OLUWO of Iwo Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi has defended his recent altercation with the Agbowu of Ogbaagba Oba Dhrikulahi Akinropo saying that he acted in self-defence as he was threatened physically by other monarchs whose oppressive rule he opposes.
Reknown for his controversial and maverick mature, Oba Akanbi, who recently sent his Canadian wife packing, was reported to have punched his colleague, Oba Olaniran, during a meeting last Friday. They had gone for peace talks at the zonal headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force in Osogbo the Osun State capital where the Iwo monarch lost it and assailed his colleague.
Oba Akanbi said he is not on friendly terms with some monarchs in Osun State, explaining that monarchs in Iwo, Ola-Oluwa and Ayedire local governments of the state which make up Iwoland, are inflicting hardship on their subjects. Monarchs at Friday’s peace meeting who is believed to be referring to include Oba Quadri Adeoye, the Oluwo of Iwo-Oke; Oba Oyebamiji Oyeleso of Oluponna, Oba Adio Oyediran of Igegeland, Oba Solomon Ojo of Ikonifin and Oba Moshood Oparonke of Eesu.
While the meeting was ongoing, Oba Akanbi allegedly stood up from where he was sitting and descended on Oba Akinropo, which led to the latter being rushed to the hospital. Although Oba Akanbi did not deny assaulting his colleague, he said it was in self-defence against an attempt by Oba Akinropo to stick his staff of office in his eyes.
Earlier this week, chiefs and some residents of Ogbaagba, Ile-Ogbo and Iwo demanded sanctions against Oba Akanbi. In response to these calls, Oba Akanbi said what transpired was a case of the oppressor fighting back against the defender of the oppressed and as a result, Oba Akinropo attempted to stick his staff of office in his eyes in order to blind him.
Oba Akanbi said: “I quickly responded to prevent him from achieving their plan to turn me into a blind king. These monarchs are lording themselves over their subjects, taking their family lands and selling their inheritance with impunity.
“They have gone as far as arresting and imprisoning anyone in these families, who tries to obstruct them from selling their heritage. Most Nigerians allow sentiments to override their sense of reasoning and hail bad leaders but I have vowed to continuously fight corruption in the traditional system just like President Muhammadu Buhari is fighting political corruption by turning deaf ears to critics.
“I feel bad about the strong oppressing the weak and the vulnerable in the society because I always feel the pains of the people that why would something like this happen in Iwoland Traditional Council. Many family lands with ancient cash crop trees such as cocoa, palm kernel tree, oranges, plantain, etc are sold and uprooted without the consent of the family owning the land and they went as far as selling a land to about six people.”
He also alleged that his colleagues often pay thugs to protect illegally-acquired land sold to speculators for as little as N60,000. According to Oba Akanbi, many families have been rendered ineffective and many orphans have had their land grabbed with no compensation as a result of all this and these people come to his palace seeking justice.