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When two elephants fight…as Oluwo of Iwo and High Chief Abiola Ogundokun engage in verbal slugfest

When two elephants fight…as Oluwo of Iwo and High Chief Abiola Ogundokun engage in verbal slugfest
May 07
09:17 2017

A lot of people, especially Yoruba leaders, have come to accept that the metaphor of the moment is that the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi, is the dog that caught up with the car. Colourful and controversial, the Oluwo has become (in)famous for his predilection to get into spats with whoever got in his way or attempted to. If he is not displaying his gaudy lifestyle on social media, including new material acquisitions, he is posting childlike videos like an excitable kid just experiencing a smart phone.

The recent in his expanding catalogue of opponents is an old political warhorse and the Publicity Secretary of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, Chief Abiola Ogundokun. In a fit of power-drunkenness, the Oluwo, last Sunday, stripped Ogundokun of all chieftaincy titles, ranging from Islamic, social to traditional titles conferred on him by the Iwo Traditional Council. The Iwo monarch accused Ogundokun of disrespecting him as well as making utterances and actions he described as anti-Iwo, saying, “A Chief is appointed to favour the town. Any Chief, either traditional or religious, who engages in a bad conduct should be dealt with accordingly. Ogundokun is one of them. I removed him after due consultation with Chiefs, religious leaders, stakeholders and opinion leaders in the interest of Iwo.” Continuing, he said, “Ogundokun went as far as going to a radio station to molest Iwo, the crown and her subjects. It is high time we shoved him off. He is a liability to our land. He has no respect for Iwo and needs to be treated like a traitor.”

However, the 82-year-old Ogundokun, forged in the political warfare of the 70s through the 80s to the Sani Abacha days, has described the Oluwo as incompetent to strip him of any title. “I have been maintaining and using my money to keep him. A few months ago, he told the whole world that Ogundokun is the best Iwo man. He said if he had two Ogundokuns in Iwo, he did not need anybody again. He is doing this because I advised him against criminality, to stop collecting money from people he does not intend to confer chieftaincy titles on.” To underscore that the King might just be on an exuberant spree, religious leaders across the three local government areas that make up the ancient town, as well as the five royal families, in a meeting held at the Iwo Central mosque, faulted the decision of the monarch and unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the high chief. They maintained that Ogundokun has not done anything that contravenes neither Islamic doctrine, nor traditional norm, which necessitated the action of the king. He is yet to respond as at press time. But knowing the Oluwo, a ringing riposte is afoot.

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