Osun obaship tussle: White Paper delay brews fresh war among royal families



Uba Group

The delay by the Osun State Government to issue a White Paper on the chieftaincy crisis inherited by the administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke is currently brewing fresh discordant tunes among affected royal families in the state.

Governor Adeleke had constituted a committee to review the appointments and installations of some monarchs in Igbaajo, Iree and Ikirun last year.

The committee had since submitted its recommendations to the state government but the state governor has yet to take any decision on the committee’s recommendations.

The governor had promised to make his decisions known through a White Paper after perusing the committee’s recommendations.

However, tension is brewing in Igbajo, one of the affected towns, as the traditional ruler of the town, Gboyega Famodun, who was ordered to step aside and vacate the palace, has been accused of parading himself as Owa of Igbajo and also accessing the palace against the governor’s standing directive.

Some ruling houses in Igbajo community, Boluwaduro Local Government Area of Osun State, have staged pockets of peaceful protests against Prince Adegboyega Famodun for allegedly parading himself as the Owa of Igbajo.

The aggrieved ruling houses, including Loye Oke Odo, Aworoosun, Nigemo, Omokan, Baba Owa, all of the Owa Oke Ode side and Omo Owa Odo-lloro, led by Chief Logunode of Igbajoland from Agbojuomi’s compound, had stormed the Igbajo palace on several occasions, in protest, saying that the town had no king and that Famodun should comply with the governor’s Executive Order and stop accessing the palace or moving about as the Owa of Igbajo.

While carrying placards bearing different inscriptions pointing to the alleged illegality and lack of due process in the selection of Famodun, the protesting royal families urged Governor Adeleke to promptly release the White Paper on the committee set up to resolve chieftaincy crisis in the state, saying the delay in the release of the White Paper was already causing tension in the town.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards displayed by protesters read, “Igbajo People Do Not Want Famodun as Owa of Igbajo,” “The Selection of Adegboyega Famodun to the Throne of Owa of Igbajo Did Not Follow Due Process,” “Famodun, Stop Parading Yourself as Owa of Igbajo,” “Igbajo Says No To Imposition of Famodun”, “Emergence of Famodun was a Fraud/Scam,” “Prince Famodun, You Are not Above The Law, Stop Parading Yourself as Oba,” Stop Holding Illegal Owa in Council Meeting Every Monday,” among others.
Many of the protesters called on Adeleke to save the town from crisis and make the White Paper public without further delay.

One of them, Prince Adeyinka Adereni, from the Omokan ruling bloc, said, “We have no king in Igbajo. We are still awaiting the Governor’s White Paper. We don’t want anyone to disturb the peace we enjoy in Igbajo. Prince Famodun cannot be above the law and so, he should stop parading himself as Owa of Igbajo.”

In the same vein, Prince Adewumi Makinde from Nigemo’s compound said, “The committee that is supposed to scrutinise the contestants had yet to finish its work and submit a report to us before Famodun was illegally imposed on Igbajo people. The Famodun ruling family had been king for two times and now they want to illegally impose Gboyega Famodun on us because of his political influence as the former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State.

“No one can turn the stool of Owa to their family right. We the Omo Owa of Oke-Ode are still expecting the White Paper on the committee set up by Governor Ademola Adeleke and anyone parading himself as king should desist. We have no king in Igbajo.

“We have not had any traditional ruler in Igbajo and we want the government of Ademola Adeleke to intervene quickly and save Igbajo town from crisis. We don’t want problem. That is why we refuse to take the law into our hands and we have been patient. Those who are trespassing the palace and coaxing people to come and pay homage to him should desist.”

Meanwhile, rising from a meeting held at Akodi Omo Owa, at Loye’s compound, Igbajo, which was attended by elders, youths, women from within and outside the town, the aggrieved ruling houses debunked the fake news that Governor Adeleke retained Prince Famodun as Owa of Igbajo.

A communique issued at the end of the meeting and jointly signed by Prince Adewumi Makinde, Prince Adeyinka Adereni and Prince Gbenga Ajakaye on behalf of the entire Omo Owa Oke, read, “We are waiting for the White Paper from the Osun State Government that will uphold the principle of equity, justice and fairness. The stool of Owa is not an exclusive right of Famodun family. At the end of the meeting, we unanimously agreed that we don’t have an Oba in Igbajo and that Famodun should stop parading himself as the Owa of Igbajo in the interest of peaceful coexistence of our people in the community.”

Also, there is uneasy calm in Ikirun over its stool as one of the royal families, Gboleru ruling house of Ikirun, headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state, has cleared the air on a rumour going around that it withdrew from contesting in the Akinrun stool race.

The ruling house, in a statement signed by Prince Alimi Olaleye and Prince Lamidi Abefe, on behalf of the family, noted that the Gboleru family was not stepping down for anyone as being rumoured.


They said the Akinrun stool was their birth right, which they could not sell, insisting that it was their turn to occupy the seat after the demise of Oba Rauf Olawale Adedeji.

While begging the state government to quickly ease tension in the land by issuing the White Paper, the ruling house warned other interested parties against acts that could jeopardise the frail calm in the town.