By AISHAT YUSUFF
Not less than 15 traditional rulers in Iwo, Ayedire and Ola-Oluwa Local Government Areas of Osun State have called for the removal of the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi for assaulting a fellow traditional ruler, Agbowu of Ogbaagba, Oba Dhikirullahi Akinropo.
This is just as residents and traditional chiefs of Ogbaagbaa, Ile-Ogbo, Iwo and some other communities in the three local governments staged protests at the Government Secretariat in Osogbo on Tuesday against what they described as a barbaric action of Oluwo, calling for his removal from the stool.
The Flash had reported how Oluwo assaulted Agbowu in the presence of Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 11 at a peace meeting convened to broker peace among the traditional rulers over land tussle.
In a communique jointly signed by the 15 monarchs after an emergency meeting in Ogbaagbaa on Sunday, February 16, they called for the investigation of the matter and prosecution of the Oluwo for assaulting a fellow monarch.
They also demanded the suspension of Oluwo as the Chairman of the traditional council of Iwo, Ayedire, Ola-Oluwa and creation of a separate traditional council for Ayedire and Ola-Oluwa Local Governments.
Besides, speaking during the protest, a former members of the House of Assembly representing Ola-Oluwa constituency, Prince Sikiru Araoye and the Asiwaju of Ile-Ogbo, Chief Rafeal Akanbi Nafiu described the action of Oluwo as a desecration of the Yoruba culture and tradition.
Araoye noted that Oba Akanbi has deliberately decided to dishonour the traditional institution and must be made to face the music, saying “what Oluwo did was a criminal offence and he must be brought to book”.
“For a first class Oba to turn himself to a boxer on an issue that should be resolve amicably, call for a serious concern. What Oluwo did is enough to trigger communal crisis if nothing is done on this matter.
“We have never had it so bad and we don’t want this to be a bad precedence whereby traditional rulers will take laws into their hands.
“We want Oluwo suspended so that he will be cautioned. The same government that gave Oluwo staff of office is the same government that gave Agbowu the staff of office. He must be brought under control”, Araoye stressed.
Also, Chief Nafiu said, Oluwo was only fighting a loss battle, saying the basis for his anger, which has to do with selling of lands was unfounded.
According to him, “It is only administration that connects Iwo and other surrounding communities, not that Oluwo owns their lands. They are also independent communities that have their origins.
“The traditional rulers have always said that they are selling land belonging to their communities, not Iwo land and we have been living like that in harmony for a long time.
“Therefore, we want the government to give each local government separate councils of Oba, rather than putting them under Iwo traditional council. To think that Oluwo own their land is unfounded”, he stressed.
Responding to their grievances, Governor Gboyega Oyetrola, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Rasak Adeosun said, the government has already been taking steps on the matter.
Appreciating the protesters for being peaceful and orderly, the governor sued for peace and urged that the incidence must not be allowed to truncate the peace coexistence in the state.