The Christian Association of Nigeria in Oyo town has protested against the role allegedly being played by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, in an ongoing land tussle between the association and other parties in the town.
The Christian body alleged that Oba Adeyemi had sold parts of its 96 plots of land at Ayetoro to some investors.
Following several aborted proposed meeting with the monarch by the Oyo town chapter of CAN, the religious body said the absence of Alaafin from the dialogue was deliberate.
An executive member of the Oyo Zone CAN, Reverend Femi Afolabi, told newsmen on Wednesday that in view of the monarch’s attitude, the Christian association took to the street in Oyo town in protest against his roles in the land tussle.
Afolabi, who is the head of Zonal Issues in the Oyo Zone CAN, said the matter got to a head when some of its members who were on inspection of the property were attacked by some hoodlums who were believed to be land grabbers.
Oyo CAN, which claimed to have procured the land from the former Oyo Local Government Council Area before the breaking of the old council into four in the 90s, alleged that the monarch “surreptitiously sold some patch of the property to other parties” without being authorised to do so.
Afolabi said, “On Sunday, the 5th of July, the entire body of Christ in Oyo land, comprising Afijio, Oyo East and West and Atiba local government areas, marched from Isokun Baptist Church to CAN land in Ayetoro scheme. We came back through the palace to Isokun. The protest match is predicated on the fact that the land belongs to CAN.
“Having been allocated to us by the Atiba Local Government Area, we got information that kabiyesi, the Alaafin of Oyo, is selling the land. We made several approaches to him formally and informally to let him know that we have document for the land, but he did not allow dialogue to prevail. That was why CAN decided to let the whole world know that he wants to use his royal stool to cheat CAN; that was why we protested.
“He gave us an appointment at a time. I can’t remember the date now and all the head of churches in the land were there with the CAN executive members, including bishops.
“On getting there, everybody waited for more than one hour, he didn’t show up. He sent a message that he had a visitor from Abuja.
“We told the people whom he sent to us that if he wanted to see us he could call us but he never called till date. It was like a slap on the entire church.
“We want the whole world to know that Alaafin is trespassing on the land of CAN and it is dangerous for any man to collide with God. Anybody who is paying money to Alaafin to buy the land is wasting his money. It is not Alaafin’s land but government scheme.”
A source in the Alaafin’s palace, confimed that CAN staged the protest on Sunday.
He said, “It was so sad and embarrassing; kabiyesi was so nice to the Christian body and so, should have been treated with respect.
“However, they took to the street without meeting or complaining formally to him. That was disrespectful and totally unacceptable. It was a big embarrassment that they printed handbills and carried placards against the Alaafin. A matter that should have been amicably resolved was blown out of proportion.”
The Media Secretary to Alaafin, Mr Bode Durojaye, said he had yet to brief the monarch on the issue.
He said, “I cannot make any comment on behalf of kabiyesi on this particular issue unless I am properly briefed and so directed. I will let you know the mind of kabiyesi and possibly inform you if he fixes an appointment for you to come to hear his side of the story.”