The Eletu of Iruland , Lagos, Mathew Adekunle Akinwunmi has said that Oracle chose him several times to succeed the late king, His Royal Majesty Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru. He said the Oracle did not only choose him but also confirmed him as the right person for the kingship stool. He said the controversy trailing the subsequent emergence of Gbolahan Lawal as the new Oba in June 2020 may not end anytime soon, except the injustice done to him is redressed. At a press conference Wednesday in Lagos, Akinwunmi gave a historical account of how he was installed the Eletu of the Kingdom by Oba Oniru on the 23rd of March 2003 (which is seventeen years now) as a member of the Omowunmi Abisogun Royal family, who are the “real owner of Iruland.”
He said, following the demise and burial of the late Oba Oniru between September and November 2019, Aremo Adesegun Oniru had instructed the then Olori Ebi of Abisogun, to call a meeting of the Abisogun family and pick a candidate to fill the vacant stool with a strong contention that the Abisogun Family “must pick one of their own and not a stranger.
Sequel to this directive, he said; Chief Biliaminu Sanni called Chief Wasiu Ogunbambi, the Olisa of Iruland and himself the Eletu of Iruland, (both of whom are from the Omowunmi Abisogun Royal family) and as principal members of the family to a meeting. He stated further that at the meeting, Chief Biliaminu listed some names as the prospective Omo-Oye (prospective contenders) and he included his name (Eletu) too.
“The Oracle was consulted and it announced me as the chosen candidate. This happened at the house of Chief Biliaminu, the then Olori Ebi, and as Olisa was about leaving for home, I asked Chief Biliaminu to allow Olisa to go home with the names of the prospective Omo – Oyes and consult another Oracle to confirm the authenticity of the choice made by the first oracle. This advice was accepted and Olisa, Chief Wasiu Ogunbambi went home with the names and promised to get back to Olori Ebi, Chief Sanni Abisogun. On the third day Ogunbambi, the Olisa of Iruland called back and said he gave the names to three different Oracle centres and that it was me they all chose as the candidate to fill the stool.
The Eletu explained further that a major family meeting was called where he was presented to the general Omowunmi Family as the candidate chosen by Ifa (Oracle). However, contrary to expectations soon after that; some political intrigues began to set in, as Olisa contended that “I do not have problem with you being chosen as the Omo – Oye but my problem is that you do not have money and that you are not connected politically.
Therefore we cannot use you”.With this statement and to his greatest surprise, he explained, people began to line behind Akeem Ajasa, who prior to the consultation with the Oracle on the choice of the next king, was said to have been parading himself as the next Oba since he reportedly has some connection with the former governor of Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, and the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila.
As contenders to the throne were swelling in numbers, another intrigue reportedly set in, as four names were submitted including Eletu’s name, to the Board of Trustees formed in the wake of the search for new Oba for screening and consultation with the oracle, to pick the eventual candidate. According to Eletu, the Board of Trustees refused to consult the oracle but resorted to the election in the choice of who would become the king, thereby breaching the traditional culture or process of choosing a new king in Iruland. They voted and Ajasa Hakeem reportedly won and was declared their candidate. Sequel to this development which occurred on the 8th of December, 2019, Akeem Ajasa was declared the Oba Elect of Iruland by Chief Biliaminu Sanni, Chief Wasiu Ogunbambi the Olisa of Iruland, and the so-called BOT members around 11 am – 12 pm in the full glare of journalists.
Perhaps buoyed by the desire to stall what was perceived to be a breach of their culture; Aremo Adesegun Oniru; son of the late Oba Oniru swung into action and announced himself as a candidate to “counter the mess openly orchestrated by Chief Biliaminu and Wasiu Ogunbambi by bringing in an outsider and defiling the traditional value and culture in the selection of an Oba of Iruland”.As the kingship tussle began to openly rage between Hakeem Ajasa and Aremo Adesegun Oniru between the months of May 2020 and June 2020, former Lagos Governor and highly respected Yoruba leader; Bola Ahmed Tinubu summoned Akeem Ajasa and the formed BOT members to his residence. At the said meeting, Tinubu allegedly rejected Akeem Ajasa for reasons best known to him. According to Eletu, “We were told that Asiwaju asked the BOT members if they have another candidate from Abisogun Family, they replied no and insisted that Akeem Ajasa was their choice. The BOT members at the meeting were not truthful to Asiwaju. If they had come out to tell Asiwaju about the choice of the Oracle which they rejected, all because of Hakeem Ajasa’s largesse and connection in the corridors of power, Asiwaju might have asked them to bring the Oracle’s choice for assessment and possible upward validation.”
“We were told by BOT members that they left the meeting in annoyance that day and re-appeared the second day to Asiwaju. It was then that Asiwaju inquired from them if they knew Gbolahan and that since he was told he is part of Abisogun (which is not true anyway) then he will approve Gbolahan for them in lieu of Akeem Ajasa; so that Akisogun House (Aremo’s caucus) would not get to the throne since that was their contention. This was how Gbolahan Lawal resigned his job as Commissioner in Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration on Friday 5th June 2020. He has hastily crowned on the 6th of June and given the staff of office on the 7th of June 2020.”
Chief Akinwunmi told journalists that “the emergence of Gbolahan as the new Oba was a bitter pill for the BOT members because their allegiance was with Akeem Ajasa and they were now telling the world that it was Asiwaju who forced Gbolahan on them, covering their own dirty and shameful act of betrayal and disobedience to the voice of the Almighty God disclosed through the Oracle.” He argued that “the series of protests and unrest that have been ravaging Iruland since the enthronement of Gbolahan Lawal were as a result of the failure of the so-called BOT members to listen to the voice of God and the ancestors of Iruland,” stressing that their “ancestors did not choose Gbolahan because he is not their own.”
“God Almighty who owns the Earth is so much interested in the affairs of Iruland and He has chosen a king for Iruland from the true owners of Iruland (Omowunmi Abisogun Family) whom they have rejected. The unrest in Iruland today is not from anyone but from God Almighty and our ancestors. They shall continue to trouble those who had hands in the murder of peace of our land (Iruland) till they reverse this brazen daylight robbery of our throne.”The Eletu has therefore appealed to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Lagos State Government to reconsider their stand having been misinformed about the choice of Gbolahan Lawal as the Oba of Iruland. According to him, “In Yoruba land, there are customs to be followed before an Oba can be installed for peace and tranquility to prevail but this was not followed in the case of Gbolahan and this is why the original owners of Iruland are vehemently opposing it. For peace to be restored, the right thing must be done.”Meanwhile, Chief Akinwunmi has alerted the government over some clandestine moves by some unidentified persons to kill him. He told newsmen how a strange personality was seen recently carrying out surveillance on one of his cars, taking the vehicle number and other identification marks before somebody raised alarm which made the suspect take to his heels.