Culture

Open Letter: Allow Fairness, Justice To Prevail On Orile-Ilawo Kingship Stool, Community Heads Beg Oba Tejuoso

ABEOKUTA – We, the people of Orile Ilawo are a peculiar people, a cohort inhabiting a glorious land and one who speaks in one voice – a resounding phonation for self-governance.

The stool of the Obaship and the manner of choosing represents a key construct of the Yoruba tradition. A composite aggregation that seeks to entrench fairness and justice within the ambit of the traditional mores.

We stand on these laudable principles when we see that the pattern of power transfer from the departed to the aspirants becomes convoluted.

The twist is in the peddling of Chief Alex McGregor. This is a man not from Orile Ilawo, a person without a bloodline linking him with the original Ilawo people, one who has not habited the land of our forefathers and knows nothing about our lives and struggles. A man with whom we share no past, present and consequently one whom we would not like to share a future with.

This case gives life, form and meaning to the word preposterous. The absurdity in a man trying to govern a clan that his lineage has been involved in causing harm, sorrow and anguish.

The father of Alex McGregor on the joyous day of the Eid-el-fitr point blank shot a member, a bread winner, a father, a brother, a son of Ilawo clan to death. He used a gun. It is important to state that he used his resources to get away with this. The question here is will he be allowed to add salt to injury? The everyday he governs becomes a constant reminder of impunity to the family of the departed and the Ilawo clan as a whole.

Politics, power and culture are generally not a good blend. It is even worse when they are against the will of the people to be governed. This peddled personalitys’ father indeed had a hand in bringing the Obaship stool back to Ilawo and for that, he is very much appreciated.

However, it would be insane for a gynaecologist to lay claim to a woman’s child just by taking care of her. The gynaecologist in this case is the father of the Chief Alex McGregor who forcefully wants to impose himself over us in Orile Ilawo.

Furthermore, this person being peddled does not have a homeland , Village or blood relation in our homestead, Orile Ilawo, ALAGBAGBA. Again, we openly challenge him to come and say to us where he really is from?

The resounding question resonating in the whole of Orile Ilawo, Alagbagba since the news of the purported ALIEN addition has been and remains, “How can someone with no verifiable lineage or known history, be an OBA over a clan he has no known history and lacks verifiable historical connection with”. This raging question elicits a tripartite emotion of anger-shock-confusion at the very least. It has compelled us to recall a Yoruba that goes thus, ‘Eni to rinkan he to fekupelu e, owo eniti o tis’onunko?’ (A simplified translation being: ‘If someone finds a lost object by chance and then start fighting to death to retain it, what should the person who lost the object in the first place be expected to do?’).

ILAWO should never become a kingdom divided against itself to prevent it from being brought to desolation because 98% of the township and villages do not support nor approve of him becoming or being foisted over them.

This same man , Alex McGregor claims his father was majorly part of the people who facilitated the bringing back of the stool to ILAWO undoubtedly but they had even been given a golden chance. His father before his passing, unilaterally brought the king who just passed on late last year – Oba Aina who is his cousin. They have used their turn and yet he wants to impose himself still. Fairness and Justice should always prevail. Even the original blood lines of ILAWO with known and verified oral and written tradition showing they created more than 194 villages in Orile Ilawo are being sidelined and cheated.

On the 1st of September, the Ilawo council of chiefs had a physical meeting at Odeda local government with the local government chairman where they unanimously agreed that the Ilawo council of chiefs should forward the names of warrant chiefs and Chieftaincy title of each of them accordingly. They did immediately and had the letter dispatched. The names they submitted were twelve. We have attached a copy of this to this letter.

However, to their greatest surprise, news just filtered in suddenly that somehow the election had been held and McGregor had been chosen. This was done behind Oluwo who remains the head of clan and overall head of Ilawo council of chiefs. Infact, he wrote a letter immediately rejecting all they had done. Same with Oluwo, Jaguna and Lukotun in council.

We found that some lawless individuals gathered themselves to announce the absence of major members of the Ilawo council of chiefs, particularly Oluwo of Ilawo, Balogun of Ilawo, Jaguna and Lukotun in doing the bid of their paymaster. This is totally against the position of the tradition and law which emphasized the position of the Oluwo in organizing the warrant chiefs meeting and the local government representative being the observer in the selection of an Oba.

Also, these bad eggs connived, particularly Osi of Ilawo , Chief Onifade with an aspirant of the kingship stool to manipulate the warrant chiefs list sent by the Ilawo Council of chiefs , jettisoning the original list and using another entirely different one with 6 strange names out of 9 names originally submitted by the council .

This has led to several huge protests by the 63 Baales of Orile Ilawo demanding answers on the sudden change of list and also in the same vein, led to the Oluwo doing a press conference to denounce the kangaroo election they held in Elegunmefa, categorically rejecting results because due process was not followed. Aside using a fake list of warrant chiefs, none of the other candidates were informed of this meeting, neither was himself, Balogun, Jaguna and Lukotun informed.

Reports from the event later confirmed presence of thugs and lots of police officers with Chief McGregor and his cronies threatening anyone who had anything contrary to the process with guns and offering money in bribe to coerce those present.

This is absurd, senseless and unacceptable. We have never had it this bad in Ilawo Council of Chiefs.

Most importantly, Orile Ilawo sits at the boundary of Ogun and Oyo State, ALAGBAGBA axis to Omi Adio. It is there imperative in view of the strategic position Orile Ilawo occupies in Ogun state to ensure we install a monarch who is originally from there, knows the people there and has lived with them, has his village there, meets with the locals closely and security agencies there to protect and better serve the people as king.

The evils that befall us in Yorubaland today came as a result of our ignorance and failure to celebrate our ancestors. It became our lots because we have abandoned our culture, tradition and heritage.

Traditional royalty and politics are like oil and blood; the two don’t mix well and should not be allowed in any union whatsoever. Everything must be done to preserve Yoruba culture, art and heritage and this goes for the right positioning of the Obaship in the entire Yorùbá Nation.

We hereby appeal to you to use your good office to let the rightful ruling houses get what is truly theirs.

Osile remains our royal father, head and prescribed authority of our clan- ILAWO.

We have written and gotten words to our father. All we ask is for fair hearing and justice to prevail. We know Osile to be a man with the heart of God and very resolute. We believe our loving Kabiesi, Karunwi III, Oranmiyan, will be fair in addressing all of the issues raised. We love him and will continue to love him.

Thank you,

Signed by
Igbimo Gbogbo Baale Orile Ilawo (Odoo ati Agbagba)

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