The Oluwo of Iwo, Abdulrosheed Akanbi, has explained the reason why he is not on friendly terms with some monarchs in Osun State.
Mr Akanbi made this known in a statement personally signed by him and made available to journalists in his palace on Monday.
He also reacted to the allegation of assault levelled against him.
He explained that monarchs in Iwo, Ola-Oluwa and Ayedire local governments of the state comprising Iwoland “are inflicting hardship on their subjects”.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Iwo monarch allegedly assaulted his colleague, the Agbowu of Ogbaagba, Dhrikulahi Akinropo, at the office of the AIG zone 11, Osogbo, Bashir Makama, last Friday during a peace meeting, over a land dispute.
Other monarchs at Friday’s peace meeting were Quadri Adeoye, Oluwo of Iwo-Oke; Oyebamiji Oyeleso of Oluponna, Adio Oyediran of Igegeland, Solomon Ojo of Ikonifin, Moshood Oparonke of Eesu, among others.
While the meeting was ongoing, Mr Akanbi allegedly stood up from where he was sitting and ‘descended’ on Mr Akinropo which led to the latter being rushed to the hospital.
Mr Akanbi, while reacting to the allegation, did not deny assaulting his colleague. He simply said it was in self defense against “an attempt by Mr Akinropo to stick his staff of office in his eyes”.
On Monday, chiefs and some residents of Ogbaagba, Ile-Ogbo and Iwo demanded sanctions against Mr Akanbi.
Gang up against me- Oluwo
Following the protest against Mr Akanbi, he wrote a statement explaining his side in the face-off.
The monarch said what transpired “was a case of the oppressor fighting back against the defender of the oppressed, their victims”
Mr Akanbi maintained his stand that Mr Akinropo attempted to stick his staff of office in his eyes in order to blind him.
“I quickly responded to prevent him from achieving their plan to turn me to a blind king.
“These monarchs are lording themselves over their subjects, taking their family lands and selling their inheritance with impunity. They have gone as far as arresting and imprisoning anyone in these families, who tried to obstruct them from selling their heritage.”
Speaking on the reaction of the public to the tussle, the Oluwo said “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.”
He also alleged that his colleagues “often pay thugs to protect illegally-acquired land sold to speculators for as low as 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.”
He disclosed that before the matter attracted police attention, he had summoned his colleagues to meetings “but often, they refuse to listen to me”.
“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(ies) of the affected families,” he explained.