Osun State Government has described as unfortunate and avoidable, the face-off between the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi and the Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Dhikrulahi Akinropo, during a peace meeting at the office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 11, Bashir Makama, last Friday.
The government said it was aware that the State Traditional Council is looking into the matter.
It further stated that traditional rulers ought to protect and preserve the sacredness of traditional institutions.
In a statement yesterday by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, the government noted that situations where royal fathers engage in public display of temperament “do not edify the revered stools of our forebears.”
“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.
“The 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 monarchs. We do not want any crisis in any part of the state,” the government added.
No fewer than 15 traditional rulers in Ola-Oluwa and Ayedire local governments have petitioned the government over an alleged attack on the Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa by the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Akanbi.
The Office of Assistant Inspector General Zone 11, state Director of the State Security Service, Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Ooni of Ife as the permanent President of the state Council of Traditional Rulers, were copied in the petition directed to the state government.
The petition was signed by Oba Akinropo, the Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa; Oba Solomon Oyewo, the Oonifin of Ikonifin; Oba Abibu Adetoyese, the Olu of Ile-Ogbo; Oba Hammed Adekunle Oyelude, the Olowu of Kuta; Oba Oyeleso Oyebamiji, the Olupo of Oluponna; Oba Abioye Oyewale, the Olubode of Bode-Osi; Oba Ismaila Gbadamosi, the Ola of Ajagunlaase; Oba Abdul Kadir Olatule, the Oluwo of Iwo-Oke; Oba Kazeem Adio Orioye, the Onigege of Igege; Oba Sikirulahi Omoyemi Ogunleye, the Olowu of llemowu; Oba Tajudeen Adewale Ayofe, the Oloke of Obamoro; Oba Hafees Badeji Adigun, the Onikoyi of Ikoyi; Oba Asimiyu Sodiq Agboluaje, the Ologburo of Ogburo; Oba Oye Alajide, the Oloja of Agberire and Oba Alamu Moshood Oparonke, the Onisara of Feesu.
In the petition, they called on Governor Gboyega Oyetola to suspend Oba 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.
The also demanded that the police should be encouraged to conclude their investigation and arraign Oba Akanbi in the appropriate court immediately.
The aggrieved monarchs begged the government to create a separate traditional council for Ayedire Local
Government and Ola-Oluwa Local Government.
Their demands also include: “That the government should kindly approve all pending applications at the Ministry of Local Government Bureau of Chieftaincy for prescribed authorities for the Part II Obas from Iwo Zone, which applications are being frustrated by the intransigence of Oba Akanbi.
“That all the Obas which Oba Akanbi is fighting are recognised Part II beaded crown wearers, like Oba Akanbi, contrary to his erroneous and century mentality that he owns all our land. Under Yoruba Land Tenure
System, it is family that owns the land and not the Oba. Oba can only lay claim to stool land. It is, therefore, illegal for Oba Akanbi to seek to appropriate all family and stool land in Iwo, Ayedire and Olaoluwa local governments.
“That we pledge our loyalty to the government in power at local, state and federal levels. However, no development can take place in an atmosphere of violence and fear.
“Finally we appeal to Osun State Government to consider Oba Akanbi the incumbent Oluwo of Iwo as a problem to be solved not a problem solver.
We have never had any problem with any of his predecessors. We repeat that he should be suspended from office immediately and that the police should prosecute him forthwith.”
Also, residents of Ayedire, Ola-Oluwa local governments and part of Iwo Local Government yesterday protested at the Osun State secretariat, Osogbo to register their grievances against alleged assault on the Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Akinropo, by the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Akanbi.
The protesters described Oluwo’s action as barbaric and disrespect to the traditional institution.
Some of them carried placards with the inscriptions: “Oluwo Must be Brought to Book”; “Oluwo is a Disgrace to Traditional Institution”; “We Are No longer Safe Under Oluwo’s reign”; “We demand Oluwo’s suspension now,” among others.
Their spokesman, Mr. Sikiru Ogunlade Araoye, a former member of the House of Assembly, demanded reaction from Governor Oyetola, saying the government’s silence on the issue could cause communal clash between Iwo and Ogbaagbaa.
He said: “We are here to protest peacefully before the governor to remind him that his silence is not golden. The governor cannot continue to keep mum on this issue.
If a traditional ruler like the Oluwo has suddenly turned himself to a boxer and beat up his fellow monarch, he deserves to be punished. So, we, the people of Iwo, Ayedire and Ola-Oluwa demand the suspension of Oluwo.”
The Mosigbaola of Ile-Ogbo kingdom, Chief Popoola Olawore, condemned the Oluwo’s action and called for his dethronement.
The leader of the protesters, the Asiwaju of Ile-Ogbo, Chief Raphael Akanbi Nafiu, presented a copy of the petition to the government through the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Egbemode and the Special Adviser to Governor Oyetola on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters.