The Agboowu of Ogbaagba, Dhikrulahi Akinropo, recently allegedly assaulted by the Oluwo of Iwo, Abdulrosheed Akanbi, over land dispute in Iwo land has expressed his displeasure over the failure of the Osun State Government to take proactive measures on the matter.
While Mr Akanbi has been suspended from attending the Osun State Traditional Rulers Council meeting for six months, the state government is yet to state its stance on the matter.
Mr Akinropo in a two hours interview with PREMIUM TIMES' Kabir Adejumo at his palace on Sunday spoke on the genesis of his fight with Oluwo, how the police betrayed him and the silence of the state government.
PT: What was the relationship between you and Oluwo before now and what led to the fight between you?
Agboowu: We had a good relationship when he was first installed and we were all respecting him as the president of traditional rulers in Iwo land. Whenever he calls for meetings, we always respect him and make ourselves available.
However, he started fighting with about eight kings including me during a meeting we had at his palace in August 2019 when he told us that all kings in Ayedire Local Government and Olaoluwa are subjects under him. That same day, he told us that anytime we want to sell any land above 10 acres in our jurisdiction, we must consult him and that he has the power to give receipt.
We rejected this that same day but he repeated it in September that year. But Olu of Ile Ogbo said that cannot be possible. I also told him that I have to return to my subjects in Ogbaagba before I can give him response. After my comment, he then said he thought I was wise to have been made a king. I never responded to avoid problems.
By October, we were invited by former AIG, Prince Oyebade in Zone II, over a petition that we were threatening Oluwo’s life. We were eight kings he wrote against. The AIG in his wisdom said we should try to resolve it amidst ourselves.
PT: Did you then return to his palace for Obas council meetings?
Agboowu: Well, even the council meetings we hold in his palace was not supposed to be. We only respected his predecessor. Iwo Local Government is the right place for our meeting. We then chose Iwo Local Government Secretariat since we have Chief house in the place. The day we called a peace meeting, he came with thugs even when it was obvious that we came for a peace meeting. He kept drumming for hours and raising curse on other kings on seat. The chairman of Iwo Local Government and former permanent secretary of SUBEB, Tayo Giwa, were present that day. We realised the atmosphere was tensed, so, we ran away from the place.
Since then, we did not hear about the matter until a new AIG, Balkama came to Osun. He wrote to us to come and we respected that.
PT: Was it at the meeting that you were assaulted?
Agboowu: Yes. The Officer in charge of legal, AIG, the commissioner for chieftaincy affairs, the commissioner for lands and all other kings petitioned were present. AIG opened the discussion that some kings are having dispute over land. But commissioner for chieftaincy affairs, Taju Lawal, quickly wade in, saying, land matters are best resolved among the kings. He argued that it is not a criminal matter, so, police should stay away. He told us all that aggrieved parties should go to court. At that point, Oluwo stood up saying he’s not interested in court.
I was seated on the same row where he seated. Next to Oluwo was Alhaji Kamal, chairman Iwo Local Government and I followed. I told him to take it easy but the reaction I got from him was different punches to the extent that I fainted. He questioned why I should be talking while he’s talking. Perhaps, I would be dead by now if not for AIG that forcefully dragged him away. I sustained injury. I told AIG that I felt very bad I could be assaulted in his presence. OC legal, Mr James then asked that we should write statement before going to hospital at Asubiaro.
I was examined and treated. I returned home to douse tension because the people of Ogbaagba were already planning to storm Osogbo with annoyance. But to maintain peace, I asked them to wait for me and I returned home at night after I was treated at the hospital. I, again went to the hospital the following day for treatment.
PT: But Oluwo said all that happened and got you injured was self-defense and police has not said anything to the public since then.
Agboowu: The most painful thing is the report police AIG submitted to the council of obas that we never fought in his presence. We need to be careful of this country. Police are one of the major problems we have. Oluwo himself claimed it was self-defense but AIG told council of obas last Friday that he did not witness any fight. I feel very betrayed by the police. The AIG is a bloody liar.
PT: How about the representatives of the government?
Agboowu: I was surprised that the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy and the commissioner for lands also boycotted the meeting. They both claimed to have travelled including Iwo Local Government chairman. I want the two commissioners to swear with Ogun that I was never beaten.
PT: How long have you been on the throne?
Agboowu: I was installed in 1996. 24 years now.
PT: With what played out between you and Oluwo, we can simply say that there is no respect for the years you’ve spent on the throne.
Agboowu: A king should be respected regardless of the power. He has no power over where I preside. That’s all I can say.
PT: We obtained a copy of your petition to the AIG calling for Oluwo’s prosecution. Are you ready for a legal battle?
Agboowu: I have been betrayed by the police. The AIG disappointed all Nigerians. We have to be scared of the police and not trust them. We are not safe. I am not against the government but I felt bad the commissioner for chieftaincy affairs who witnessed it did not report to the governor and I’ve been left to carry my cross. I plead with Nigerians to help me from being cheated.
If getting justice from the police and state government appears impossible, we will take legal means but I can’t say absolutely yes for now. Let’s wait and see how things unfold.
The Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers suspended him from coming to meeting for six months already anyways for his indecency. I await government response too.