Many families have been rendered ineffective, many orphans had their heir(land) grabbed with no compensation. Many cried to my palace seeking justice. Ask them, I do invite them for mediation with their victims but they refused to change. They went as far as saying, the land is part of their luxuries. Are they kings to alleviate or inflict hardship on their subjects?
“Before man and God, I have invited these monarchs to my palace more than 10 times and appealed to them to protect the future of their children by halting the frequent and indiscriminate land sale. It was like my admonition was spurring them to sell more and more. They care less, recruit touts to unleash mayhem on their subjects. I once told them that only a hopeless father believes that none of his children will grow to greatness and sells land that his children may use to build companies tomorrow. Kings should not be tyrants, feeding fat on their oppressed subjects. Kings can sell their land at will and not hijacking and grabbing their subjects’ property with no respect for their dignity.
“No, I have told them I cannot stand here and watch them oppress our people. I am human and I feel the pains of their victims. Anyone doing such will not be forgiven by the destiny of the affected families.
“Honestly, it is heartbreaking, mind burgling and irony of the function expected of responsible traditional rulers. The target of these kings is the poor, who have no one to fight their battles for them but God and whoever God sends to do so. The police in my area are tired of their regular and myriads of daily complaints.
My critics may refuse to listen; I leave everyone to God, our creator. For me, I have forgiven those who are criticising me. But henceforth, if you still castigate me, I pray your generations will leave to fall victims of what many families have experienced from these Obas. God will spare you and your relatives to have a taste of such hopeless they have subjected their subjects to.”