Oba Akanbi, Oluwo of Iwo has declared his suspension by the Osun State Traditional Council as porous and lacking logic. He accused the council of toeing a political line during the meeting.
Reacting through a statement issued by his press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, Oba Akanbi said the resolution of the Obas does not portray the council in good light as they refused to address the allegation that he punched a monarch, which was the reason for the meeting. He noted that any suspension from council was subject to the approval of the state government.
The Osun State Traditional Rulers’ Council, yesterday, suspended the Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, for six months for allegedly assaulting a fellow monarch, Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Dhikrulahi Akinropo. The council also constituted a committee headed by Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun, to further investigate the tussle involving Oluwo and Obas in Iwo land.
The royal fathers at their emergency meeting held at the Osun State Government Secretariat, Abeere, presided over by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, arrived at the decision to suspend Oba Akanbi.
Speaking on the development on behalf of the 15 aggrieved monarchs in Iwo land, the Onigege of Igege, Oba Kazeem Adio Orioye, lauded the resolve of the council, saying more proactive steps needed to be taken by the state government to instill discipline in the traditional institution in the state.
Oba Oriye urged the state government to even sack Oluwo for the alleged offence, adding: “Iwo is a prominent town and it doesn’t speak well for the town to parade such an Oba like Oluwo. While we appreciate the decision of the Osun Traditional Rulers Council to suspend him, we want the state government to sack Oluwo.
“Oluwo will assault us more if he continues to be king. He has once abused some prominent Obas in Yoruba land and if serious step is not taken, he would do more.”
Describing the suspension as audio, he said the council was wrong to have announced his suspension without the approval of the state government. “The highest level of injustice is for the council to say I was rude to the same Ooni who presided over a meeting where they said I was suspended. I was never suspended. The suspension reported by the media is just from the monthly Osun State Traditional Council meeting, which is subject to the approval of the state government.
“It is sad to note that Osun State Traditional Council could be so political. They said I was rude to Alake, Ooni and Alaafin and the same Ooni presided over the same meeting that purportedly pronounced my suspension from the council’s meeting. If this should stand, many monarchs will not be encouraged to regard the council. It is just an audio pronouncement and an insult to the state government without consultation by the council.
“We were invited to address the allegation that I punched another Oba. The AIG and government officials came to the meeting as witnesses and gave account that I didn’t beat any Oba. May be because the truth from the witnesses didn’t go with their expectation, they hatched unfounded excuse to make an audio suspension.“It is purely political and there are many things attached but we keep mute to see how far this will stand,” Oluwo said.
However, it is worthy of note to check if the pronouncement by the Osun State Traditional Council has a legal backing and that if Oluwo’s claim that state government approval be sought before such pronouncement is validated.
The Oluwo saga also brings to the fore the role, power and functions of Kings in our modern democracy.
Perhaps, it is hightime the kings realised that they function in a democratic space where power is allocated and executed accodring to the democratic and not the autocratic tenets they are used to or that the kings still need their independent and autocratic authority if they will be ‘kings indeed’.