Osun monarch, prominent chief strip each other naked
By YINKA OLUDAYISI FABOWALE
The video clip went viral on the social media last week. It had all the trappings of an epic Yoruba movie. It showed a horsetail-whisking royal personage amid a crowd of townsfolk drumming, singing hailing and chanting slogans.
But, the cause of the throng’s gathering was definitely not for any celebration, judging by its combative posturing and the apparently provocative content of the song. It was for war! Reminiscent of the legendary Aare Latosa- led invasion of Iyalode Ibadan, Efunsetan Aniwura’s house to put an endj to the wicked reign of the female chief, notorious for her iron-fist, in Ishola Ogunsola’s (Isho Pepper) historical film of the same title, the crowd hurled abuses and curses in the frontage of a house supposedly belonging to the target of its diatribe. The derisive song went: “Kole boode, (2ce), Alakori t’ilekun mori, kole boode” (Behold, the heady fool dares not venture out).
Except that this was no make- belief at all! It was a public protest allegedly staged against the monarch’s estranged godfather, Chief Abiola Ogundokun, a prominent politician and an arch “enemy of the king” of Iwoland, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, Ilufemiloye Telu I. And at the head of the procession, which included a retinue of his chiefs and courtiers, with some security agents in the background, was Oba Akanbi himself, who is also the President of Iwo Traditional Council and Deputy Chairman of the Osun State Council of Obas and Chiefs.
The public demonstration seemed the climax of a long running battle between the monarch and the 82-year-old Ogundokun, a prominent Iwo indigene and erstwhile father-figure and ally of the youthful crown.
Although Ogundokun said he learnt of the move to make the young prince hitherto based in North America only three days to his coronation, he claimed that he nevertheless supported the new king both morally and financially, as well as refurbishing and furnishing his palace.
The duo became close friends, more so, as they both shared same passion as socialites, such that the king promoted Ogundokun from the honorary chieftaincy of Otun Balogun of Iwoland to Oba Nla, a newly created title and the highest in the land.
But, the romance was not to last. Early this year, signs emerged that all was not well between the erstwhile chums, as they disparaged each other in some media outbursts.
Saturday Sun learnt that Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, and some stakeholders tried unsuccessfully to wade in and settle the rift. Rather, the chasm only widened the more.
The escalation of the crisis and incessant vitriol spewed from both camps have raised questions as to what actually happened to break their bond.
Is it the case of another bourgeoning Basorun Gaa phenomenon prompting a counter move by a youthful, albeit smart sovereign to save himself and his throne before falling prey to a wily old bully, who first lures his victim with much guile only to devour, as Oba Akanbi hinted in an interview with Saturday Sun?
Or, is Ogundokun’s resolve to draw sword against the king to, as he said, save the historical town from the embarrassment of an infantile and corrupt ruler?
The Oba says he is on warpath with his former chief (He corrects the reporter for addressing Ogundokun as Chief, insisting he was simply a Mr., as he had derobed him), for his sins against not only Iwo, but the Yoruba race. He accused the octogenarian publisher of Conscience International Magazine of treachery and subversion of the interest of the Yoruba people, by blackmailing and betraying many of the race’s leading lights including Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and late Chief MKO Abiola, whose June 12, 1993 presidential election victory was annulled by the military junta of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. The monarch alleged Ogundokun was instrumental to the plot for voiding the poll result.