Fulani Herdsmen: Oluwo of Iwo and his chiefs have still not learned
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The best time to re-educate the paramount ruler of Iwo kingdom is now. Even if the royal monarch did not enter the traditional royalty seclusion (Ipebi) where he’s supposed to be taught how royals talk or act, he can still learn elsewhere via Youtube videos by watching how other royals walk, talk or act.
The elders of the ancient town including kingmakers should not continue to watch helplessly as the royal monarch either ignorantly or intentionally turns the peaceful town full of honey and milk to a dangerous zone where tales of horror and hot tears of misfortunes wake natives and residents.
With no intention to disrespect the sacred throne, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom is a rabble rouser but a politically valuable one. He has no respect for the throne and he is ready to do or say anything as far as it goes viral and appears on the front pages of newspaper without considering the implications. He values fame than royalty, he prioritises recognition than his roles as a responsible father for all in the ancient town.
Despite all the flaws and actions capable of removing him from the throne, Oba Akanbi is unapologetic and still comfortably ruling Iwo Kingdom because the state government and some elites desperately want him to be there.
I once argued that the state government could not handle Oluwo’s excesses because the current administration lacks the will to discipline, melt out punishments and properly sanction warring government officials through legitimate cautionary measures.
As far as the king remains a rabble rouser with a political value even if he ridicules or disgraces the throne and people he represent, he will continue to rule the ancient town. This are among reasons why all his flaws and excesses could not remove him from office. He did not repent nor desist from his ‘crucified’ actions. Oluwo continued to grow bad in utterances and actions till he brought troubles to the peaceful and innocent people of Iwo kingdom.
There are some lessons about life Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi needs to know. Royalty goes beyond charms and traditions. Character is the sole distinct between the royal ones and ordinary people.
Being controversial can not make Iwo great. You can not exert ‘authority’ by slapping fellow kings. There’s no humility in always running to town’s borders to meet wealthy and powerful people. Royals do not fight like street boxers. Royals don’t engage mothers of their children on social media streets. Royals also earn respect through acts and words.
I would have completely ignored the actions of Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom in as much the natives of the ancient town who are resemblance of his actions are carefree but we all have roles to play when it comes to security. We citizens of Osun have enjoyed peace and harmony to a considerate level and I really doubt if we are ready to trade it with excesses of a royal with ‘uncontrollable tongue’.
It would have been a different scenario if Oluwo of Iwo had ignorantly called on the spirits of banditry or aggrieved Fulani herdsmen to deal with him like he called the spirit of deadly disease “Coronavirus” to leave the entire world and confirmed patients and dwell in him. Nobody would have pitied the same royal monarch who wore nose covers, gloves and maintained one metre distance while making such pronouncement but it is different.
In his concept of controversialism and attention-seeking style, the paramount ruler of Iwo Kingdom publicly called on Fulani herdsmen who were sent packing from Yoruba communities to come down to Iwo kingdom because he is the emir of Yorubaland. He told the Fulanis that there are enough lands in Iwo kingdom for them to stay and continue their open grazing.
Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom is right. The empty expanse of lands in his kingdom does not deserve farming, industrialisation or any concept that promotes peace and grow the ancient town but these lands deserve open grazing, an old practice responsible rulers and leaders are currently managing to extinct.
Truly, Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom is a young adult, travelled and exposed but he thinks the people of Iwo do not deserve the advancement and growth vis a vis 21st century but open grazing. As far as the palace of Iwo Kingdom is safe, the troubles of the villagers or residents are not his concerns. Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi does not care and he’s not apologetic about it.
Fulani herdsmen heard the call and obeyed it. They are now in Iwo kingdom. They did not only come with cows but their relatives. They did not only come to rear cows, they reportedly came to steal the missing peace in their towns that Iwo people are enjoying. Why should any part of Nigeria be peaceful when there’s no peace in their vicinity? Jeje ni ijongbon duro, ti e fi pe soso ran nise, soso ti de bayii, oku bi e se fe se o (Troubles sat down patiently until you invited it. Now troubles have come to live with you, how do you plan to cope with it?).
Yesterday, two videos of ‘trouble’ were sent to me and I watched same videos on a friend Whatsapp status today. In these videos, people were seen shouting on top of their voices. They narrated how they were robbed, attacked and cheated by armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. In the video, a yet-to-be identified man could be seen blaming the attacks on the royal monarch who invited Fulani herdsmen to the kingdom and appealed to concerned authorities to assist them.
A very sad situation it’s. Osun is volatile. We can not afford to experience the escalation of these attacks. A state battling political thugs menace should not add banditry to it. A state battling kidnapping should not add banditry to it.
Obokun has now become a den of kidnappers. A very difficult puzzle the police have not completely resolved. Iwo kingdom should not become a den of attackers. It will slow processes, possibly go wild and more terrific. We need to act now and fast.
The state government must activate all necessary authorities and resources to curb these new but strange developments before they escalate. All security agencies should be at alert. Search, arrest and prosecute those who are undermining the strength and authority of the government. It must not escalate.
And if Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom appears too big to be sanctioned or powerful to be controlled by the state, I humbly appeal to Kabiyesi to go on break, avoid interviews and public gatherings. Ti o ba wu Olohun, ade ma pe lori, irukere ma do kini. The palace is active and there is a king because natives and residents are alive. We need to act now and fast.
Apagunpote Olayimika Chocomilo writes from Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.
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