A socio-cultural group, Ilawo Alagbagba descendants and youths, have advised a contestant for the Orile Ilawo stool, Alex McGregor to return to Canada and allow people of the Orile Ilawo communities choose their preferred king.
The group according to a statement issued and made available to journalists lamented that non-availability of traditional ruler has stalled development in Orile Ilawo and its environs, however, urged Alex McGregor to halt the “continuous desperation to occupy the stool meant for verifiable lineages and sons of the soil”.
The group insists that an Orile ilawo Indigineous person with known verifiable lineage should be the one to occupy the stool.
The statement which signed by its president, Chief Nathaniel Fajobi, noted that Orile-Ilawo have lots of great sons who have the capacity to rule and lead the town rather than giving it to “a stranger” as such will only creat problems.
Recall that on October 21, 2022, hundreds of protesters who were mainly aged men and women including youths from the agrarian community came out in their numbers from more than 63 villages to kick against plan on an alleged imposition and ratification of Macgregor as the new traditional head elected by the state government, saying it was in violation with the customs, tradition and Chieftaincy law of the land.
They described such an affront on their history and ancestors who had suffered and protected their lands from time immemorial till now.
Armed with placards and leaves, the protesters maintained that Alex Macgregor is not a native of Orile Ilawo, stressing that he does not have any proveable link, family history or connection whatsoever to any village, community or place in Orile Ilawo.
They lamented that the proposed selection of Macgregor had caused anxiety and tension in the community, describing the process as faulty, condescending, insulting and disappointing to all indigenous people of Orile Ilawo home and abroad.
The protesters further described the purported election as an affront to the tradition of the Orile Ilawo community because warrant chiefs’ names were changed against the wishes of Ilawo Council of chiefs at the last minute.
In a letter dated October 11, 2022, marked: ILG/167 addressed to the local and State Government, the stakeholders of the community headed by the Oluwo of Ilawo, Chief Samson Dosunmu, stated that the Ilawo council of chiefs have nothing to do with the election Macgregor had claimed he was elected from.
The Oluwo, Balogun, Jaguna, and Lukotun who heads the council of chiefs had vehemently distanced themselves from the “strange” warrant chiefs list used for the election purported to have been conducted behind the core members of the township claiming MacGregor was elected. Them emphasized “a ki n sosa lodo, ki labe labe Ma mo”.
They claimed that 6( six) names from the original warrant chiefs appointed and approved from every section of the Ogboni by the Ilawo council of chiefs to elect the oba had been changed last minute into the planned election.
They also alleged that none of the other contesting candidates nor the heads of chiefs were called for the election.
These have however led to a stall in the process, as there are at least 4 different legal cases which had made it impossible to select new king.
The socio-cultural group in the statement alleged McGregor of trying to use political connections against the will of the people of Orile Ilawo.
They advised that McGregor should immediately return to Canada “where he reportedly has spent most of his life and identifies with rather than coming to lay claim to a community he his ancestors alike, has no proveable root or lineage connecting it with”.
The statement read in part, “The use of your cheap food stamps , cheap vests , to further lure and deceive our people during festive seasons does not change the facts of the issue at hand that Macgregor has no verifiable link whatsoever to Orile Ilawo. How then can he want to become the king of Orile Ilawo? The desperation must stop now. Those deceiving the young man should stop collecting his money because his “colonial methods”, using cheap food stamps with lots of noise about it, promises of erecting a palace or even giving people loan will not change FACTS as it will continue to be an effort in futility except our ancestors are sleeping.
“It seems nobody has deemed it fit in his circle to tell him the whole truth about his history and that’s probably because they are dependent on his money. The same history that made it impossible for his father to become king despite all his efforts, somebody needs to tell him and even our children, our next generation already knows this history so that when we are long gone, they will protect their history very well and know well also to prevent him or his generations from ever climbing the stool.
“Everything must be done to preserve Yoruba culture, and heritage and this goes for the right positioning of the Obaship in the entire Yorùbá Nation. Orile Ilawo has very capable sons with verifiable links to their original lineage. Every Egba man has both a village and town house to confirm their lineages. McGregor has no know village in any Ilawo homestead. There is no family name of Macgregor or Gbadamosi in the whole of Orile ilawo. Hence the need for government to caution MacGregor seriously.
“The implication of not choosing an original son of the soil as Orile Ilawo monarch will be devastating to the growth of the homestead and that is not what we want. The Oba, being the custodian of culture and tradition ensures values must be protected and necessary encouragement given, security and relationship with locals must be maintained while anything that would erode them must be checked.”
The group urged government officials to play their part in the quest for a peaceful state by adhering strictly to traditional rules associated with choosing a king.
The statement further read, “Wise counsels must be entertained in the corridors of power. It is sad that many of our leaders especially in government and also, some senior traditional rulers have abandoned this sacred role, that is why the southwest is at crossroads. That is why we have been experiencing various crises and unrest across Yoruba land over kingship issues.” Most of the problem starts from imposition of non-indigenous people over original clan members as rulers.
“Our paramount traditional rulers should step up their activities by promoting the cultural identity of the Yoruba race. Our traditional rulers should embark on spiritual cleansing of their towns and communities and it starts with choosing and supporting an Indigineous member of a clan to lead its clan as it had been for hundreds of years
“Our traditional rulers and leaders generally have what it takes to stop marauders and impostors from the communities. We want to appeal to the governor in Ogun State and all southwestern states generally to salvage the terrible situation.
“The entire Orile Ilawo people are fully behind any of the 4 (four) other candidates who are known to be original sons of the soil with known history and lineage to become Olu of ORILE ILAWO and anything short of that, we will not allow an impostor to lead us.
“We appeal to Governor Dapo Abiodun ( a prince himself) to call to order local government and Chieftaincy officials found wanting in this case and be ordered to act on the Ilawo council of Chiefs (custodian of our culture ) said letter and relevant Chiefs laws to set aside the purported kangaroo appointment of Macgregor due to fault due process and reconduct an election to install an original son of the community as Olu of Orile Ilawo for a lasting peace in our community that is rich in cash crops and natural minerals.’
“Our people remain vigilant. We call for calm, as necessary government organs are working hard to redress the injustice, noting that the imposition might cause crisis in the town. We would will remain vigilant and ensure justice prevails.”
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