Ibadan — Twenty chiefs in Iwo, Osun State have thrown their weight behind the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi amid calls for his removal.
Some kingmakers in the ancient town had, last week, called for the removal of the monarch.
The 20 Iwo chiefs, in a jointly signed statement in Ibadan on Monday, Oyo State, described the call by the kingmakers as "anti-people, baseless and uncalled for."
The statement was signed by: Chief Taleatu Akanji, Olodifi of Iwo; Chief Kasali Aremu, Anla of Iwo; Chief Fasasi Gbolagade, Asipa of Iwo; Chief Aleem Adewale, Mosalu; Chief Yekini Muideen, Akogun; Chief Samson Adio, Moleebe; Chief Ajao Bamigboye, Asalu; Chief Lamidi Akanmu, Bashorun; Chief Safiriyu Aremu, Sobaloju; Chief Rabiu Iyanda, Oloogun; Chief Lateef Amubieya, Molebe Amubieya.
Others are: Chief Salami Ayofe, Molaafe; Chief Olaide Yekinni, Baagidigbo; Chief Nurudeen Asore, Sakotun; Chief Tiamiyu Oloyan; Chief Clement Olumodan; Chief Asimi Durotoye, Baralaje; Chief Atanda James, Baale Agbe; Chief Ambali Ishola, Aipete; and Chief Atanda Musibau, Moseru of Iwo.
The statement reads in part: "The rest traditional chiefs of Oluwo of Iwo hereby affirm that they disassociate themselves from the petition calling for dethronement of Oluwo of Iwo. Oluwo of Iwo should continue his leadership of Iwo traditional council in ernest, without removal, disturbance and continue to be on the throne of Oluwo of Iwo.
"That Iwo land consists of three local government council areas which are Iwo, Aye dire and Olaoluwa local government council areas, and that Oluwo of Iwo is the defacto and the d-jure head and the prescribed authority for all the chieftaincies in the three local government council areas that have 79 traditional chieftaincies of Iwo and districts. Therefore, 12 concerned chiefs, allegedly kingmakers, cannot force their opinion on all other members without the consensus of other traditional chiefs numbering 79, excluding the 12 petitioners.
"We state that any of the chiefs that have personal grievance with Oluwo of Iwo is at liberty to go to court for fundamental rights of access to court for hearing and not foist his personal grievance on all other traditional chiefs of Iwo land. Moreover, the petitioners are not people-concerned in all allegations contained in the petition.
"The allegations raised in the petition of the concerned chiefs need interpretation by the honorable court. The petitioners cannot play dual roles of being the accusers/complainants and being judges in the same accusations and complaints at the same time.
"The undersigned traditional chiefs of the Oluwo of Iwo hereby affirm that we oppose the position of the petitioners against Oluwo of Iwo and urge the executive governor of Osun State to disregard and discountenance the petition and petitioners as baseless."