Olowu Of Owu: Fears Over Appointment Of A Non Indigene

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo leader of the Kingmakers

By Winnie Kodilonye

Uneasy calm now pervades Owu Kingdom in Ogun State over the possible appointment of a non-indigene as the next Olowu following the recommendation of seven candidates among whom is a man reportedly a non indigene.

AtlanticNewsonline gathered at the weekend from sources at Owu that in spite of the fact that the State Governor; Dapo Abiodun is yet to pick the preferred person among the seven candidates recommended by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo-led kingmakers, many indigenes are unsettled with the inclusion of Prince Matemilola Adeola from Ile Soke Ruling House.

According to findings, two families from Ile Omoleefon and Aderinoye of Otileta Ruling House had reportedly rejected the nomination of Matemilola as the candidate for the stool.

It was gathered that the two Royal families, represented by Prince Tajudeen Adelani and Princess Aminat Adesina have separately petitioned the State Government, warning against the appointment of Matemilola whom they described as a non-indigene as the Olowu of Owu.

The petitions to the Ministries of Justice, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs had claimed that Matemilola is a native of Ibadan in Ibadan North East Local Government Area of Oyo State.

According to the petitioners, Matemilola had alluded to his Ibadan indigeneship in an affidavit he swore to, dated May 15, 2000 at the High Court Registry.

According to some sources at Owu, pertinent issues that have arisen as a result of the declaration via affidavit that he is a native of Ibadan include the question of what would he want the indigenes to believe between his mere words and testimony of interested parties or a legal document he voluntarily signed.

The second is the question of whether the indigenes of Owu could trust someone who lies for selfish reasons to protect the interest of Owu kingdom and its people when his interests clash with that of the people.

The sources contended further that even if Matemilola for the purposes of argument is assumed to be an Owu indigene, his actions did not portray him as an Owu son who is proud of his heritage.

The fact that there is an affidavit affirming that Matemilola is of Ibadan extraction, which automatically makes his candidacy to the Olowu of Owu position criminal in nature, there is the argument that such action has enormous legal consequences hence Governor Abiodun must not make the mistake of appointing Matemilola or another controversial candidate, Methodist Church Arch Bishop, Dr. Adegbemi Adewale as the next Olowu.

AtlanticNewsonline sources at Owu revealed that the recommendation of Adewale as one of the seven candidates by the Kingmakers has generated much ill feelings in Owu kingdom as he had betrayed the forthrightness that ought to go with pastoral ethics.

Apart from the fact that he is trying to taint his priesthood with traditional kingship activities since both institutions are not in sync with each other, Archbishop Adewale is said to have participated in establishing the template for screening at the Otileta Ruling House exercise that produced the seven princes presented to the Owu kingmakers.

Incidentally, Adewale eventually emerged one of the seven recommended by the Kingmakers.

There is an argument that since Adewale knew he was going to be a contestant in the kingship race, he ought not to have been a lead character in formulating the processes or guidelines on how the candidates would emerge.

By his involvement in drawing the template for selection of candidates and his eventual participation as a candidate, he has put himself in a more advantageous position which other candidates are not happy with. His candidacy is therefore controversial in nature, hence the disenchantment among the Owu indigenes.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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