A contender to the position of the Mogaji Akere compound, Orita-Merin, Ibadan, Nigeria , Prince Okunola Abdulwasiu Akere has made a passionate appeal to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogunguniso 1, to reconsider his choice of the occupant of the position by accepting the decision of the majority of the Akere family members .
Prince Akere made this appeal in a chat with Federationews2day.
”Personally, Olubadan is an institution of respect. Olubadan is reputed for honesty of intention and fear of God. Overtime we have met with the Kabiyesi, he assured of his good fatherly gesture to the entire Akere family, based on past relationships he had with our fore fathers. So, I don’t see that statement coming from the palace, because Kabiyesi, several times we have been to the palace, said he holds Akere family in high esteem and even says that the decision of the family is paramount to the final installation of the Mogaji. And so far, so good, I, Prince, Honourable Okunola Olasunkanmi Abdulwasiu Akere still remains the Mogaji elect of the vast majority of Akere family of Orita-Merin, Ibadan, Nigeria”.
He stressed that the Olubadan was a fatherly figure, who could not be disrespected saying, ”We have been to the Kabiyesi, severally and the response of the Kabiyesi, Kabiyesi assured us that he is a father to everybody. He is an institution that is not to be disrespected. But what the family is saying is that the rights and wishes of the vast majority of the Akere family should be respected. And which Kabiyesi himself upheld. And we don’t know how and where the other person, without the consent of the family became the Mogaji Akere, duly recognized by the Olubadan-in-Council”.
”So we are now seizing this opportunity to appeal to Kabiyesi and the Olubadan-in-Council to look into our case, with due respect, without fear or prejudice and fear of actions, so that the wishes of the vast majority of Akere family should be upheld. I still have confidence in Kabiyesi, that he will give us a listening ear, so that the wishes of the entire Akere family will be respected.
However, in its reaction the Olubadan-in-council , in a Press Release dated 8th January and titled “IBADAN CHIEFTAINCY NOT A DO-OR-DIE AFFAIR” stated its position on the issue. Excerpts :
“IBADAN CHIEFTAINCY NOT A DO-OR-DIE AFFAIR”
The Olubadan-in-Council, the highest decision-making organ on Ibadan traditional, Chieftaincy matters has decried the use of violence to protest Chieftaincy disputes, saying henceforth erring parties would face sanctions.
In its emergency meeting at Oba Saliu Adetunji’s Palace, Popoyemoja, Ibadan over the weekend, the council which affirmed the rights of people to lawful protests when aggrieved kicked against derogatory media campaigns against opponents and use of dangerous weapons such cutlasses and guns to protest disputes.
The council members specifically referred to the recent tussle for the post of Mogaji Akere Compound, Orita-Merin, Ibadan between two brothers – Alhaji Moshood Gbolagade Akere and Mr. Wasiu Okunola Akere which had led to a person being hospitalized following the emergence of Alhaji Moshood Akere as the Mogaji. It therefore summoned his main rival in the contest, Mr. Wasiu Akere and some of his family members to the emergency council meeting to come and explain their roles in the trouble before and after the appointment of Alhaji Moshood Akere as Mogaji.
According to the council, there is sufficient evidence to show that both Wasiu and Moshood Akere had signed up to an undertaking on December 8 last year before the representatives of Olubadan to support whosoever was eventually chosen as Mogaji Akere between the duo.
Before then, a couple of meetings had been called at the instance of Kabiyesi Olubadan with the Akere family members to pick a unanimous candidate between the two contestants. The failure of the family to come up with the consensus candidate after 15days grace led Kabiyesi to form a committee of two high chiefs comprising Otun Balogun, High Chief Dr. Femi Olaifa and Osi Balogun, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola to hold another meeting with the two candidates and their supporters at the Olubadan Palace Mapo Ibadan last December 8 where both of them signed an undertaking to support whosoever emerged Mogaji between them.
According to them, there is no other way to describe the purported gun shoot-out that trailed the appointment of Moshood Akere as Mogaji than an act of flagrant disobedience to the authority of his Imperial Majesty, the Olubadan of Ibadanland adding that an insult on Olubadan or any of his representatives is an insult on Ibadanland as a whole. The council members who allowed media men to cover the proceedings recalled that the Akere family at Orita-Merin where both Wasiu and Moshood hail from has a proud heritage of being one of the few families that has produced Olubadan twice, stressing they should not allow thugs to infiltrate their ranks and destroy their hard-earned family reputation.
The also advised the new Mogaji Akere, Alhaji Moshood Gbolagade Akere to be magnanimous in victory and his rival, Wasiu to be gallant in defeat as chieftaincy contest in Ibadanland is not a do-or-die affair. They also charged the family elders who have been polarized by the contest between the duo to close ranks in order to move the family forward.
Responding, Hon. Wasiu Akere who expressed appreciation to the council over their concern explained that the Olubadan remains the father of all whose word is law. He stated that he had no hand whatsoever in the trouble that trailed the appointment of his brother.
Present at the emergency council meeting were the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji Aje Ogungunniso 1, Otun Olubadan, High Chief Senator Dr. Lekan Balogun; Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Owolabi Akinloye Olakulehin; Otun Balogun, High Chief Dr. Femi Olaifa; Asipa Olubadan, High Chief Eddy Oyewole; Asipa Balogun High Chief Latif Gbadamosi Adebimpe; Ekarun Olubadan, High Chief Amidu Ajibade and Ekarun Balogun, High Chief Kola Adegbola.
Director of Media &
Public Affairs to the Imperial
MajestyOlubadan of Ibadanland