From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, yesterday explained his own side of the matter involving him and the Agbowu of Ogbaagba, Oba Dhrikulahi Akinropo.
The Oluwo also broke his silence over his frosty relationship with some traditional rulers in Iwo, Ola-Oluwa and Ayedire local governments of Osun State comprising Iwoland.
In a statement signed by him, he asked 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 that 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. During 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.”
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.
He said: “They have gone as far as arresting and imprisoning anyone in these families, who tried to obstruct them from selling their heritage.”
The Oluwo said that his palace had been inundated with 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 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 Muhammadu Buhari is fighting political corruption by turning deaf ears 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.
The 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 a land to about six people. Many families have been rendered ineffective; many orphans had their land grabbed with no compensation. Many cried to my palace seeking justice.
Ask them, do I invite them for mediation with their victims, but they refused to change. They went as far as saying that 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 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 who believes 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 to 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 boggling and an 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 live 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 hopelessness they have subjected their subjects to.”