The Punch

Osun community tackles monarch, alleges land-grabbing

- Bola Bamigbola, Osogbo

SOME aggrieved indigenes have accused their monarch, the Olowu Orile Owu, Oba Dauda Akinfala, and some chiefs in the Osun State community of illegal sale of 20,000 hectares of land worth over N1bn.

They said some of the parcels of land were the inheritanc­e of the royal families in the town, adding that others belonged to individual­s.

Sources in the town also alleged that land in areas such as Ayesan, Seleru, Bologun to Dabongbo,, Araromi Adekanmibi, Aladura, Fowosere, Alabameta, Gbindin, Gbokutaru, Lakadi to iyana Ogedengbe, amongst others, had been illegally acquired by the monarch or his aides.

The indigenes said due to the monarch’s action, there was the disunity in the town; and in a petition, expressed reservatio­ns on the town’s ability to host the 2021 edition of the annual Owu Convention granted by the Royal Union of Owu People, the umbrella body for all Owu descent.

The indigenes, under the aegis of ‘Concerned Citizens of Orileowu, Osun State’ in a petition titled, ‘Concerns about the choice of Orile Owu as the host of the 2021 Owu National Convention,’ by one Mr. Lekan Adegbenro and 14 others, lamented indiscrimi­nate sale of land in the community by the monarch.

The petition sent to the RUOP leadership, chaired by aformer secretary to Osun State Government, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, reads in part, “The reign of Oba Dauda Akinfala so far is characteri­sed by wanton annexation of community land of Orile Owu, grabbing of land from legitimate owners and settlers and other acts of misrule, which has polarised the community into different camps.

“The Oba and his family members including some chiefs have sold over 20,000 hectares of land worth more than N1bn, representi­ng the patrimony and commonweal­th of all the ruling houses without consent of Orile Owu people.”

The concern citizens also lamented the prevalence of ritual killings in the town, claiming that five people were killed and their sensitive organs removed recently.

But while reacting to the allegation­s in a letter sent to the RUOP leadership, Oba Akinfala, described as “illogical and irrational” the allegation­s of selling over N1bn.

The reply of Oba Akinfala to the petition against him read in parts, “The most illogical and outright exhibition of irrational­ity stems out the allegation that I sold several hectares of land for a whooping sum of more than N1bn.”

he added, “It is to be noted that I have never collected any Ishakole from the inheritanc­e bequeathed by my father or attempting to convert the Ishakole, being paid by the tenants of Orile-owu, to my personal use.

“There had been good rapport, mutual understand­ing and peaceful co-existence among myself and my chiefs and Orileowu community at large. The authors of the memo are being clever by half to paint a gory picture of non existence crisis in Orile-owu.”

It was gathered that the parties involved appeared before the national leadership of RUOP at a meeting held in Ibadan, Oyo State, where it was resolved that sale of land in the community should stop, while land sold would be revisited.

A indigene of the town, Dr Bola Oyemomi was selected to chair the elders Committee for resolution­s of the outstandin­g issues.

Oyemomi, in a text message on Sunday, said, “The consultati­ons are ongoing; meetings held with the traditiona­l ruler, his chiefs, elders of the town twice already. Another round of meetings will hold this week Tuesday and Saturday. Petitions are still being received.”

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