“We are in Court to Determine the Original Ijaolu Ruling House” -Ijaolu’s Spokesperson
Prince Abdul Adewale Isiaka was selected by Ijaolu ruling house of Igbogbo to speak on behalf of the entire family during a session with the Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief, THE IMPACT Newspaper, Kunle Adelabu and a Trainee Journalists, Folarin Abiola Festus. In this interview he spoke on Ijaolu’s ancestors, their claim to the Adeboruwa stool and why they are in Court. Excerpts:
Impact: Recently, you wrote to the kingmakers and the Adeboruwa-in -Council, protesting that your family is the next house to produce the king (cut in)
Isiaka: We didn’t actually protest but after the demise of Oba Johnson Fatola we sent a condolence letter to the kingmakers at the same time reminding them that it is the turn of our ruling house which is Ijaolu ruling house of Igbogbo. Our position was based on the Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 which stated that after the turn of Rademo ruling house it is the turn of Ijaolu ruling house to produce the next king of Igbogbo. This is what we ask for and by the grace of Allah it is our turn to produce the next king of Igbogbo.
Impact: You mentioned that the next to produce the next king is Ijaolu but there is another Ijaolu. How can you prove that your Ijaolu is the recognized Ijaolu?
Isiaka: Actually, ever before now and precisely, since 1904 till 1931, our great father had occupied the stool of Adeboruwa (king of Igbogbo) in person of Oba Osho-Ojuba which is the great grandchild of Ijaolu. Ijaolu is the junior brother to Ogunsona and Oshinbokunren all of the same father, Ogunremade. So, I don’t know of their own Ijaolu -Ademiye. I know Ijaolu-Ademiye are from Ewu-Elepe not from Igbogbo town. It is our own Ijaolu ruling house whose ancestor, Oba Osho-Ojuba had occupied the stool as king of Igbogbo between 1904 and 1931 under Ijaolu ruling house of Igbogbo.
Impact: We learned that the ruling houses usually hold meeting since they came back from tribunal and we are told that your Ijaolu has not been participating in these meetings. It was also said that at the tribunal where all the ruling houses made representation that yours were not represented to show that it was not your Ijaolu that is on the Declaration. Can you please shed more light on this?
Isiaka: During the reign of Oba Johnson Fatola there were contradictions and conflicts which caused chaos in Igbogbo town and we don’t want such a thing to happen again. During this period, we were not privy to any meeting or tribunal sittings. We were not told of anything, but we were aware that Oba Johnson Fatola wanted the tribunal to include his own house, the Oshibokunrin ruling house in the declaration of 1957. Our beliefs were that even though such a thing would happen, he was supposed to notify our family so that we can be part and parcel of the meetings. Seriously, we don’t know why our house has been neglected on that issue and immediately we heard about the issue two years ago we met him and he said he would call a meeting. He thought we are of the same family with Ijaolu-Ademiye but we denied any link with them. On the issue of tribunal we were not informed and I suspected fraudulent act from this Ijaolu Ademiye impersonating our own Ijaolu. I thought if they can make mention of a king who has reigned under their own Ijaolu, that would give them ground to lay claim to the throne but from the record available, there is none.
Impact: Are you saying that the Ijaolu at Ewu-Elepe has never been in any point in time mounted the throne?
Isiaka: They have never been a chief let alone being a king in Igbogbo. History has never mentioned them being a chief or a king.
Impact: But they are saying that government recognized them and all the government letters has been directed to them. How do you explain this?
Isiaka: This is a fraudulent act between them and the immediate past Oba. I can say that categorically because when we met the Oba he said he believed that we are of the same and we disagreed. It was a surprise hearing such a thing and I believe the amendment to the 1957 declaration where they want to include another family will not succeed because we are telling the government that there is fraud in it. The only declaration known to us is that of 1957.
Impact: As the representative of the Ijaolu family, since you’ve made your position known to the Oba-in-Council, what do you intend to achieve with the litigation again?
Isiaka: The most painful part of this issue is that they the kingmakers, know about our ancestor, Osho-Ojuba’s tremendous works in Igbogbo and neighbouring towns. He won important cases for Igbogbo and fought in many wars for Igbogbo, Igbogbo and its environs. We are expecting the kingmakers to do the right thing in the interest of Igbogbo but we are disappointed. As far as we are concerned, we have gone to the court which has stopped them and until that is vacated, they cannot name anybody from Ijaolu-Ademiye as next Oba and nobody must do anything. We know government has been intervening in this issue and the court will now tell the whole world the real Ijaolu ruling house that is in the declaration of 1957.Until this case has been settled I don’t think there should be any move from the king makers to elect or act as an agent for any ruling house to produce or nominate any name to fill the vacant sit of Oba Igbogbo.
Impact: From the way you have handled things so far, it shows your family is a peace loving family. Do you see all parties to the case agreeing on out of court settlement or how do you think this issue can be settled amicable so that the issue of Obaship can be resolved in good time?
Isiaka: Though nobody would want to experience the crisis of the years past but as things are going now there may be repeat of history. We are law-abiding citizens and believe that through the court we are going to get back our stolen title because we have all necessary documents to convince the court. In 1974 before he installation of Oba Joseph Odugbose our family wrote a letter to the king makers that is our turn but we were asked to wait and same thing happened in 1978 before the installation of Oba Johnson Fatola. The Ijaolu-Ademiye should please produce at least a letter from their family to seek for such and tell the whole world if any of theirs ancestors emanated from royal lineage.
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