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Iloko-Ijesa: Now that the chains of repression and subjection are broken

Distinguished readers,

“The strive is O’er, the battle done
The victory of life is won. The song of triumph has begun. ALLELUIA!”

Kilometres away, one could easily feel the celebration of the good people of Iloko-Ijesa. The chains of repression and subjection are broken and the people could not keep their calm as they celebrate the ‘new normal’. Youths and women could not hide their excitement, the angry ones who are agents of dark forces and their soldiers have not only repented but reconciled with their minds. From market women to youths to aged ones, the excitement is genuine. Freedom comes with excitement and a lot of attractions. It is interesting and gladdens one’s heart that the people of Iloko-Ijesa have survived the traps of those who are broken windows of opportunities and mere accidents of representation. It is the people’s winning and they deserve it.

Few weeks ago, I wrote an article titled “When will grave dancers allow late Olashore’s spirit to rest?”. In this article, I discussed the complexity, toxicity of kingship tussle in the ancient town, the tears of winners who could not jubilate, unending joys of sore losers who have contacts and how the spirit of late Olashore has continued to roam around because he could not reunite with his ancestors. I expressed my disappointment and worries over the inability of Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration to resolve the 6-year kingship tussle and how the vacant royal stool has drastically downtuned the progess and communal growth of the ancient town.

Considering the history of the tussle, the powerplays and strength of power blocs who are contacts of the ‘joyous losers’, I argued with a friend that the matter will not be resolved sooner. The immediate past governor of the state, Aregbesola completely ran away from the issue till he left office. As dominating as he was while in office, he could not resolve the issue. So why should I expect Oyetola, a less dominating governor to resolve the issue?

Aregbesola is a product of street politics. To politicians who rose from the streets to corridors of powers, they are not alien to fear because they had dined with long spoons several times. Despite strong antagonism from certain quarters and dictates of powerblocs, Aregbesola approved the installations of Oluwo of Iwoland, Ooni of Ife and Elegboro of Ijebu-Ijesa. This should tell us that fear was not the problem he had with Iloko-Ijesa kingship tussle.

Aregbesola had two problems with Iloko-Ijesa kingship tussle. He was excessively loyal and could not maintain a clearer position on the matter. Aregbesola did not want to lose his loyalty and he still wants to keep the people. The Aregbesola I know would have risked the situation, dribbled the people if the candidate where his loyalty lies was popular, not rejected by kingmakers and ultimately by the people. Till he left office as the governor of the state, Aregbesola through the ministry of chieftaincy matters abandoned the royal stool, its politics and the people to fate.

Six years after Governor Oyetola took the bull by its horn surprisingly. Being a first time governor who probably wants to contest at the poll for second tenure could not stop him from resolving the issues. When youths of the ancient town protested against the continued kingship tussle, he did not send thugs to beat them up neither did he look at them scornfully when he was given an ultimatum to resolve the issue.

Governor Oyetola dared the consequences and he was ready to pay the price. Oyetola refused to run away from the kingship tussle like his predecessor neither did he order for a fresh poll to install his chosen or anointed candidate but engaged both parties. I want to assume that Governor Oyetola was more interested in justice than victory on Iloko-Ijesa kingship matter. He resolved the kingship tussle without firing a shot. No loss of lives, no burning of tyres, no destruction of properties. This is highly commendable. A sitting governor who resolves a 6-year kingship tussle of an ancient town without violence and peace has not bade the town bygone truly deserves our praises and commendations. I really salute the intelligence of the governor and his team especially the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs.

Once again, I congratulate the people of Iloko-Ijesa and I wish the new Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa, Prince Ogungbangbe a prosperous rule ahead.

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