My intent in defending helpless poor will judge me, Oluwo breaks silence
His Imperial Majesty, the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba (Dr.) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, on Monday, broke his silence over his frosty relationship with some traditional rulers in Iwo, Ola-Oluwa and Ayedire Local Government Areas of Osun State comprising the Iwoland.
Asking his critics to leave him to God and stop judging him on the social media, the Oluwo said Nigerians, outside Iwoland, are ignorant of the true situation of things and the hardship some monarchs in their domains are inflicting on their subjects.
He said: “For those, who care to know the background to the 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 backwards 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
In a statement personally signed by him, the first class traditional rulers lamented that many of “these monarchs are lording themselves over their subjects,” taking their family lands and selling their inheritance with impunity.
According to him, they have gone as far as arresting and imprisoning anyone in these families, who tried to obstruct them from selling their heritage.
He disclosed that his 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.”
He continued: I found the complaints and protests of these people to be true after I had carried out my own personal 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 hear 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 (awon fi n d’ola ni). 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 believe that none of his children will grow to greatness sells land that his children may use to build companies tomorrow. Kings should not be tyrant, feeding fat on their oppressed subjects. Kings can sell their personal land at will and not hijacking and grabbing their subjects’ property with no respect for their dignity.
“No, I have told them I can not 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 are 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.
“These monarchs’ philosophies are ‘Ibi gereje l’anba Agba’ (Elders are positioned for enjoyment and ‘Ko si gberu mi l’afin, So mi ni’ (There is nothing like help me lift up in the palace but only help me put down exist). They will illegally acquire your properties and no one can stand for you. Your last hope and means of survival will be illicitly taking away by powerful men with no one to assist you. I pray that those of you in the diaspora, castigating me for defending the hopeless and the defenceless will labour all your life overseas and you will not fall in the hands of the land grabbers.
“I stand to assist the innocent victims and one of the culpable kings still stood against me and wanted to stick my eyes with his staff of office and you say I should not defend it. Haba, God will judge us accordingly.
“Any king that doesn’t have a job should leave the palace and stop selling our lands for peanuts. That’s why it’s a bad idea to install poor people, who don’t have the pedigree, work and business as kings. They only see selling ancestral lands as their business. What they did to His Imperial Majesty, Oba Asiru Olatubosun Tadese, they can and they should never try such with Telu 1. I am your nemesis.
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“I have friends from the diaspora, who planned to come and settle at home with all they have laboured for overseas and fell victims of these elements. The same land sold to them was sold to more than five other people. This is in the case of Onigege of Igege who was a driver before being enthroned as a king.
“If all that I am fighting for is personal, God should remove the crown on my head. I have no interest in taking any land in my domain as against those peddling lies against me but to protect the helpless subjects being subjected to hardship and harrowing experiences by these Obas.
“This ignominious attitude can’t stand anymore. Those calling for my removal henceforth will meet their waterloo as done to the victims of land grabbers. It is disappointing to note that most of these critics are the children of the poor I am defending. I am not moved at all as much as God sees me. You are doing the same to President Mohammadu Buhari, helping to rid the nation of corrupt people. You threw more stones at him but he is not deterred to fight corruption killing all of us as a nation.
“It is only in big cities that you could succeed with land selling. They have choked their respective town through unofficial sales. Selling thousands of acres for peanut at N60,000 per acre. How much could these people generate to bless their office? Monarchs are not enthroned to be a curse but rather a blessing.
“President Buhari has fought corruption which has made all of you not to have a great life in Nigeria and has dwindled the growth of Africa. I am fighting corruption in the traditional system too. Today, there is an awareness such that nobody can just take government money and transfer it to his or her personal account but in Africa. The truth sayers and defender of the poor is now the enemies you criticise.
“I want to charge the government to intervene before these kings impoverish innocent people under them. They should conduct a thorough investigation of the numbers of land cases these kings have in the court. I am ashamed the affected kings go to court almost every day on land matters with the crown I gave to them. The government should visit the grassroots to know the havoc they have wrecked on the future generation. As a human with a conscience, it is a complete irony of duty expected from the crown, which I humbly represent,” Oluwo said.